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Barack Obama’s views on marriage did not ‘evolve’

The US president was waiting for the public mood to change before supporting gay marriage

By on Thursday, 10 May 2012

Barack Obama at the White House (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Barack Obama at the White House (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

I heard this morning on Radio 4 that President Barack Obama has come out in favour of same-sex marriage. When he let it be known recently that his views on the subject were “evolving” he was not being entirely honest. To “evolve” one’s views suggests a slow and gradual change that might require much thought and heart-searching. But Obama hasn’t “evolved” in this sense at all. What he should have said was that he wanted to assess the public mood and then wait for the right political moment to publicly announce what he had actually thought for many years. In 1996 when he was a candidate for the State Senate in Illinois, he wrote on a candidate’s questionnaire that “I favour legalizing same-sex marriages.” So much for “evolution”.

It is interesting that Obama, who calls himself a Christian and who has apparently talked through the “evolution” of his thought with his family, is in favour of same-sex marriage, and Mitt Romney, the Republican contender in the presidential election, who is a Mormon (which some would consider not a Christian religion at all) has come out declaring that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

Many commentators regard the “right” to same-sex marriage in the same way as the battle for civil rights in the US in the 1960s. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011, “Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.” Blogger Sheila Liaugminas has this to say on her blog today: “None of us wants to be on the wrong side of any human rights issue. Which is why it’s so strategic to make [same-sex marriage] a human rights issue. No wonder the poll numbers are changing, trending towards acceptance or approval of ‘same-sex marriage’. By word control the merchants of ideas and politics are attempting thought control, and it works by casting a whole segment of the population as ‘opponents’ of a ‘right’. When in fact what we’re talking about is the redefinition of marriage” .

She adds the further comment, that “Almost nobody is talking about the rights of children in this battle” and draws attention to what William B May, founder and chairman of a San Francisco-based group that promotes Catholic social teaching, has to say. He points out that “By redefining marriage as merely the public recognition of a relationship between adults, we essentially ban the promotion of marriage as the only institution that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union. It creates a conflict with the human rights of the child, to know and be cared for by their mother and father in the union of marriage.”

Liaugminas also mentions a political consideration for Obama, in his bid for re-election: what will happen to the African-American vote this time around? In California in 2008 African-Americans voted for Obama but against same-sex marriage. Will they now support the “evolution” of Obama’s Christian beliefs or remain loyal to their own traditional Christian understanding of marriage?

Over here Iain Duncan-Smith, the (Catholic) Work and Pensions Secretary, has been undergoing his own “evolution” with regard to the redefinition of marriage. When he was the Conservative Party leader he made it party policy to oppose same-sex couples being given equal rights to adopt children. Now James Park in Pink News reports that Duncan Smith “has confirmed that he will be supporting Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to introduce equal civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. In what appears to be an apparently remarkable evolution of his own personal approach to LGBT rights, he pointed out that in a country where so many heterosexual couples are breaking up, marriage equality is a positive method of creating a more stable society.”

I don’t know if Duncan Smith has had pressure put upon him to toe the Coalition line here and is afraid of losing his high-profile job, or whether he now genuinely believes that you can simply rearrange the definition of marriage by a little “evolutionary” mental process. Either way, I think the less of him for it.

  • maxmarley

    Sad to see Duncan Smith go over to the other side. 

  • Cestius

    Sadly I think that you’re right. Both Obama and Duncan Smith have been doing cynical calculations of how many votes supporting same sex “marriage” will get them and their parties. I believe (and hope) that they have done their sums wrong and it’s going to cost them.

  • teigitur

    There is no such thing as a moral politician. They can all be bought with votes, promotion, or cash.

  • Jeannine

    “… what will happen to the African-American vote this time around? ”

    Unfortunately the African-American voter is in lockstep w/the Democratic Party & has been for many yrs. Obama has their vote always regardless on what his beliefs are. 

