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Is it now illegal to question same-sex marriage?

A conference on marriage was banned for being ‘contrary to diversity policy’

By on Monday, 14 May 2012

Anglican Mainstream has emailed me an inspiring sermon on marriage, written by the late Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1943. Bonhoeffer, for those readers who have not heard of him, was a German Lutheran theologian and member of the Confessing Church in Germany (to be distinguished from the “official” Lutheran Church) during the twelve years of Nazi rule. Implicated in the July Plot against Hitler, Bonhoeffer was hanged (naked and with thin wire) at Flossenburg prison in April 1945, just over two weeks before Germany surrendered.

The sermon was written from his prison cell for his niece. He writes, “God is guiding your marriage. 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 your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations… Marriage is more than something personal; it is a status, an office.” He goes on to state that God gives the married couple “the promise of children” and that “God allows man to share in His continual work of creation; but it is always God Himself who blesses marriage with children. Children are a heritage of the Lord and they should be acknowledged as such. It is from God that parents receive their children and it is to God that they should lead them.”

I quote these extracts from this well-known Christian pastor’s sermon simply because he takes it for granted that marriage is always between a man and a woman and that children are a blessing that come from it. We who, whether Christian or not, want to to retain this traditional understanding of marriage in the face of current plans to redefine it, need to show where we stand by signing up to the Coalition for Marriage and replying to the Government’s own on-line consultation document.

As I write, news has come in that the Law Society has cancelled a forthcoming colloquium organised by Christian Concern, part of the World Congress of Families, on the subject, “One Man, One Woman. Making the case for marriage for the good of society” and due to take place at the Law Society’s headquarters in Chancery Lane later this month.

Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court judge in the Family Division, who has recently co-founded a new “Marriage Foundation” to champion the institution of marriage, was to have been one of the contributors to the conference. Other speakers lined up were Peter Duckworth, barrister, divorce specialist and member of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship; Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of The Bow Group, the Conservative think-tank; Phillip Blond, director of ResPublica; and Cristina Odone, Telegraph and Herald journalist.

Why the sudden cancellation of the booking? The reason the Law Society gives – wait for it – is that the conference is “contrary to diversity policy, espousing as it does an ethos which is opposed to same-sex marriage.” Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, stated, “We are proud of our role in promoting diversity in the solicitors’ profession and felt that the content of this conference sat uncomfortably with our stance.” Ah: so it’s our old friend “diversity policy” again.

I should point out here that we are not talking about stopping a member of the BNP from standing up at Speaker’s Corner and making a racist speech; this is about banning distinguished members of the legal and political establishment from having a civilised debate on Law Society premises on a critical matter – which is not (yet) law.

According to Hudson, the Law Society has “assisted the organisers in identifying an alternative non-Law Society venue.” However, Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, contradicted him. She said, “We’re not looking at another venue. I’ve not spoken to them about another venue. We’re asking the Law Society to honour its contract with us. I was called to the Bar in 1988 and am proud of our country’s long and great legal history, leading the world in promoting and protecting freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. I will not be hounded out of a legal institution for holding a debate on marriage.”

She added, “Since when can debate be against diversity? …This action by the professional body…demonstrates how discussion on traditional views on marriage is being shut down before any change in the law to redefine marriage has come into force.” She pointed out that the Law Society had adopted a pro-same-sex marriage policy ahead of the outcome of the Government’s Consultation and without consulting its members. Bow Group Chairman, Ben Harris-Quinney, agreed that in the light of the Government Consultation it was essential “for parties to come together to debate the issue in forum.” He called the Law Society’s decision “exceptionable”.

Those who would like to support Andrea Williams and Christian Concern over this extraordinary decision can contact her on 020 7935 1488 or write to: The Christian Legal Centre, 70, Wimpole St, London WIG 8AX.

