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The Hotel Palomar is essentially considered a high-rise building in Palm Springs, even though it will stand only a few stories tall because of height restrictions within the small cosmopolitan desert city.
One of the coolest features of the property will be a rooftop bar and pool, which Kimpton touts is a first for the Palm Springs area.
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Baroness O Cathain s speech on same-sex marriage in full:- I am convinced that the state of the economy is such that, as I said, every section of the Queen's gracious Speech can be measured against it. Sadly, at a time when we face so many different and troubling challenges, the Government have decided to launch an astonishing attack on our tried and tested values by redefining marriage. Those of us who have been following the process in the other place knew perfectly well that the legislation was going to come here.
It was perhaps wishful thinking that led so many people and sections of the population to believe that, because the Bill was not mentioned yesterday morning, it was not going to happen mind you, that was put right within four hours. Marriage is at the heart of our way of life, our communities and our country. The union of the two sexes, uniting men and women to each other and to their children, provides the foundation for human flourishing.
We have heard today in this House a discussion about childcare and children not flourishing when they get to school because they have not had proper childcare. It is within the bounds of marriage that this happens. Equality is put forward as the basic reason for this action by the Government, but very little more equality is needed.
I think that we are talking more about equality in the name: some people want to say that they are married rather than suggesting that there is anything wrong with marriage at the moment or that marriage has equivalence with same-sex couples being together. As everyone will remember, we had many discussions on the Civil Partnership Act. I remember clearly the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Scotland, agreeing that the Civil Partnership Act had caused more discrimination in another area.
It is like pushing down one bit only for it to come up somewhere else. We were discussing the case of sisters anyone who was there at the time will remember the injustice being done to them; your Lordships can look it up in Hansard . The noble and learned Baroness emphasised at the government Dispatch Box, It is not for this Bill.
I agree that it is discrimination, but it is not for this Bill at this time . We accepted that, but when is it going to be tackled because, again, sisters are left out of it? The evidence from social science is now emphatic that children do best when raised by their married mother and father.
I mention just one example: a paper from the Institute for Fiscal Studies observes that, even by the age of three, there are significant differences in outcomes between children born to married parents and those born outside marriage. Children born to married parents showed superior social, emotional and cognitive development. There are many other studies which provide powerful evidence of the positive benefits of marriage.
Should we throw this up in the air? Marriage will continue to be the bedrock of society only if it remains the legal union of one man and one woman. The current plans seek to change the meaning of marriage.
Such a complete rewriting of a fundamental social institution can have only serious and some unpredictable consequences. Many people question whether the Government have the moral authority to attempt this redefinition. Most people in this country object to its imposition over their heads; they want marriage to remain as it is.
It greatly saddens me that my party is pursuing such a radical and aggressive social agenda and in such an undemocratic fashion and I repeat, undemocratic . I listened carefully to my noble friend Lord Fowler, with whom we have jostled many times on these issues. I say that there is no mandate to make this change since the idea is not in our manifesto nor indeed is it in those of the other parties; my noble friend says that that does not really matter and that, after all, the dock labour scheme changes were not in the manifesto.
Well, I consider that the dock labour scheme, which was wonderful and achieved a lot, is nothing like as important as the fundamental rocking of the state of social cohesion in this country. The proposal to redefine marriage is unpopular and wholly unnecessary. I was very struck by my noble friend s argument that the only power in this country lies with the elected representatives.
It is a cogent case which I accept, but if there are elected representatives, what are they elected for? They are elected to listen to their constituents and to represent those thoughts if they do not show them the error of their ways in the national Parliament. It seems to me that in this case the representatives have all the power because, as my noble friend says, the only people with power in the country are the MPs.