  • teigitur

    BTW looks like the Catholic Herald is as afraid as the rest of the Media. No comments allowed on Willia. Oddie s post about the Muslim child-abuse ring. Sad to see it is no better than the secular media when certain subjects are involved.

  • David Lindsay

    Obama has been bounced over the definition of marriage, which in any
    case is not within the competence of the President, as such.

    The same is true of abortion, making it no wonder that the Republican
    Party has never done anything at all about it. Quite apart from the fact
    that several of its biggest donors, many of its powerful back room
    functionaries, and not a few of its public figures are broadly to
    strongly pro-choice.

    For two generations, pretty much, white Evangelicals and a large section
    of white Catholics have been conned into voting against their own
    economic interests, and latterly in favour of the harvesting of the
    Irish Catholics and of the Scots-Irish Southerners and Westerners (as
    well as the blacks) in wars of corporate greed and ideological lunacy,
    by the entirely empty promise of action against abortion. Action that
    neither the White House nor Capitol Hill can take.

    The effects of those economic policies have been thoroughly anti-life
    and anti-family. It is blatantly obvious that those foreign policies, in
    themselves, were and are. Please God, let the same mistake not be made
    over the definition of marriage, a states’ matter in which black,
    Catholic, Southern and Western Democrats are in fact in the vanguard of
    defending the traditional position. Least of all, let it be made
    over a departure from that position quite so half-hearted, lukewarm, and
    obviously forced as Obama’s.

  • Charles Martel

     Yes, I’ve had a few comments blocked that were critical of homosexual behaviour. I said that giving up prosecuting those who engaged in homosexual sex was enough in the way of tolerance, and we shouldn’t give any more leeway to them. An outrageous comment? C’mon, Catholic Herald! This is a forum for Catholics, isn’t it?

  • Michael Petek

    Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage and says he’s a Christian.

    Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage and insults my intelligence.

  • Charles Martel

    I expect nothing of Barack Obama, but Mr Duncan Smith calls himself a Catholic and his case is therefore much more disturbing.
    Catholics may not support homosexual ‘marriage’. Here is what the Magisterium says on the issue (and remember; ‘He who hears you hears me’):

    “If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.
    When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral. (…)
    The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.
    The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience of March 28, 2003, approved the present Considerations, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered their publication.
    Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.
    Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect.”

    I urge everyone to e-mail Mr Duncan Smith at
    and point out to him in charity the grave scandal he has given, asking him to publicly renounce his support for homosexual ‘marriage’.

  • David Lindsay

    Obama would have left the whole thing alone if it had not been for Joe Biden, who is also a Catholic.

    Iain Duncan Smith declared his intention to vote in favour of the legal
    redefinition of marriage so as to include same-sex couples. Well, of
    course that is what he is going to do. It is not arrogance or hubris for
    a Cabinet Minister to believe that he has been invited to take his
    position because he has a special contribution to make to that area of
    policy at that very highest level, making him most disinclined to
    resign. If that were not so, then the offer ought never to have been
    made by the Prime Minister. See the cases of George Osborne, Liam Fox,
    Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt, and so forth.

    Iain Duncan Smith has spent a
    good many years working on the policies that he now seeks to implement,
    having said in the past that he did care which party implemented them so
    long as they got done. And, which is the present point, the vote on
    marriage is going to be a whipped vote. Any Minister or PPS who wanted
    to vote to defend traditional marriage would have to resign. The free
    vote will be on the Labour side.

    Like the
    Marxists of old, today’s Conservatives are driven by a determination to conform
    reality to theory. Crippling provincial economies by slashing the spending
    power of public employees far from London. Breaking up the National Health
    Service for sale to American healthcare companies. Deregulating
    Sunday trading. Devastating rural communities by flogging off our Post Office
    and our roads to private companies and even to foreign states. Breaking the
    Royal Mail’s direct link between the monarchy and every address in this
    Kingdom. Abolishing Gift Aid while drastically reducing the activities entitled
    to charitable status. Bankrupting the Church of England by imposing VAT on
    listed building repairs. And redefining legal marriage in
    order to include same-sex couples, which has never been Labour Party policy,
    and on which Labour MPs are going to have a free voteAll in all, it is no wonder that this time last week, the inhabitants of Ambridge, Midsomer, Emmerdale and Dibley voted heavily for Labour, which won 60 per cent of the vote in some Southern villages where it had not stood candidates for 30 years, if ever. Ed Miliband is also in favour of same-sex “marriage”. But he is not going to order anyone else to vote for it.