  • Jorge

    You forgot to mention that homosexuals get people fired from their jobs because of their political opinions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_against_Proposition_8_supporters#Boycotts

  • Jorge

     Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    Well, for example:

    In Scotland, a country without an Established church, where government has been set up to be secular in order to avoid sectarianism, the consultation for lifting the ban on same-sex marriage, included religious freedom. Far from “driving all religious activity from the public sphere”, the Scottish consultation takes for granted that same-sex couples may wish to marry in religion, and that churches and other faith bodies must have the freedom to legally wed same-sex couples if they wish.

    In England, a country with an Established church and Lords Spiritual sitting in government, the consultation for lifting the ban on same-sex marriage explicitly opposed religious freedom: same-sex couples who wish to marry in religion will not be allowed to do so, and churchs and other faith bodies will be legally banned from this basic religious freedom.

    So it appears from this single sample, at least, that the country without an established Church – though with many tolerant Christians in government – is more forthcoming to protect religious freedom.

    Your thoughts?

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    1) As previously noted, the terms ‘secular government’ and ‘theocratic government’ as not straightforward and need unpacking in specific cases. Scotland has a legally recognized ‘National Church’ and is governed by a House of Lords which contains bishops from the Church of England. It is simply false to claim that the current position in Scotland which is the result of the usual complex of historical circumstances is  that ‘government has been set up to be secular in order to avoid sectarianism’.

    2) Consultations are consultations and not decisions. I very much hope that in both cases common sense and reason will prevail and that the social foundation of the family will not be undermined by ill-considered social engineering. However, accepting (purely for the sake of argument) your presentation of the case, it would appear that the less secular country (England) is better governed since it is more resistant to this foolishness.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    Religions are free to conduct any rituals they wish. It is only when they wish these rituals to have legal recognition by the state (as eg marriage or civil partnerships) that any state restriction becomes involved.

    At that point, considerations of the common good are required. Since it is clearly not in the interests of the common good to undermine marriage as the prime institution of child rearing by (eg) confusing people about an equivalence between marriage and civil partnerships, the bans on same sex marriage or religious elements in civil partnerships follow.

  • nytor

    the Scottish consultation takes for granted that same-sex couples may wish to marry in religion, and that churches and other faith bodies must have the freedom to legally wed same-sex couples if they wish”

    It also asks whether churches should be forced to carry these out and other variants of the same question concerning the rights of individual priests and ministers to carry these out if they wish even if their ecclesiastical authorities do not approve. Not an improvement on the English consultation!

  • nytor

    The Law Society’s behaviour is outrageous. It is of course true that this is not yet law, and if one cannot debate a proposed legal change in the headquarters of the Law Society, well…

    Our society is now governed by an Orwellian “rightthink”. One cannot express non-PC views in any kind of public body without the risk of disciplinary action.

    However, I do feel that this issue has rather “gone away” – despite the ravings of that Featherstone woman, it didn’t make the Queen’s Speech and with the Children’s Minister and the Defence Secretary, amongst others, making noises about being opposed to it (along with a very large number of backbenchers) I slightly suspect that it will be quietly “forgotten”, especially as the Liberal Democrats decline in influence.

  • theroadmaster

    You can be as pernickety as you want to the precise date concerning the foundation of the Christian religion, but it does not obscure my main point, concerning the very impressive longevity, concerning Jude-Christian teachings on marriage.  But your pedantic approach to my dating(which was rounded off to the nearest thousandth year, hence 2000 years(give or take a few decades), shows a failure to deal with my main point.

  • theroadmaster

    Support for the long supported version of marriage, is only a bias in favor of this much revered Institution, as it always has been.  To redefine or rearrange it, so that is unrecognisable from it’s original format, means one cannot no longer call it marriage i.e sacred union of one man and woman which is open to procreation.  It is as simple as that.

  • theroadmaster

    Support for the long supported version of marriage, is only a bias in favor of this much revered Institution, as it always has been.  To redefine or rearrange it, so that is unrecognisable from it’s original format, means one cannot any longer call it marriage i.e sacred union of one man and woman which is open to procreation.  It is as simple as that.

