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Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage


9:15 am - July 19th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Last week we reported that two of the Labour leadership candidates: Ed Balls and Diane Abbott, had publicly affirmed their support for gay marriage to this blog.

The Labour party upper hierarchy has dragged its feet considerably on the issue; the Greens have already stolen a march on them.

But we’ve been informed by his team that Andy Burnham had affirmed his support for gay marriage before our story.

In an interview with the Catholic weekly magazine The Tablet, dated 26th June, Andy Burnham said civil partnerships can be seen as “second-class arrangements”.

Here is the relevant extract from the interview (which ie behind a paywall)

I welcome his stance too.

With Andy Burnham, Diane Abbott and Ed Balls all supporting a move towards gays to marry rather than just have civil partnerships, that leaves just the Miliband brothers on the fence.

In an interview with LC, Ed Miliband said he would listen to others on the issue but pointedly declined to offer full support for gay marriage.

David Miliband, in an interview with Pink News, also declined to go as far as offering support for gay marriage.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Is this being trumpeted as proof of how progressive Labour politicians are?

Come off it. What’s really shocking is that they didn’t endorse gay marriage years ago, and legislate to legalise it in their 13 years of office.

2. Shatterface

Ed Milliband’s stance is cowardly. It’s not necessary to check with other people on matters of conscience: either he supports equal rights for homosexuals or he doesn’t. The fact his brother obviously doesn’t support gay marriage – if you can’t be open to the Pink News who can you be honest with – is a bad sign.

I blame the parents.

What Shatterface said. What a clusterfuck from the Milibands.

Labour pols opposed to gay marriage would have been news indeed so why these periodic posting here, like episodes in a procrastinated rape narrative, telling us of the latest endorsement by some leadership contender as though this was novel and really mattered?

There are more pressing issues of wide concern, such as the forthcoming upheaval in the NHS.

“procrastinated rape narrative”

That’s both an entirely unnecessary simile & trivialises rape.

It’s good that the Labour leadership race is being used as an opportunity to get senior politicians to take a position on gay marriage (and it is good if it where it is being used to get them to adopt left positions on other issues, too). I suspect it wouldn’t have become such a big issue had Ed Miliband not been so spineless, though.

Btw, I’m capable of holding two ideas (actually more than two, believe it or not) in my mind at once. I can have views on the reorganisation of the NHS AND gay marriage. I must be especially clever.

Well done to Burnham for standing up to the church. It’s not often they get to hear ‘you’re going to have to change if you want to stay relevant’!

IMO what we really need to know is when Labour leadership contenders don’t support gay marriage, otherwise, it’s more like them announcing with a drum roll and trumpets: water is wet.

It’s funny the first time but then it gets … well, err, funny.

8. Margin4eror

Have to admit I don’t much worry about whether gay marriage is legalised or not. Which I guess by default shows that I think gay marriage is fine.

But I think this issue shows where Labour went wrong with Brown. It demonstrates the will of the party and of left-leaning people to a leadership that has to respond. Obviously different candidates respond with diferent priorities and with the focus on different policy areas. But the unwillingness to do this at all when Blair stepped down held the left back. It halted the movement of ideas from the ground up. It prevented left-wing priorities from being re-assessed. And it stopped stopped the relative popularity of some left-wing thinking being demonstrated more widely.

This Labour leadership contest is the first time that has happened properly since 1994. And given how fractious it hasn’t been – perhaps a long standing fear of the membership born understandably from the horrors of the 80s labour movement – is being overcome.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Confirmed: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage http://bit.ly/cqNJfV

  2. Kevin Blowe

    RT @libcon Confirmed: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage http://bit.ly/cqNJfV – which, for Labour leadership candidates, is risky?