  • Recusant

    I think it is interesting to note Duncan Smith’s reasons for backing gay marriage : that an infusion of committed couples to the institution will give it a “transfusion” that will strengthen its social function. I disagree with it completely, but I can see that it is an attractive and therefore dangerous argument (superficially it is similar to the Holy Father’s intentions for the Ordinariate, that a small influx of people respecting the liturgy will reach beyond their community to strengthen the wider group). I am strongly against gay marriage, but note that :

    1. The wretched state of marriage in Western society is something we did to ourselves, and was nothing to do with gay people.

    2. Human rights are actually the root of the problem, and the real Trojan horse that is destroying us. Rights are conceived as pertaining to the individual at the expense of our familial and social relationships. Everything from childcare (now nationalised) to the existence of gender (now being denied) are being swept aside in their name, and the consequences (already visible in poor areas) will be terrible.

  • JessicaHof

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand. What has this got to do with human rights? The state allows gay people to have a partnership which gives them all the rights of a married person. This is surely about the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy and Blessed Apostles? That is clear. Active homosexuality, like fornication and adultery is sinful. Some Protestant communities may claim to have received promptings of the Spirit on this, but since He has not spoken to the Apostolic Churches (including the Orthodox) that cannot be confirmed; at best it is an opinion; at worst a submission to the lord of this world. Christians who follow the word of OLJC can love the sinner (indeed we must) but we cannot love or approve of the sin.

    Mr. Duncan Smith is a man I admire, and he stood by his principles over Europe; I am sad he cannot stand by the teaching of his Church here. The Catholic Church (and I am not a member of it) receives hate from this world because, as Christ told us, this world would hate His followers. It certainly makes me think a lot.

  • Darth

    It isn’t about human rights, it is about “normalizing” a behavior that have been condemned by the bible and most other major religions.

    I have this visual of the same argument made by child molesters.

  • theroadmaster

    Obama is using Biden to do some “kite-flying”, regarding the use of the whole question of same-sex “marriage” to test the electoral waters.  He might be trying to take the heat out of the angry reactions from Catholic and other Faith communities, to his insidious attempt to narrow the scope for Religious bodies, to escape the ramifications of the Healthcare legislation, pertaining to co-payments for objectionable “reproductive” health insurance policies. Obama more than likely realizes that recent surveys have revealed that there a majority of Catholics are favorable to the concept of same-sex “marriage”, and that such publicity in advance of the US presidential election later this year, will do his re-election chances no harm.   These statistics are a poor commentary on the state of the religious and anthropological underpinnings of the Institution of marriage in the general US Catholic population. But Obama’s trampling of constitutional religious freedoms, as evident in the Healthcare legislation, could prove to be his undoing as religious opposition gathers pace over the months ahead.

  • Tmkretzmer

    It is suprising to me that so many people consider an Activity with civil rights. You cannot change your ethnicity, you should not forced to modify your religious convictions, but you can and should modify your behavior, especially when it sacrifices your well being. Today obesity is the cry of the politcally correct, last decade it was smoking, two decades ago it was recreatinal drug use. I do sympathize with those that have a disire to not have relationships with other of the opposite gender, but I should insist that they abstain for ACTIVITY that puts them at risk for contracting fatal diseases. The false claim that they have a right to an activity is just as repugnant as heterosexuals claiming they have a right to engage in sexual behavior with whoever and when ever they want with impunity. If you can not control your impluses which is being promoted in public insitutions of education then you are giving up your claim to humanity which is a rational animal.