  • theroadmaster

    The arrangement that you term “marriage =1 man + 1 woman” is the exact arrangement as God intended. , As the Savior phrased it in Matthew 19:4-
    “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’.  Thus Jesus Himself, stated the natural order, in terms of the Creator’s purpose for humankind.  The Church’s teachings on marriage, are not supposed to compete with such central doctrine as belief in the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They are part of the revelation which come from scripture, tradition and reason, which are amplified by the life and words of Jesus.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    It is only when they wish these rituals to have legal recognition by the
    state (as eg marriage or civil partnerships) that any state restriction
    becomes involved.

    *nods* And a secular state must stand on the side of religious freedom for all, so therefore, must not ban any religion from legally wedding same-sex couples if they choose and if that’s in accordance with their faith.

    Since it is clearly not in the interests of the common good to undermine marriage as the prime institution of child rearing

    And this is accomplished, in your view, by requiring same-sex couples to get married without benefit of religion?

    I don’t follow your logic, but I don’t think I’m intended to.

    I have never understood: (a) why any married couple should feel their marriage is “undermined” by the genders of any other  married couple (b) why any parents should feel their capacity to parent their children is undermined by other parents being married or unmarried.

    Being a parent is a tough job. Parents deserve respect and appreciation for it. But why would any parent stop to look at the couple down the street, note tht they got married in church and they carry on with their adopted daughters just as if they were a real family, and think “Huh, if Martin and Bert got married in church and those girls they adopted call them ‘dad’ that means I’m obviously doing this parenting thing wrong!”

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

      Well, you’re right, I’m afraid. I can find no scriptural justification
    for your claim that mixed-sex marriage is a central tenet of
    Christianity. It’s not in gospels, epistles, or creeds. The idea that in order to be a Christian you have to affirm your belief in mixed-sex marriage only and a ban on same-sex marriage, seems to be an entirely modern invention, without any Christian tradition at all.

  • whytheworldisending

    It is like a dinner attended by vegetarians and meat eaters. As long as a course is provided containing meat and another course is provided without meat, everybody can happily join in the meal. However if the cook decided to mix up all of the courses this would make it impossible for the vegetarians to join in the meal. The meat eaters would still be able to, but the vegetarians would be unable to because their meal would have been spoiled. They would simply leave.
    In the same way, you cannot corrupt civil marriage without alienating and excluding people who adhere to – and intend to continue adhering to – a traditional moral code, which regards homosexual practices as wrong. If you devalue civil marriage by making it available to homosexuals, then many ordinary people of no religious faith, who might have gone through a civil marriage ceremony, will see no reason to get married at all. That will further erode the family and produce more disorder in childrens’ lives and in society in general.
    The campaign for same-sex rights is antagonistic towards religious rights and Christianity in particular, but not only that. As the fundamentalist quest for absolute equality diminishes the extent to which diversity is valued and difference in society is respected, it is becoming increasingly clear that “Equality” and “Diversity” can also be antagonistic to one another. If some are to be more equal than others, then, in a democracy who are to be the losers? Surely not the majority.

  • whytheworldisending

    By the way, talking of the law society, does anyone know the relative proportions of sexual offences committed against children by homosexuals and heterosexuals? Anecdoral evidence appears to suggest that one persuasion is over-represented, but a freedom of information request to the Home Office should be able to find out this data. That is of course if we are not allowed to ask because protecting children is less important than being “politically correct.” Having said that, we don’t seem to bother offending racial minorities by publishing similar crime statistics on them do we, so it shouldn’t be a problem should it. Perhaps Teresa May could help find the figures – in between promoting the gay marriage and annoying the police.

  • Honeybadger

    Hitler murdered gays, too.

  • Fr.Thomas Poovathinkal

    LET US FORGET ABOUT THE DIVIDED CHURCHES AND THEIR TRADITIONS, (JUST HAVE A LOOK AT WHAT JESUS THE LORD SPOKE OF MERE HUMAN TRADITIONS AND WHAT THEY ACHIEVE) AND LOOK AT THE VALUES OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD JESUS THE LORD  PROMOTED.

