Nicky Morgan Angry That She’s Still Held To Account For Anti-LGBT Views

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Last week I was in the same room as Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities.  The experience was not a pleasant one.  I didn’t speak to her in person, she left the venue before anyone was able to get the chance to leave their seats, practically running from the building, which is unfortunate because I wanted to ask her some very specific questions.  It would appear, however, that I’m not the only person with these questions on their minds.

The question would be, ‘why would someone who is a Minister for Equalities vote against marriage equality?’

I appreciate that some people will say that this is a non-issue, that the vote happened in 2013, and the vote passed despite her voting against it.  Some could also go on to say that Morgan has tried to explain her actions already, stating that she believed because she received criticism about marriage equality from ‘a lot’ of people in her constituency it was the views of the people she represented that it should be opposed.

There are many excuses that she could make towards why she voted against equality, but so far none of them have adequately explained why a person who voted against equality should hold the position of Equalities Minister.

Pink News are reporting that Morgan has ‘slammed’ people who cannot accept that she has changed her mind on the subject and can’t accept that she ‘got it wrong’.  It would appear that the age old ‘I stood against a marginalised group but am now receiving criticism for doing so, I’m being oppressed/bullied’ response has come into play.

Personally I don’t care if Nicky Morgan feels that people can’t ‘get over’ her vote in 2013, because it’s not just her vote that is an issue, following the vote in 2013 she spoke to press the following year and stated on record that ‘I stand by my vote in 2013.  But yes, obviously, since then, having spoken to lots of different people, and realised quite how excluded people in same-sex relationships felt from the institution of marriage, and marriage is a pretty important institution in our society, I have realised that yes, if the vote were to be re-run, I would probably vote in a different way’.

Is this the sign that someone went on to change their mind?  No, not really.  Look closely at what she says.  First of all, ‘I stand by my vote in 2013’, straight off the bat she’s saying that she believes that she was right to vote against marriage equality and saw nothing wrong with doing so.  Despite whatever else she says beyond this point she has already said that she believes she was in the right to vote against it.

But why would she feel that it’s okay to have voted against marriage equality?  Her personal faith.  Like so many other people who stand against LGBT+ rights she has used her personal faith as a shield to her bigotry.  ‘I have a personal faith, but that’s not going to dominate every decision I make in relation to my constituency or to my ministerial post.  But I also think people should be free to be open about their own personal faith.’

I’m sorry, but saying that you stand by being against marriage equality, then stating that it’s because of your faith is wrong.  Saying that it’s ‘not going to dominate every decision’ isn’t enough, not only is that quite clearly saying that it’s already colored your choice against LGBT+ rights, but that it factors into some of your decision making is appalling.  Faith should have no bearing what-so-ever on political decisions.

I’m not saying that people cannot have faith, I have no issue with people having faith or following religious tenets, but when those views interfere with the way someone is supposed to perform their job it becomes an issue.  When someone’s job is to shape the way the country is governed, those views become even more problematic.  What separates Nicky Morgan voting against Marriage Equality because of her religious views and what Kim Davis is doing because of her religious views?  Government backing and spin doctors.  That’s all.  It’s the same kind of anti-gay views, but where Kim Davis has kept on going Nicky Morgan had the sense to shut up and try to have people forget.

Go back to that quote of her saying she may vote differently in the future.  She’s saying that it’s because of the backlash from people who don’t think the same way as her that she could vote differently if called to do so again, not because she has come to believe that her initial choice was wrong.  If she believed that herself she would not ‘stand by’ her initial vote.  And pay close attention to the fact that she says she would ‘probably vote a different way’.  Probably, not even ‘I would vote differently, but ‘probably’.  She’s not even saying she would vote in favour for marriage equality.  Political double talk if I’ve ever seen it.

Her complaints that people still haven’t let it go, that she’s still being held accountable because of that vote mean nothing to me.  I don’t believe your claims that you’ve changed your mind, because every time you talk about it you always say that it’s because of the backlash you’ve recieved or the letters you’ve been sent that you ‘might’ vote in favor of marriage equality.

You’re not sorry for standing against equality, you’re not pro-equality, you’re just upset that you’re being held accountable for your faith based bigotry.  And someone who has acted like that has no place what-so-ever being a Minister for Equalities.

I listened to your speech last week at the HeForShe launch and it just sounded like empty rhetoric.  I didn’t believe a single word of what you said, I don’t believe for a second that equality is something that you care about.  That’s the damage that your stand against marriage equality has done.  People no don’t think that you stand for equalities, it’s not a position that you actively believe in, but one you were just assigned to.

Then again, you do work for the same political party that wants to scrap Human Rights in Britain, despite numerous experts and millions of citizens telling you that you shouldn’t do so.  So maybe a Equalities Minister who votes against equality is exactly the kind of person this government wants in that position.

Amy.
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Amy Walker

Amy is a journalist and editor contributing the websites Planet Transgender, Gay News Network, The Bottle Episode, The Retro Box and Claire Channel. Amy is also a published comic book writer and letterer.
In addition to her writing Amy has also worked with the Centre For Hate Crime Studies in Leicester and has worked in the capacity of an advisor to the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women.

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