  3. Soho Politico

    .@libcon reports that the Milibands are now the only Labour candidates not to have committed to full gay marriage. http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  4. Stephen Brown

    RT @SohoPolitico: .@libcon reports that the Milibands are now the only Labour candidates not to have committed to full gay marriage. http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  5. Heather

    RT @SohoPolitico: .@libcon reports that the Milibands are now the only Labour candidates not to have committed to full gay marriage. http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  6. Web Master

    Confirmed: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage | Liberal … http://bit.ly/bXTf2m

  7. Axel Hotels

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  8. Annie B

    RT @SohoPolitico: .@libcon reports that the Milibands are now the only Labour candidates not to have committed to full gay marriage. http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  9. Stephen Almond

    Lovely, sensitive interview by Andy Burnham in @The_Tablet (Catholic magazine) on his support for gay marriage: http://is.gd/dxRyq

  10. Liberal Candidate Identifier

    […] the rest of this great post here Comments (0)    Posted in Liberal Candidates   […]

  11. GLBT World News

    Confirmed: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage | Liberal … http://bit.ly/bxuAkv

  12. Kevin McNamara

    burnham, balls and abbott support gay marriage – miliband brothers refuse to follow http://bit.ly/d1xNuz #gayrights #ukpolitics

  13. John Fraser

    RT @EveryThoughtIsU: burnham, balls and abbott support gay marriage – miliband brothers refuse to follow http://bit.ly/d1xNuz #gayrights …

  14. John Breeze

    RT @EveryThoughtIsU: burnham, balls and abbott support gay marriage – miliband brothers refuse to follow http://bit.ly/d1xNuz #gayrights

  15. Kevin McNamara

    @LiamMcKee your thoughts on this? @UKLabour support gay marriage – except miliband brothers http://bit.ly/d1xNuz #gayrights #ukpolitics

  16. sunny hundal

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  17. Liat Norris

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  18. Jae Kay

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  19. Ben Furber

    RT @sunny_hundal: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage, leaving just the Miliband brothers sitting on the fence http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  20. Sue Bailey

    RT @sunny_hundal: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage, leaving just the Miliband brothers sitting on the fence http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  21. Kate Starling

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  22. Becky Walker

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  23. Ben Cooper

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  24. Ben Farress

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  25. andrew

    Confirmed: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage | Liberal …: Liberal Conspiracy. Confirmed: Andy Burnham also… http://bit.ly/cyXBIt

  26. Andy Sutherland

    RT @sunny_hundal: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage, leaving just the Miliband brothers sitting on the fence http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  27. Web Master

    Confirmed: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage | Liberal … http://bit.ly/9sDXUu

  28. David 'Daf' Adley

    RT @SohoPolitico: .@libcon reports that the Milibands are now the only Labour candidates not to have committed to full gay marriage. http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  29. Sophie Manning

    RT @sunny_hundal: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage, leaving just the Miliband brothers sitting on the fence http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  30. blogs of the world

    Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage. by Sunny Hundal July 19, 2010 at 9:15 am. Last we… http://reduce.li/697zic #also

  31. Simon Hughes: Coalition Government will legislate to allow gay marriage

    […] contenders for the Labour leadership, meanwhile, are split, with Ed Balls, Diane Abbott, and Andy Burnham supporting full marriage equality. The Miliband brothers, however, have side-stepped the issue. […]

  32. Mark Ferguson

    Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage http://bit.ly/aQF21g

  33. Norman Tebbit is more tolerant of homosexuals than Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Diane Abbot or Andy Burhnam « Left Outside

    […] marriage after revealing that his deeply religious Uncle could never get married to his partner. Andy Burhnam insists that his commitment to equality leaves him no choice but to support legalising gay […]

  34. Swear Bear

    RT @libcon Confirmed: Andy Burnham's support for gay marriage predates Balls & Abbott – Milibands on the fence http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  35. Mick Swales

    RT @SwearBearBunch: RT @libcon Confirmed: Andy Burnham's support for gay marriage predates Balls & Abbott – Milibands on the fence http://bit.ly/d1xNuz

  36. Ed Miliband unclear on gay marriage equality on the island of love « Earwicga

    […] really, as it has been reported on Liberal Conspiracy that Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham (in the Tablet no less!) and Ed Balls have all previously confirmed their support for gay marriage, and this morning […]





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