Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
  • Equal Marriage – WILLson he or WON’T he?

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    February 4th, 2013jamiewakerdgequal marriage

    As readers to my blog posts will know, I have been a vocal campaigner for Equal Marriage for LGBT people here in Reading. Of course, I may be biased being an openly gay man but this controversial debate has highlighted the many personal views held by elected MP’s in the UK and of course some of the inflammatory views held by both MP’s and those who hold strong religious beliefs.

    I won’t use this post to defend mine or my LGBT counterparts desire to be treated equally but simply share my fears that MP’s will not vote tomorrow to represent their constituents but rather to vote in a way that secures them votes for the next general election or because they may hold personal views that mean securing rights for LGBT constituents would give them an internal battle. Either way, they’re not necessarily representing all of the views from the people that elected them in the first place.

    As you will see in my last post, my own MP, Alok Sharma took the time to write to me and wanted to ensure religious establishments were protected. I hope that now he has seen the bill, he will have seen that provisions are in place to do just that. Our other MP in Reading, Rob Wilson, appears not have a vested interest historically in his LGBT constituents. He organised a consultation meeting last week to meet with LGBT people in Reading to discuss the bill. Sadly it was held during the day and wasn’t widely advertised – if at all by him – so many people who wanted to attend were unable to do so. He’s promoted the fact that he has received many letters opposing the bill – despite surely knowing that many of those were organised by the coalition for marriage and other faith groups who have been pushing people from the pulpit. The fight for equality does not have the same sums of money to do the same. I would rather church funds were ploughed into the local community to demonstrate gods love for all mankind – not used to segregate it. Then again, that’s just my opinion.

    Whilst I realise that Rob Wilson is a busy man, he could have planned ahead to meet the many different groups that serve the LGBT community here in Reading – a community that is large enough to sustain a Pride Festival in Reading that attracts over 10,000 people. My biggest fear – especially after reading his piece in the Reading Chronicle – is that he has already made his mind up. As someone commented, there appears to be certain ways of saying things that suggests this. I hope I am wrong on this and that he does in fact stand on the right side of history.

    At last years Pride Festival in Reading I was privileged to speak to the crowds and I made a public appeal to both Rob and Alok to represent their LGBT voters – after all, we vote too! I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if they listened!

    So I wait with baited breath to see how the vote goes. Of course it’s only the first hurdle but nether-the-less its a hurdle that changes history in the UK and one I’m very proud to have been campaigning for.

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