  • Nesbyth

    There is an even more insidious consequence of making the Same-Sex-Marriage project a “human right” in that those who are against it are labelled “homophobes” and homophobia  is fast becoming a “hate crime”.
    This is all so Orwellian.

    And the more SSM discussed and seen as OK, normal, or as a necessary update in 21st century lifestyles, then the more those in opposition will be seen as committing a “hate crime”. The Churches will take the full brunt of this because they cannot adjust the true meaning of marriage.

    Bonhoeffer wrote from his prison cell an excellent sermon on marriage, the essence of which is this: “Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance, through which He wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time…in marriage you are a link in the chain of generations…”

    This can never be applied to SSM, which is a sterile coupling (although some are having children through artificial means).

    And shame on Duncan-Smith. What a let down from someone who seemed to possess integrity.

  • Lefty048

    charles i need to change the subject.  did you read yet that the catholic bishops are investigating  the girl scouts in the usa.  comment please.

  • Parasum


    “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. What has this got to do with human rights?”

    ## A great deal. Human rights are indivisible. If Catholics have the right to to worship freely & in public w/o being molested by those who find their religion an abomination and a blasphemy & an insult to God (& there are people who disapprove very strongly of Catholicism & think of it as exactly those things); then, if they, despite their Christian & Biblical abhorrence of the sinfulness of Catholicism, have to tolerate in society the existence of this sin; it is not asking much of their Catholic fellow-subjects that Catholics should to tolerate in society something many of them regard as a sin: gay marriage. It is no worse for some Protestants that gay rights are allowed, than that a supposedly Christian government allows the sin of Catholicism to be practiced. They want a Christian society – but they have to put up with one in which (what they see as) the horrible idolatry of the Church of Rome is allowed. Catholics have to tolerate, of those two evils, only one. If Protestants can put up with one of them – so can Catholics. Offering Mass may be an abominable crime in the eyes of God, but it does not harm a single Protestant. Gay marriage may be an abominable crime in the eyes of God, but it does not harm a single Catholic. If Catholics are allowed the freedom of committing the abomination of going to or offering the Mass, why should gay people not be allowed the freedom of going to or being spliced at a gay wedding ? 

    The argument against gay marriage, when made by Catholics, works only if the CC is both uniquely privileged as a teacher on morals, &, is agreed by non-Catholics to be. In a Catholic state that allowed of only Catholic worship, that argument might work. In a religiously & cultural plural state, it doesn’t. Logically, the argument is one for the unique status of the CC. It is anti-everyone else; IOW, the vast majority of British society. There should be no rights in society, except for Catholics. That is what comes of using an argument about rights that is theological & dogmatic: theologies & dogmas aren’t free-floating – they have homes. The home of this argument, is the, or a, Catholic view of reality.  Not that of any other religion, or non-religious POV.

    “This is surely about the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy and Blessed Apostles? That is clear. Active homosexuality, like fornication and adultery is sinful.”

     ## That is of concern to Christians – not to Buddhists, atheists, Jews, or to millions of others. In a plural society,  that is not a Christian theocracy, the dogmatic argument is of no great weight. It’s no more impressive than if a Muslim were to quote the Koran  against gay marriage. The two points of view carry no more weight – if no less – than others. A plural society can’t be ruled by religion, even if religion is important to some of its members. For either the religion will be that of some members of society, but not all; or, there will be plenty  who have no religion. Society  cannot be governed by laws that only some of its members find persuasive – it has to go for the LCD, which everyone will acknowledge. The dogmatic argument, whether “churchly” or scriptural, is a very poor lowest common denominator, however persuasive members of the society who acknowledge its authority may find it.

    That is one reason this is a human rights issue. Because Divine law arguments have no weight for anyone who does not acknowledge the deity whose will the arguments are alleged by its adorers to reflect. Catholics would not – or most would not – appreciate the making illegal of Christian worship on the ground that this was grievously offensive to Allah, no matter how carefully the wickedness of  Christian worship was explained from the Koran & other sources of value among Muslims.