    IT MAY ENCOURAGE EVEN THE DIVIDED CHURCHES – ESPECIALLY THEIR SELF-INTERESTED LEADERS TO YEARN AND PRAY FOR UNITY IN AND THROUGH THE LORD RATHER THAN MINDING THEIR OWN RESPECTIVE BUSINESS OR KEEPING THEIR OWN PEOPLE OCCUPIED DISCUSSING AND TALKING TILL THE END OF THE WORLD THE WHAT, THE WHY AND THE HOW OF IT ALL.

  • JabbaPapa

    In the general population, I believe the ratio is something like 60/40 male/female victims — but get this : the % of child molesters who are men is something like 97-99%

    Now, I know many people can’t get their heads round statistics — but the conclusion of this is that homosexual child abuse is VASTLY more common than heterosexual. Otherwise, the ratio of male/female would be something like 5-15/85-95 (not 1-3/97-99, because attacks on young girls are less frequently reported).

    In the specific case of the abuses by catholic clergy and religious, the male/female ratio of victims is a staggering 30:1 (97%/3%) !!! It’s homosexuals in the clergy that have been doing this.

  • JabbaPapa

    I hope so !!

    I think that this whole thing is starkly illustrative of the Lib Dems’ inexperience with the realities of governmental power — miss Featherstone in particular seems not to comprehend that a clear Government policy can very simply FAIL to materialise as legislation for reasons beyond the power of Government.

  • JabbaPapa

    What a load of RUBBISH !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    Providing material assistance for the “care” of women who are “helped” by doctors to murder their babies is, in fact, to assist in the performance of these murders.

    A view that was BTW shared by the Courts that judged these cases.

  • JabbaPapa

    res potens

  • JabbaPapa

    causa rabiae Byrni contra ecclesiastices inluminata est : infantilia !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    Manipulative lies like the above really do make me feel sick.

    The “modern invention” in question is actually so-called “gay marriage”.

    It is clearly self-evident that modern innovations do not form a part of the tenets of Christianity.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

     Not at all.

    As for your second point: the courts found according to the law, & the two Glaswegian nurses lost their case. NHS nurses are required to care for all patients without judgement.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    “Scotland has a legally recognized ‘National Church’”

    No, it doesn’t.

    and is governed by a House of Lords which contains bishops from the Church of England

    To a certain extent. We are devolved now. And bishops, as you should know, are no part of the Church of Scotland.

    is  that ‘government has been set up to be secular in order to avoid sectarianism’.

    It’s simplified, but not false. There were multiple reasons. But really, given the centuries of feeling between Catholic and Presbyterian and Episcopalian in Scotland, no one in their right minds would have picked one of them to be the legally recognised “national church” with a voice in government – and no one did.

    I very much hope that in both cases common sense and reason will
    prevail and that the social foundation of the family will not be
    undermined by ill-considered social engineering.

    Me too! I hope the ban on same-sex marriage will be lifted by 2014.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    The report will be published next month, and I’m pretty confidet that if anyone was foolish enough to say that churches, priests, and ministers should be forced against law, justice tradition and common sense to carry out marriages against their faith, they were in a tiny minority.

    Most people in Scotland are for freedom of religion. Priests and ministers ought to be able to perform marriages if they wish – it would be up to their ecclesiastical authorities to discipline or expel them for doing so.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

     I am a vegetarian myself.

    I have no problem with everyone eating what they wish. You can eat a burger next to me, and it won’t put me off my felafel. It’s really better everyone have what they want, and it would be wrong for meat-eaters, just because they’re in the majority, to argue that vegetarians shouldn’t be allowed to eat next to you. My peaceful enjoyment of my own salad in no way prevents you from ordering a steak.

    No one has ever managed to explain to me how suddenly when they saw George Takei marry his partner of 20 years they felt unable to enjoy their own marriage as a result,

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    1) On the status of the Church of Scotland. Church of Scotland Act 1921:  ‘a national Church representative of the Christian Faith of the Scottish people’.

