Gay British MP: Gay Activists in Britain Avoided U.S. Mistake of Attacking Marriage


The Washington Post writes today about David Cameron's (faltering) attempt to make gay marriage a "conservative" cause in the UK, but what is more interesting to us are these comments by an openly gay Labor MP:

"...By offering the proposal, Cameron has put his party out in front of even many gay advocates here who had seen other issues, such as stiffer penalties for hate crimes, as higher priorities. Although gay groups are vigorously campaigning in support of the measure, advocates initially debated whether they should even endorse a proposal seen by some as bringing a patriarchal and archaic institution to same-sex couples.

“This is more of David Cameron trying to drag the Conservatives kicking and screaming into the modern world,” said Ben Bradshaw, a ranking Labor lawmaker who in 1997 became one of Britain’s first openly gay members of Parliament. “Of course, we’ll support it, but this is pure politics on their part. This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights” with civil partnerships.

He added: “We’ve never needed the word ‘marriage,’ and all it’s done now is get a bunch of bishops hot under the collar. We’ve been pragmatic, not making the mistake they have in the U.S., where the gay lobby has banged on about marriage.”