    As for being sinful – that too is a dogmatic argument. Whether something is sinful may or may not be so – but even if it is sinful, that belongs to religious belief, not to ascertainable fact. And different religions have different notions about what counts as sin. Adoration of the Trinity is a great sin from a Muslim POV. The shared Catholic & Calvinist adoration of the Trinity does not make the Calvinist repudiation of the Pope as Antichrist acceptable to Catholicism. So even those who agree that X is a sin, can sometimes find that each of them does what the others reckon is a sin.

     “Christians who follow the word of OLJC can love the sinner (indeed we must) but we cannot love or approve of the sin.”

    ## That approach is too often an excuse for “Christianist” unpleasantness – as Westboro Baptist Church shows. It’s actually quite demeaning, not just to gay people, but to any group at all of whose actions one may disapprove. It’s like saying, “I love you as a Catholic, but I think your Catholic faith is revolting”. It’s a cop-out from accepting people as the people they are. God does not do that to us, & leaves us no way of treating one another like that. Love is unconditional, or is not love at all. Talk of sin can’t be allowed to obscure that.

  • David Lindsay

    Assume for the sake of argument that sex with teenage girls is integral to “Islamic” society. I am not convinced that it necessarily is, and at the very least it is certainly not peculiar thereto. But assume that it is.

    Is a non-Islamic culture really in any position to claim the moral high ground if its girls, even given that, are known to be more readily available due to their sexually saturated culture and their near-total lack of supervision by parents, other older relatives and the wider community?

    “What we are fighting” in Afghanistan might come out of this very badly. But, at best, “what we are fighting for” does not come out of it any better.

  • James

    I would have thought that a far greater threat to the institution of marriage comes from the democratic election to the French presidency, an internationally high profile position, of a man who has an unmarried, twice divorced, female partner and who himself has children from a previous unmarried relationship. There seems to be no hand wringing over this in the CH blog pages. As for IDS, I have always had the impression, despite him being of a different political persuasion to myself, that he is a man of integrity and I can well believe that his “evolving” views are a consequence of deep thought and a questioning of his conscience. Even if his change of heart were dictated by pressure to toe the coaltion line then far better that than that his views be dictated by the obsessive horror of homosexuality which  frequently, and to the detriment of the Church, permiates these pages.

  • JessicaHof

    Interesting. What is ‘normal’ for us in our fallen state is often sinful; it is normal for men to desire women carnally, but sinful when they are not married to her. it is normal for us to be greedy and selfish. it is normal, in short, for us to sin. That is why OLJC came to save us. It is why the Church teaches us, and it is why we need to listen. The heart is treacherous, and so is our head; only through Grace can we be saved. We cannot be saved if we prefer the devices and desires of our own hearts to the Word of God.

  • JessicaHof

    But since gay have civil partnerships (not open to heterosexuals) their needs an d rights are respected; to insist that everyone else accepts a change in something like marriage because a small minority want it seems undemocratic. By all means have a referendum; be interesting to see the result.

    I was writing in the context of IDS, so was not seeing how he could reconcile his faith with his change of mind; so I agree with what you say about non Christians, but was referring to a particular Christian, whose change of mind baffled me.

    On the quesstion of sin, for a Catholic the dogmatic teaching of the Church, is binding; if others commit sin and say it is all relative, that is between them and their Maker; if they do not believe in their Maker, then their free will is being exercised, but having rejected OLJC they will answer at the Last. Don’t, please, interpret that as my saying they will go to Hell; God the omniscient alone decides that.

    No, as Christians we cannot simply accept everyone as they are; that is rather like the argument we should accept child abuse among Pakistani men because it is the way they are and the girls were willing. Of course it is not pleasant to be reminded that what one is doing is wrong; few adulterers like being reminded that they are breaking promises made to another person; does that mean we are being nasty when we point that out as a reason why they should desist?

  • Oconnord

    I was sad to see that too, I thought the CH had cojones. I think it’s less secular media than scared media.