However, they do not have any responsibility, because they do not seem to be taking any responsibility to listen to their constituents certainly not on this matter. Following an intervention by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, who asked if the timetable Motion imposed to speed up the process of the same-sex marriage bill affected the sovereignty of the House of Commons, Baroness O Cathain concluded:- What is likely to be the reaction of those who have been made summarily redundant and have to rely on food banks to tide them over until they can access benefits, of those thousands of young people whom I have already described, who are living in a state of deep concern, and of pensioners holding steadfastly to values who are suffering from receiving no interest on their savings and the rising costs of energy, when they witness the Government pushing ahead on a Bill that does not address any of those areas? I will tell you what they are probably thinking: have the Government lost their reason?
They must have done so to justify the emphasis on redefining marriage while all else is in an unstable and worrying state. I believe that it is a deeply flawed Bill and a deeply concerning attack on the values of great swathes of the population. Where is the pressure coming from?
Are the Government taking any notice of the widespread antipathy to the redefinition of marriage? It is a wrong Bill, and it beggars belief that the Government have wantonly decided to push it through at any time, let alone when we are in such a parlous state. Marriage must be supported and valued, not dismantled.
For the sake of the future of marriage in this country, I urge the Government to admit graciously that this has been a great mistake and drop the Bill.
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Lord Fowler also argued that as the democratically elected House of Commons has already voted in favour the bill in a free vote, the unelected House of Lords should not prevent the bill from being passed into law. In his speech, Lord Fowlwer said:- There have been calls that it Marriage (same sex couples) Bill should be put off or withdrawn. Frankly, some of the coverage is a misreading of what has taken place, because in truth the decision to carry it over to this Session was taken in February in the Commons with a majority of 464 votes to 38.
That, I imagine, is exactly what the Government intend to do. Let me suggest in principle why it would be quite wrong for this Bill to be put off or withdrawn. I entirely respect the deeply held religious views of those who are opposed.
I underline that. I do not want to set out cases as if this is a Second Reading debate. That is to come.
Suffice it to say at this stage that my personal view is that Parliament should value people equally in the law, and that enabling same-sex couples to marry removes the current inequity. A legal partnership is not seen in the same way and does not have the same promises of responsibility and commitment as marriage. There are many same-sex couples, including those working in the churches, who view marriage as fundamentally important and want to enter into that life-long commitment.
It is therefore Parliament s duty to enable that to happen, and in so doing strengthen the society in which we live today. However, the fundamental point that I want to make is not that. I want to see this country setting an example of equality of treatment in a world where discrimination, prejudice and stigma are rife and are quite probably increasing.
Let me explain in a few words why I feel strongly about this. Over the past months I have visited a range of cities and countries around the world looking at the HIV/AIDS position. Whether I have been in Ukraine or Uganda, what has shocked me most perhaps even more than the deaths, which at least I was expecting has been the widespread intolerance and prejudice towards gay and lesbian people.
An opinion poll in this country suggested that many Christians in Britain believed that they were a persecuted minority. I can only say that if anyone wants to see a persecuted minority they should look at the plight of gay, lesbian and transgender people around the world. As you travel you go to countries where homosexuality is a criminal offence and where people who are suspected of being homosexual are persecuted and even forced to leave their family homes.
In one country a newspaper was dedicated to exposing homosexuals to identifying them, photographing them and publishing their addresses so that the local population could take action against them. In one case, this led to a murder. You can go to countries where the most popular political cause is to toughen up the laws against homosexuality rather than to modify them.
Action of that kind has been taken in Russia, while in Kampala a Private Member s Bill promised capital punishment now generously reduced to long imprisonment for aggravated homosexuality and a penalty of imprisonment for those who suspected that someone was homosexual but failed to report it. You may feel that that kind of Bill would be thrown out. Not at all; the common view is that it will be passed.
I do not think that one Act passed by this Parliament or one action will suddenly bring the walls of discrimination crashing down. There are certainly actions that will help not least, if I may say so to the Bishops Bench, ensuring that the churches in sub-Saharan Africa, including the Anglican Church, take a stand against what is happening there. In some parts of the world what Parliament does may have some persuasive influence probably not in Russia and Ukraine but quite possibly in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
It can have influence for this reason: the criminal laws against homosexuality were introduced into those African countries by British Governments in the days of the Empire. We were the authors; we set out what the standards should be. It remains the case that 42 out of 54 Commonwealth countries criminalise same-sex relations.
