Equal Love

Last Tuesday’s debate and vote on Equal Marriage in the House of Commons was historic and for me it felt like an important moment for equality in this country. The Marriage (Same Sex) Bill has stirred emotions on both sides of the debate and the vote in parliament was always going to be both difficult and inspiring. I grew up in Bristol and was at school whilst Section 28 was in force. I came out when I was 15 and although the majority of the response I received was positive I vividly remember my class tutor saying that she had to be careful what she said because of Section 28. It was clear that the wording of this act had caused confusion and fear among many professionals over what they could and couldn’t say, That’s one of the reasons I found it so moving to hear members of parliament and in particular Conservative MPs speak up for equality. This would have been unimaginable 20, 15 even 10 years ago.

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This newspaper headline from Wednesday is something I never thought I’d see

I however wasn’t surprised to hear some of the opposition and undoubted prejudice that we have heard so much since the government mentioned the words “gay marriage”. “In the bible it was Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve”, numerous claims that marriage was primarily for procreation, and statements that Equal Marriage will lead to polygamous and incest marriages were among the most outrageous. I am in my thirties and have heard it all before but my heart went out to all the young LGBT people who may have been watching with interest. Young people who are trying to find themselves and are looking for someone to tell them that they are “normal”.

The argument that the primary function of marriage is to reproduce is like something from the dark ages. How many couples over the age of 50 are getting married in this country every year? Are these marriages any less valid than those of a married couple in their twenties? The next King of our country is in a marriage that is not going to produce any children. This is what’s called progress.

What I have come to realise over the years is that we are never going to 100% wipe out homophobia. There are some religious groups and staunched conservative minds who will never change their stance unless Jesus Christ himself descended and proclaimed “I love gays!” There are so many people that rely on the bible and often use it as an excuse for their prejudices. I am not religious but I know people who are and I am reminded by MP David Lammy’s passionate speech on Tuesday where he stated that “The Jesus I know would stand up for minorities”.

David Lammy MP made an impressive speech during the debate

Whilst we fight for this equality in our own country we must of course not lose sight of the plight faced by LGBT people in countries not as liberal as ours. Prison, beatings and even the death penalty is still the punishment of choice for homosexuality in some countries and we must continue to fight for justice whilst being thankful at how far equality in this county has come.

The bill still has a long way to go before becoming law. This week’s vote in the House of Commons is just the beginning. We can however be optimistic about the speed in which it is progressing. The bill goes to committee this coming Tuesday 12th February and will then face a third reading in the Commons in the coming weeks. If that vote passes the bill will then be sent to the House of Lords for consideration. This could be our biggest stumbling block. It is therefore important that we continue to lobby our MPs and members of the House of Lords.

For me this issue is not about religion or even the institution of marriage, it is simply an issue of equality. We do not want to afforded special treatment all we want is to have the same choices and rights as the rest of the population. It would be unthinkable to discriminate against any other members of society in this way. All we want is the option to marry the person we love. I struggle to comprehend why anyone would have a problem with any couple wanting to proclaim their love.

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New Beginnings!

You may have noticed I have been a bit quiet on here recently. The main reason for this is the fact I have been really busy moving house. I have also been busy preparing some exciting things for “East London Mike” and been doing some thinking about where I see it progressing.

I am currently working hard on something very exciting which I hope will be up and running in the coming weeks. I am researching this new project which I hope will take the things I write on to the next level. The most important thing for me is to keep the personal level of “East London Mike”. I hope that I can find a way to keep the best things about this site working alongside my new project. I want to thank you for all of your support so far and I hope you will like all the new things coming your way very soon. Watch this space!!

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Kylie Minogue – Flower

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Kylie’s K25 celebrations continue and we have now been treated to the brand new music video for her new single “Flower”.

The video was directed by Miss Minogue herself! The track is taken from “The Abbey Road Sessions” which is out 29th October. Pre-order the album on iTunes now and get Flower immediately. http://smarturl.it/floweritunes

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True Love

TFIF – and time for this week’s “Song for the Weekend”!

I have chosen this track from P!nk’s new album “The Truth About Love” which was released this week. This track is packed with killer lyrics, the like of which we have come to expect from a P!nk song. The song also features a very welcome return of UK singer Lily Allen, who is currently recording a new album.

“The Truth About Love” is available to buy on iTunes.

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Missy’s Back!!

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It’s been a long time coming but the Queen of rap is finally back…and she means business. Missy Elliott has treated fans to two new songs from her upcoming album “Block Party”. It has been six years since Missy’s last offering “Respect M.E” so it is great to have some new music from her. She is sounding as fresh as ever and is undoubtedly showing the likes of Nicki Minaj and MIA how it’s supposed to be done!

“9th Inning” is the lead single from the album and features legendary producer Timbaland. The second song released is “Triple Threat”. You can listen to both songs below and you’ll be able to get your hands on “Block Party” in December.

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It’s So Cool

I chose this as my “Song for the Weekend” purely because it was the first song that played on my iPhone yesterday morning and it got my Friday off to a great start.

“It’s So Cool”, was a bonus track on Madonna’s greatest hits package “Celebration”. Enjoy!

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9/11 Never Forget

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