    What annoys me is the term “Asian” in sex cases. I’ve known quite a few Asian people who should not be tarred with the brush of sex fiend. They come from different (innocent) cultures. At the very least those guilty should be identified by country, not continent, or race.

     Profiling is not effective in general policing policies, but it does work on certain crimes. 

  • Oconnord

    As an online reader, I’ve always admired the courage of The Catholic Herald to allow open debate. It never shied away from atheistic, secular, agnostic or catholic arguments….. even when heated or emotive. 

    I hope that it will reconsider it’s position and allow the same freedom to allow to other religions.  

  • Tmkretzmer

    You are exactly correct it is not about “rights” it is about  “normalizing’ repugnat behavior. The homosexual has in his or her own mind a prediliction for a close relationship with a person of the same gender. Just as a hetersexual has the same for the opposite gender. Natural law makes it clear that for propigation of the species the heterosexual is the more natual. But man is defined as a rational being. He can think, know, and for the most part control his behavior. In this modern age man has learned to manipulate nature to what he thinks is to his betterment. Cloning,ARTIFICIAL contraception, ARTIFICIAL insemination, gender REALlOCATION, (in reality mutilation to meet the minds distorted feeling); none of which is natural. I do catigorize the activity of sex with man’s other harmful activities. Sexual activity is controllable by the rational man. Just as man can control over eating, smoking, drug abuse, violent agression against his fellow man, these are all activities that are destructive to himself. Religion really has nothing to do with it. Natural Law makes it obvious that homosexual activity (not the person) is evolutionary death. So I ask the question “why would a homosexual want to get “married”? Is it to get government benefits that other persons get (it is the State that is recognizing marriage)? No; they could receive the same benefits by contract law. It is only because they want the rest of society to applaud and approve the behavior that subconscience can not accept. But marriage is supreme to sexual activity, it is the foundation to building civilization. It is were the young child learns about relationships, how to interact with other people, how to treat the opposite gender, duty to self and family. It is in the State’s interest to protect the institution of marriage. Look what has happened to society already, with the various assults on the family. Legitimizing homosexual activity has the same standing as legalizing prostitution; it may account for less crime but is still immoral behavior destuctive to society’s wellbeing. It is a reality that the homosexual does not want to accept.

  • aearon43

    There have been reports of of the Girl Scouts distributing explicit “safe sex” materials to children, and then also telling these girls not to tell their parents about it. There are also links with Planned Parenthood, a notorious abortion agency founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger. See

    Edit: I hadn’t heard of the bishops’ involvement until now so I don’t know exactly what their view is.

  • aearon43

    Yes, you’re right that more attention needs to be paid to heterosexual marriage. But, I think most people would acknowledge that divorce and children outside of wedlock is not the ideal. No one is championing divorce as something great. The issue at hand in the present day is the redefinition of marriage. Catholics are not the ones pressing the issue; the issue is being pressed upon us by homosexualist activists and the government. You may find the focus to be obsessive, but, again, it’s not Catholics who raised the issue. We’re simply responding to an important policy now at the threshold of implementation. When, God willing, it is defeated, then hopefully we can go back to discussing the more fundamental issue of rightly ordered, heterosexual marriage.

  • aearon43

    The truly libertarian position is that the state does not have the right to redefine marriage. Marriage and the biological family exist prior to the state, thus the state can only protect and support them. For the state to redefine marriage is a totalitarian exercise in state power in defiance of nature and reality.

  • teigitur

    Is only slightly rude Spanish you speak Damo?? lol
     Of course most of your above comment could be applied to Catholic Priests, the vast majority of whom are innocent, though one would not  think so  according to the media.

  • nytor

    “James Park in Pink News reports that Duncan Smith “has confirmed that he will be supporting Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to introduce equal civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. In what appears to be an apparently remarkable evolution of his own personal approach to LGBT rights, he pointed out that in a country where so many heterosexual couples are breaking up, marriage equality is a positive method of creating a more stable society.””