We should remember that it was as late as 1967 when the law here was changed. Until then people could be imprisoned. Even here, not all the antipathy to gays has been removed not by a long chalk but unquestionably the law has played its part in improving the position.
The Bill, which will be debated later, is not only right but could have an important persuasive effect both in this country and abroad, and will set out our belief in equal and fair treatment. As for the later debate, we should also remember, just as we remembered on the position of the press, that the Bill for equal marriage was passed overwhelmingly in the other place on a free vote, by 400 votes to 175: a majority of over two to one. Fellow Conservative Lord Cormack interrupted Lord Fowler and asked: Should we not also remember that it featured in no manifesto?
Lord Fowler continued:- If my noble friend does not mind my saying so, I think that is a trivial argument. We all know and he knows, because he has been in Parliament for exactly the same length of time as I have that a whole range of things have been produced and passed that were not in party manifestos. I abolished the dock labour scheme, which I imagine my noble friend enthusiastically voted for and which was not in the party manifesto, and I can think of a whole of range of other things.
That argument does not stand up. Let us debate on the issue, not on side points. Of course, this House and my noble friend are entitled to suggest and propose amendments, but perhaps I may also suggest that that is going to the limit of our power.
We are not entitled to defeat the will of the Commons on an issue of this kind: one that was decided, I repeat, on a free vote. It may be an unfashionable thing to say today, but the most important people in this country are not the bankers, self-interested columnists or special advisers who now appear to haunt the whole of Whitehall; they are the Members of Parliament. They are the only ones elected to Westminster.
They take their authority from their elected position and they lose it when they leave. They have been elected by the people and they are answerable to the people. In my view, on both these issues the protection of the public from a press abusing its power and the introduction of equal marriage Members of Parliament have got it absolutely right.
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He also did not mention that the Conservative party committed to consider the case for same-sex marriage in its equality manifesto. Lord Dear s speech in full:- I turn in all seriousness to a zoological phenomenon that has been mentioned already. I say zoological because there is a popular expression these days of the elephant in the room , which describes an issue of considerable significance or a significant problem, or something that is known to all and sundry but never mentioned, never referred to or simply ignored.
Today, as your Lordships have concluded, we have an elephant of significant proportions in this Chamber, as the Government appear unable to speak its name. It is, of course, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which is now in its last stages in the House of Commons and which, we must conclude, will pass to your Lordships House in the next few weeks. I pose the question: why are the Government so secretive about it?
What is the problem? Why was it not included in Her Majesty s Speech yesterday? Carryover Bills have been included in the Queen s Speech before.
One obvious example, going back a few years, is the Equality Bill that was carried over from the 2008-09 Session with no fewer than four lines of reference in the Queen s Speech. Moving up to the present week, the Energy Bill another carryover measure was included in the Queen s Speech yesterday, so why was the marriage Bill not mentioned? Is it that the Government are losing heart or do they not intend to do other than smuggle it in through the back door?
This is a Bill in which all the usual procedures have either been evaded or ignored. It seeks to effect change to a principal institution in society: the institution of marriage, which has existed for at least 2,000 years in civilised society. Some people would say that it has been going for double that length of time.
It will affect every single member of society, one way or another. Yet it has not so much been introduced by the back door; rather, it has slipped in through a crack under the back door. The noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Carey of Clifton, has already gone into some detail on that.
Given the time, I will not repeat what he said, which I support. Personally, I believe that the way in which the Bill s introduction has been handled is shameful. There has been no royal commission; no committee of inquiry; no mention in any party s manifesto prior to the last general election.
Indeed, the possibility of its introduction was flatly denied by the leader of the Conservative Party in an interview on national television only three days before his successful election. There has been no proper public consultation, no matter how much the Government try to massage the results of what was, it has to be said, their limited consultation process. They were more concerned with the process of the matter than with content.