    2) Government is not entirely devolved and religion  interpenetrates layers of government devolved and undevolved. (For example, Catholic, Jewish and Episcopalian schools are provided by the state in Scotland.) This only serves to underline the point that ‘secular’  and ‘theocratic’ are far too vague terms to do any useful job. The useful question is always much detailed: what precisely should be the relationship between the state and (particular) religions? (And in general, as I’m sure you’ll agree, the evidence from recent centuries would be that where religion is tolerant of other beliefs but remains a major presence in society, better government ensues. This would certainly be in keeping with Enlightenment thinking on the need for a Civil Religion to provide social cohesion.)

    3) Leaving institutions as they are isn’t social engineering. Introducing new institutions without any evidence for their contribution to the common good is social engineering, but of a particularly cack handed and reckless type.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    By posing the issue in this way, you reveal the way in which SSM marriage is already undermining the socially useful concept of traditional marriage. Society recognizes traditional marriage not because it is enjoyable, but because it serves the social function of child rearing. By equating it with same sex  relationships which are just about enjoyment, the purpose of marriage is obscured.

  • JessicaHof

    But let us also remember that our Faith’s firm foundation in Christ must also be true the the Faith once given to the Apostles.
    http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/ecumenism/

  • Gavin Wheeler

     Quite right!

    BAD EdinburghEye, how dare you take any joy in your marriage!

    The important thing is that George Takei and Brad Altman getting married made it impossible for straight Catholics to rear children, and don’t you forget it. If this goes on the only people rearing children will be married gay couples like Ricky Martin and Carlos Abella.

  • JabbaPapa

    Oh Scottish cases ?

    I’d only read Telegraph reports about some English ones.

  • Gavin Wheeler

     Nothing in that showed a case of a priest being forced to wed a couple against his will.

  • whytheworldisending

    I know kids who would throw up if someone sat down next to them eating a burger, and I know someone who cannot even make themselves walk past the meat aisle in Asda. You cannot legislate away gut feelings based on hundreds of thousands of years of evolution without upsetting Nature. Back to marriage – I attend civil marriages of relatives on the basis that it is better than fornication and so a move in the right direction, but I wouldn’t bring children along as I would not want to teach them that the secular marriage is as good as the real thing. If civil marriage is changed to include homosexuals, I would not attend any civil marriage of any relative again – even alone – because it is not better than fornication. It is worse. Actually I didn’t know who George Takei was but I asked someone and they told me – now I can no longer enjoy watching Star Trek any more. Thanks very much!

  • Gavin Wheeler

     There is a problem with nomenclature here. If a man is heterosexual in his attraction to adults, but then rapes a boy, does that make him homosexual? Bisexual? Or heterosexual and a paedophile? If you don’t just assume that paedophile’s ‘normal’ orientation based on his victim’s gender, how do you classify the ‘fixated’ paedophile who has no ‘normal’ attraction to adults?

    Studies that looked into the orientation of the perpetrator (rather than assuming male-male rape implies a homosexual offender) tend to show a rate of only about 1% being homosexual (Jenny et al. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94, 41-44.) One study (Groth, A. Nicholas & Birnbaum, H. Jean (1978). Archives of Sexual Behavior Vo. 7, No. 3, 175–181) found no cases perpetrated by exclusively homosexual men.

    A study (Freund et al. (1989). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and erotic age preference. Journal of Sex Research, 26, 107-117) looking at a random sampling of adults rather than convicted molesters also showed that gay men were no more aroused by boys than straight men were aroused by young girls.

  • whytheworldisending

    Thanks for the data. If as your data suggests, virtually all (97-99%) of child sex offenders are male, then one would expect most victims to be female and (other things being equal) one would expect the ratio of female victims to male victims to be roughly in line with the ratio of male homosexuals to male heterosexuals in the population. Now using the Office for National Statistics’ estimate of 1.5% homosexuals in the UK population, we would expect 1.5% of victims to be male. Your figure of 60% male victims means that there are 60/1.5 or 40 times as many male child victims as one would expect from the proportions of homosexuals and heterosexuals in UK society generally. Those statistics suggest that homosexuals generally are 40 times more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexuals are. This is not surprising given that all sexual permissiveness represents an unwillingness to constrain sexual expression for the greater good. The further society moves away from the gold standard of marriage between a man and a woman for life, the more it imperils and corrupts its children and its future.