    Don’t you think you should seek a more balanced source before writing off IDS? I for one don’t trust anything Pink News has to say on any subject. I’d rather see this confirmed elsewhere before forming an opinion.

  • nytor

    Why would it be a whipped vote? I thought a free vote should be held on all sides of the house, as an issue of conscience.

  • RuariJM

    Have you not heard? You’re allowed to have a conscience but only so long as you don’t exercise it!

  • Charles Martel

    To paraphrase Groucho Marx: “These are my principles; if you don’t like them, I’ll make them evolve”.

  • JabbaPapa

    Maybe also point out to him that by making his public declarations supporting “gay marriage”, he has not only provided teachings contrary to infallible doctrine, but also against sacramental reality — and has therefore de facto excommunicated himself ?

  • JabbaPapa

    The wreckers are down to their last cartridges.

  • JabbaPapa

    Frankly, I can uderstand this — opening the threads up to a floodgate of actually racist responses and hate speech would be of very dubious legality…

  • JabbaPapa


    So you’re peddling your obnoxious moral relativism in here too ?

  • teigitur

    I think that floodgate is unlikely on here. There used to be free speech in this country No longer it seems, for certain subjects.
     One of the points of bloging is ,surely, the replies, and the debate. No debate possible on this.

  • Lefty048

    sounds like an easy thing to do

  • Lazarus

    There’s an ambiguity in the word ‘normal’: it can either have a normative meaning (what should be the case) or a statistical, descriptive meaning (what actually is the case in most situations).

    When Catholics talk of human nature, we mean the normative sense: the true humanity of human beings, the imago dei, which is distorted by sin. Erecting what is merely a frequently encountered sinful activity into a moral standard (eg in same sex ‘marriage’) only serves further to obscure the imago dei.

  • JessicaHof

    Thank you for your help. We should, through Grace and the Sacraments come to align ourselves with the will of God; instead, through self-will and sacrilege we so often do the opposite: Lord have mercy!

  • Veuster

    > When, God willing, it is defeated, then hopefully we can go back to discussing the more fundamental issue of rightly ordered, heterosexual marriage.

    Why not discuss it now? I’m far more worried about an illegitimacy rate of 50% and about the many thousands of children being harmed by divorce and (sometimes serial) remarriage,  than I am about a small handful of people who want to enter into gay ‘marriages’. The traditional family, which is part of God’s Plan, is collapsing among heterosexuals while the Church seems obsessed by gay partnerships. Surely this is straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel?

  • GFFM

    When Obama flip flops he is “evolving.” When Romney or anyone else changes his mind on abortion for example, he is flip-flopping. Furthermore, Obama has not changed his mind. He has a real problem now. African Americans and the Church communities they are a part of categorically reject gay “marriage.” He knows this. In 2008, Obama was pretty clear when he said marriage was not “a civil right.”

  • David Lindsay

    Free votes don’t have to be held on anything. Since this will be government policy, it will be a whipped vote for the two Coalition parties. IDS either votes for it, or he loses his responsibility for the field of policy in which he has been working for years.

  • baige867

  • Benedict Carter

    How any Catholic can possibly support this little anti-Christ is beyond imagining.

  • Oconnord

    Hey I can order a beer in about 5 different languages, there ends my linguistic talent. I do agree about priests, but I avoid the issue. I think on one side the media and public can be unfair and overwrought, but also the other side can too often be seen to be circling the wagons or sticking their heads in the sand.  Although I generally wouldn’t accuse either side of acting from malice.

    On the article, well where’s the headline? Politician plays politics with the truth. Most politicians wouldn’t tell you the time of day without consulting a spin doctor.

  • David Lindsay

    Who else is there?

  • David Lindsay

     IDS said it on Any Questions a couple of weeks ago.

  • JByrne24

    I noted this too – even though William Oddie seems to ask for opinion and comment.

    But I think the decision NOT to allow most of the “regulars” here to comment, is a very wise one. I mean, just look at most of the totally predictable comments on this article, and think about it!