If one goes into that procedure, the figures indicate that only one member of the public in every 10 supports the Bill. Nine out of 10 against is a substantial majority. The Bill is vigorously opposed by all the leading religions.
After the catastrophic losses in the local elections last week your Lordships will not need reminding that around 450 seats were lost by the coalition parties all the analysis shows that opposition to the Bill was a significant factor in the swing of voters away from the main parties. The ComRes poll, published this week, provides overwhelming evidence of the depth of feeling in the general population against the Bill. Underlying much of that opposition is a fear of the damage that will be caused to the dynamics of the traditional family and to the welfare of children, to say nothing of the difficulties that will be experienced in education and in employment law.
The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Exeter spoke eloquently when he highlighted the error of not listening to public opinion. One thing that has not been touched on I will allude to it only in headline form now, but it is worth going into at another time is the evidence of what has happened in other countries where similar change has been attempted. That evidence is discouraging, to say the very least.
I will not prolong this catalogue of criticism; there will be time later to mount a more detailed and focused attack if the Bill comes before your Lordships House. At this stage, I simply emphasise that there has not been any proper consultation, any proper research, any proper mature reflection and any account of public opinion. My opposition to the Bill is most definitely not anti-gay.
I dedicated much of my life in the public service to the protection and enhancement of minority rights and securing equality under the law, including the protection of homosexual rights and equalities. But I sincerely believe that the passage of this Bill into law will, in turn, create such opposition to homosexuals in general that the climate of tolerance and acceptance in this country that we have all championed and supported and seen flourish over recent years could well be set back by decades. The noble Lord, Lord Fowler, who is not in his place, spoke eloquently and, indeed, spread his wings on the subject of what is going on in Uganda.
None of us would want to see anything like that in this country; the last time that sort of behaviour occurred was several centuries ago. I ask the noble Lord and others to reflect on the fact that this Bill is not so much about equality as sameness. I leave those two words with your Lordships.
My opposition to the Bill is quite unambiguously pro-marriage, supporting an institution that has been a fundamental part of society and families for centuries. In the hands of a mature Government, a Government who listen to the electorate, any change to that established order should properly take place only after the most profound thought and consideration. It should not, as has happened this year, be introduced as, some would say, a mere search for cheap political gain.
The Bill as it stands in the Commons is, I believe, ill conceived, ill considered, badly presented and heedless of consequences the immediately obvious consequences and the laws of unintended consequences. I shall stoutly resist it should the opportunity present itself. Discuss this Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter!
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Fischer responded: Alan, I am not going to talk about that, laughing. Alan, I m not going to go there! Give it a rest! , he continued.
We re not going to talk about that, Fischer eventually insisted. Colmes said that Fischer could be a good example to gay men and lesbians, if he had chosen to be straight, and if he talked openly about it. Because maybe if you ve been able to overcome your gay impulses and you ve been successful in doing it, you could be a model for other people you d like to see act the same way, Colmes said.
Fischer went on to say: The focus here, Alan, is that everybody experiences sexual impulses that if they acted on those impulses, it would destroy them. Well, can you give me an example from your own life? What would be some of yours?
Colmes continued. Fischer then responded: You ve experienced them, I ve experienced them. Every man, every woman has experienced certain sexual impulses that, if they acted on them, if they conducted themselves by yielding to those impulses, it would destroy them Ask Tiger Woods about that.
I don t think I ve ever had sexual impulses that would destroy the society or the culture or make me a deviant in some way, Colmes then said. I wonder what impulses you re talking about. If you ve had them, I d love to know what they are.
Well the focus Alan is on sexual conduct, sexual behavior, not on sexual impulse, Fischer retorted So you won t tell me whether you yourself have been able to overcome a gay impulse? Colmes asked, to which Fischer snapped: Alan, give it a rest. Fischer recently weighed in on media attention surrounding NBA star Jason Collins coming out, to say that teammates, and teams would reject him because he would be eyeballing men in the shower.
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