  • whytheworldisending

    The sexual response is a physical response to stimuli and is the same in homosexuals and heterosexuals. In homosexuality the normal response is conditioned so that it takes place when cued in by abnormal stimuli. The same applies to paedophiles and other abnormal behaviours. Your HYPOTHETICAL man who is (impliedly exclusively) heterosexual in his attraction to adults, but then rapes a boy, is a convenient fiction conjured up to obfuscate the plain truth revealed in the shocking statistics, but assuming, for arguments sake, that he did existed, he would be a person whose sexual response is conditioned to be cued in by both males and females, and by both adults and children. That makes him a homoesexual paedophile. Any traces of heterosexuality remaining despite the conditioning is of no interest, and as such the term Bisexual is redundant. You asked “how do you classify the ‘fixated’ paedophile who has no ‘normal’ attraction to adults?” He is a paedohpile. I wouldn’t take too much notice of “learned” papers, as without knowing the writer’s “ortientation,” how do you take account of the inevitable bias inherent in such “research?” Use common-sense and the Gospels – You shall know them by their works.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    Glad we agree!

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

    “LET US FORGET ABOUT THE DIVIDED CHURCHES AND THEIR TRADITIONS, (JUST
    HAVE A LOOK AT WHAT JESUS THE LORD SPOKE OF MERE HUMAN TRADITIONS AND
    WHAT THEY ACHIEVE) AND LOOK AT THE VALUES OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD JESUS
    THE LORD  PROMOTED.”

    I agree completely. That sounds like a very good idea. But please, no CAPSLOCK.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    As you’ve noted on another of your comments, the SSM idea is that ‘marriage’ is all about personal enjoyment. The institutionalization of this version of marriage obscures the social purpose of true marriage as childrearing.

    Fringe religious sects can celebrate any rite they wish within their places of worship. But the state should not acknowledge them as having the same standing as marriage. The freedom of worship of a particular sect does not entail that the government should follow that sect’s interpretation of its rituals.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

     “On the status of the Church of Scotland. Church of Scotland Act
    1921:  ‘a national Church representative of the Christian Faith of the
    Scottish people’.”

    Um, yes, you obviously didn’t read it
    thoroughly!

    Articles 2 + 3 of the preamble:
    2 Nothing contained in this Act or in any other Act affecting the Church of Scotland shall prejudice the recognition of any other Church in Scotland as a Christian Church protected by law in the exercise of its spiritual functions.
    3 Jurisdiction of civil courts.Subject to the recognition of the matters dealt with in the Declaratory Articles as matters spiritual, nothing in this Act contained shall affect or prejudice the jurisdiction of the civil courts in relation to any matter of a civil nature.
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/11-12/29

    Scotland does not have an established church.

    (For example, Catholic, Jewish and Episcopalian schools are provided by the state in Scotland.)

    Funded and governed by the state, yes. So that when the Most
    Rev. Mario Joseph Conti tried to rule that Catholic schools could discriminate against and refuse to hire gay teachers, the government could step in and notify the Catholic Church that if they did that, the Catholic schools would lose all funding from the government. Cardinal Keith O’Brien hastily retracted a few days later. Similiarly, the Catholic Church in Scotland had to accept that it would not be allowed to close down adoption agencies as it did in Boston, only to say to the adoption agency that it would not be allowed to call itself Catholic.

    The useful question is always much more detailed: what precisely should
    be the relationship between the state and (particular) religions?

    Agree that’s a good question.

    The state should, without discrimination, permit all people of faith to exercise their religion so long as this does not infringe on the human and civil rights of others.

    Your Point 3 – Many people on this thread and elsewhere have advocated for banning same-sex couples from marriage because they see the ban as a positive kind of social engineering – they appear to honestly believe that in some kind of magical way, if only mixed-sex couples are allowed to marry, both marriage and parenting will be better. There is no evidence for this, and this is radical social engineering of a particularly pernicious kind – excluding some people from a basic civil and human right, because of a theory that life will become better for others as a result.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

     Society recognizes traditional marriage not because it is enjoyable, but because it serves the social function of child rearing.

