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There has been no debate on gay marriage – that’s why people are so angry about it

The Government has handled this issue extraordinarily badly

By on Monday, 10 December 2012

Opinion poll

When news broke last week that, according to Christian Concern, the Government was expected “to announce legislation for “Equal Civil Marriage” this week, I thought the timing quite deliberate. The run-up to Christmas would seem a good time, not exactly to “bury bad news” from the Government’s perspective, but to push this highly controversial piece of legislation past the public consciousness when most people’s minds are on the coming festivities.

Surely any debate on an “Equal Civil Marriage” Bill is too important to attempt to slide under the radar in this way? A cartoon by Adams in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday, 9th December, summed up the mood surrounding it in graphic fashion: on the left was a caricature of David Cameron in the House of Commons intoning the words, “If any of you here know of cause or just impediment…”.On the right was a series of bubbles deafening him with their adversarial fury.

In the same newspaper came news that some senior Conservatives, including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Alastair Burt and Patrick McLoughlin (a Catholic), have set up a group, called “Freedom to Marry”, “to campaign for same-sex couples to be allowed to get married in church.” This runs counter to what David Cameron originally proposed. I have before me a letter from my MP, John Bercow of 1 May 2012, in response to a letter I had sent him on the subject, which states “I strongly support the Government’s intention to legalise gay marriage, believing it to be right in principle and in practice.” He enclosed a letter sent to him by David Cameron, dated 26th March 2012, in which Cameron had written, “As you are aware, the proposal the Government is consulting on, which I personally support, is to lift the ban on same-sex couples marrying in a civil ceremony.” There is no mention or suggestion here of a church wedding.

But the issue runs much deeper than disputes as to where same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The argument is not about venues (though the Churches have a legitimate concern that their authority to ban such events will be compromised); it is about the very nature of marriage. Former minister Nick Herbert, who is organising “Freedom to Marry”, shows some acknowledgment of this in his article in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, when he writes, “I appreciate that there are some who take a different view, including many who are not homophobic but have a profound religious conviction about the nature of marriage. We must conduct this debate in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding, and with regard to the special value for religious institutions.”

Those who oppose the proposed new legislation would say that there has been no real “debate” on the subject at all and that the Government is determined (with the tacitly approved help of a Labour and Lib Dem three-line whip) to get a majority vote in the Commons when the issue is raised early in the new year. They seem not to realise the gravity of what is likely to be forced on the country. Anne Widdecombe has pointed out, in her very courageous speech at the last Conservative Party Conference, that the word “marriage” “appears over 3,000 times in UK legislation, the word “husband” 1,000 times, “wife” about 900 times and the phrase “husband and wife” 350 times. “ She comments, “So any change is unlikely to be a simple matter.” She also points out that legislation will not give “a single extra right to anybody.”

Charles Moore, in an article in the Telegraph on Saturday, 8th December which discusses the Prime Minister’s determination to be “modern”, reinforces Anne Widdecombe’s speech with his own argument: “Gay marriage may sound like an extension of general modern niceness, but roughly 98% of the population are straight: how, in hard times, does the Government support their marriages? How does gay marriage sound to the ethnic groups?…Indeed, is “modernity” a sort of code-word for being quite southern, quite posh and quite little affected by recession?” He adds, “Being modern is essentially a matter of style rather than content, so it does not provide detailed answers to difficult questions. The latest, on gay marriage, are “What counts as consummation in gay relationships?” (This has to be established in order to make it the grounds for gay divorce, as it is for straight) and “Should gay people be allowed to marry in church?”…Yesterday he decreed that churches should, indeed, go gay.”

Today’s Telegraph reports that former premier Sir John Major is also “modern”; he has told Conservative critics and Church leaders that “they must move on” because “we live in the 21st century.”

Would it be possible to organise mass rallies in this country as occurred in France on November 17th? Sandro Magister of chiesa.expressonline.it, describes what happened in France as a result of their government’s similar proposed legislation: “In Paris and in a dozen other cities, hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets.” The demonstrations were organised by Frigide Barjot, pseudonym for the spokeswoman of the “Collectif pour l’humanite durable”, the socialist Laurence Tcheng of the association “La gauche pour le marriage republicaine” and Xavier Bongibault, an atheist and homosexual founder of “Plus gay sans marriage.” Only Barjot is a Catholic and “no Church association hoisted its banners.” This was a civil and secular demonstration in defence of an ancient and natural institution.

