It’s getting to the point where I don’t need to write blog posts about Stonewall – they’re writing themselves. Stonewall won’t be “jumped into” gay marriage, apparently. Please, they’ve had five years and spawned a campaign on the topic of their silence. Also:
Stonewall has never pretended to be a democratic member organisation. We have never said we speak for all lesbian, gay and bisexual people
Who do they speak for and are they actually accountable to anyone at all? It’s starting to sound awfully like Stonewall is a well funded clique to keep a few people in champagne and canapé receptions. It gets better:
Referring to Stonewall’s estimated £5 billion cost over ten years for allowing straight couples to have civil partnerships, he argued that the disability lobby would not deliberate over the cost of wheelchair ramps.
However, Mr Summerskill responded: “It is perfectly proper to say there are arguments that will be used against us so we can counter them”.
But Stonewall made the figure up: The five billion figure wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t
invented it “extrapolated” it. How on earth could it have been used against us if it didn’t exist? From other sources, it seems that Summerskill, as he did with the Liberal Democrat party, attacked Labour for not being progressive enough, which is somewhat cheeky under the circumstances given that right now Labour are a whole lot more progressive than Stonewall:
Summerskill took note that in LGBT people are still underrepresented in the parliamentary Labour party, particularly lesbians. This was also reflected in the mostly gay male a(nd suited) audience at the meeting. While praising the advances in LGBT equality, particularly through legislation by the previous Labour government, Summerskill also drew attention to some of the deficiencies in the Labour Party’s record on advancing LGBT equality, including the appointment of Opus Dei member Ruth Kelly as Equalities Minister, and the poor voting record on LGBT rights by Summerskill’s Labour constituency MP Kate Hoey.
But we’ve saved the best for last:
He also raised the issue of current laws requiring trans people to end their marriages to obtain gender recognition certificates.
Mr Summerskill acknowledged the “terrible unfairness” of this situation but said he had been in talks with ministers and officials about amendments to the Gender Recognition Act.
Whoops. Remember that demo a couple of years ago over the whole Bindel thing? You’re not a Trans organisation, are you Summerskill? What possible reasons could you have for talking to ministers about the GRA unless you wanted to cripple it somehow? This is such insane levels of fail that I just want to mash my head against the keyboard repeatedly until I achieve blessed unconsciousness but sadly that does not make for a good blog post. Luckily, I know from speaking to Lynne Featherstone (Equalities Minister) that she’s not going to fall for any nonsense from Stonewall but still… Nnnngh.
Decency prevents me from repeating the words being used to describe Stonewall and Summerskill in Trans circles at this moment, but most of them are four letters long. It’ll take four weeks but just in case we get something juicy back, I’ve just dropped the Home Office a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for any consultation/correspondence they might have on the topic.
So, I’m thinking perhaps, as it’s likely to be quite a bit bigger than 2008, we should have a few keynote speakers at this years demo. Perhaps we can get Peter Tatchell to say a few words and an MP or two. Stephen Fry would be nice, I’ve always wanted to meet him. Does anyone have his number?