    Society recognises marriage because we wish it to do so! The fascist ideal of marriage existing as a function, not as a human right, is appalling to me.

    But even if I were for the sake of argument to accept your fascist ideal of two people wedding to serve Society, it would be a valid reason only from banning childless couples from marriage.

    If you wish to make that argument – that people are only allowed to marry if they intend to have children or already have children – you can try. But it isn’t being made here. Many same-sex couples have children: many mixed-sex couples do not.

  • http://twitter.com/EyeEdinburgh EdinburghEye

     “You cannot legislate away gut feelings based on hundreds of thousands of
    years of evolution without upsetting Nature. ”

    But you can, in a civilised country, require that people not act on their “gut feelings”. Your right to swing your fist ends where it meets my face. My right is to enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal, and restaurants have the right (though not the obligation) to provide a vegetarian meal. The idea that non-vegies ought to be able to enforce a ban on vegetarian meals at their favourite restaurant against the will of the proprieter, does not make a lot of sense as a defence of civil liberties.

    “Actually I didn’t know who George Takei was but I asked someone and they
    told me – now I can no longer enjoy watching Star Trek any more.”

    Aw. I think he’s particularly great in this video.

  • Gavin Wheeler

     Sadly, the case of an otherwise exclusively heterosexual man abusing boys is far from hypothetical.

    e.g. the Groth and Birnbaum study found 70 heterosexual abusers, 22 bisexual abusers and no exclusively homosexual ones. Again, classifying ‘sexuality’ by attraction to adults. There were also 83 ‘fixated’ paedophiles – no normal attraction to adults at all.

  • Gavin Wheeler

     That 1.5% figure is for the number of adults who are attracted to other adults of the same sex. (Or possibly it is solely for gay men, I’m not sure and it doesn’t matter)

    Since studies (e.g. Jenny et al. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94, 41-44.) show that adults attracted to adults of the same gender make up around 1% of offenders that would make them slightly less likely to offend.

    You only get your shocking statistics by trying to ascribe all rapes of boys to homosexuals.

  • WILLIAM BAUER

    I have no question about same-sex marriage as it is not a possibility.

  • whytheworldisending

    Any man who abuses boys is a homosexual. It doesn’t matter whether they also are attracted to women or animals or corpses. A cannibal who also enjoys the odd bacon sandwich is still a cannibal and no amount of deranged relabelling, reclassifying or goal post moving can change that. Its the same with any other form of disorder, whether sexual, mental or both. Do you really think that any parent whose child was abused by a homosexual would not feel like murdering them simply because he wasn’t “exclusively” homosexual? It is an evil – both for the victims and the perpetrators, since the perpetrators became that way by being abused themselves and conditioned so as children. That is the mechanics of how it is passed on but the worse evil is perpetrated by those who would pass laws facilitating the abuse.

  • whytheworldisending

    You get your ludicrous results by defining a “homosexual” as a person who does not abuse anyone. Then, you try to undermine the statistics which tell you that homosexuals are abusing children, by making reference to attributes which serve to assist you in dividing the set of homosexual abusers into sub-classes based on those attributes. You then relabel the homosexual abusers according to the sub-class they fall into and pretend that – by giving them another name – they cease to be homosexuals. All that to give spurious credibility to the idea that, the ONS data, which shows that homosexuals are roughly 40 times more likely to abuse children than non-homosexuals, is not to be taken at face value. In fact its worse than those statistics suggest. Why? Because if you take into account the amount of access to children that homosexuals and heterosexuals have, that factor of 40 would have to be multiplied by at least 10 and probably a great deal more in order accurately to reflect the risk.

  • Jorge

     It showed that Churches have been forced to allow the celebration of sodomy contracts in their premises; that there are laws already on the way to force priests to celebrate sodomy; and that the sodomy activists don’t tolerate people with politically incorrect political opinions.