Is it possible to mobilise the same kind of peaceful protest over here?

  • NewMeena

    The rights of Catholics remain the same.

    See my above reply to you.

  • NewMeena

    “homosexual activity which is sinful”

    Is it SO DIFFICULT for you to understand that this is Catholic opinion?

    We are not all Catholics or even Christians, and unsurprisingly, many of us do not share this opinion.

  • NewMeena

    Nature is FULL of killing: the food chain. It is a most natural phenomenon.  

    Catholics have a simple and strange understanding of “natural” and “nature”.

  • NewMeena

    I very rarely read the Guardian and am unfamiliar with ‘Pope Nope’.

  • NewMeena

    It just MIGHT have once been a “bad idea”. Or, as you suggest, simply a matter that people didn’t think about and even consider.  But today things are different – and the matter is taken seriously.
    Perhaps today it is a “good idea”.  I think so.

    In the modern world, with our much-improved understanding of the complexities and variabilities of sexuality, progressively increasing numbers of people see gay marriage as a “good thing”.

  • NewMeena

    The idea that critical thought has no place, because it is the word of the one true God is a nice one for orthodox Catholics.
    But you must recognise that most people do not believe this.

  • NewMeena

    No, not facts at all. Simply minority beliefs for those believing in the absolute truth of one of the world’s religions.

    Other religions have (what they would call) their own “facts”, or particular beliefs.

    These are all only religious beliefs. On the other hand there ARE real facts – and we all know plenty of them.

  • NewMeena

    You believe that a fertilised ovum is a human being if you wish.

    The idea is totally preposterous to me and most people.

    But what you mysteriously call “the real agenda behind same sex ‘marriage’ ” is, in fact, very simple.  It is that gay people should be allowed (in civil law) to enjoy the married state, because that is what many of them wish.        
                                                                     

  • NewMeena

    NOT people or children – simply a fertilised ovum!!

    The Church has no hope of being taken seriously by so many people if it persists in this idea.

  • NewMeena

    Thank you for your reply Sweetjae.
    I’ve read (about) the various “proofs” for God’s existence (all of them I think) and also their criticisms. None of the proofs is convincing (for me) and, to be truthful, I must admit that I enjoy some of the criticisms. But I would be very happy if there were a sound proof!
    St Anselm’s is particularly interesting, but I think my brain is neither “up to it” or to the criticisms, and especially not to Godel’s apparent support for St Anselm. But I’m still with this!
    But most of all I think it’s a question that will never be settled by reason or logic.

    I think you also refer to CS Lewis’s (is it?) remark that Jesus must either have been “mad, bad or God”. But, as a well-known atheist points out, Jesus could  have been none of these, but simply ”wrong”.

    As regards miracles: It’s just about impossible to take any of these claims/tales seriously. I’ve read about many: Lourdes & the Sun. the “healings”, moving and weeping statues, apparitions ….etc. There is no convincing evidence that I have heard about any of these things.

  • NewMeena

    Don’t be silly Rizzo.

    “Most normal people regard those in gay relationships as thoroughly respectable.”

    It should be plain, even to you, that I mean that most normal people, whether gay or straight, regard those in gay relationships as thoroughly respectable.

    The abnormal (who do not take this view) are either (in my view) narrow-minded, ignorant, bigoted or silly like yourself (or all 4 of these).

  • NewMeena

    There is NOTHING false about an adult woman or man caring for and loving a child – whatever their sexual orientation, or whether they are adoptive parents or not, or whether the child has been produced by AID or egg implantation or not.   

  • NewMeena

    I am not setting the limits of discussion.

    The article of Ms Phillips, that we are discussing, is about the present coalition government’s decision to move ahead with their plan to allow gay people to enter into a marriage recognised by the British state (i.e. civil marriage).

  • NewMeena

    Please see above.

    PS: I am aware that this is a very conservative and Conservative, orthodox Catholic website.

  • NewMeena

    “So you want to push children out of the definition of marriage do you Meena. ”

    I didn’t say that, and I don’t want that.
    But children are not always produced, for different reasons, in some Catholic marriages.

  • NewMeena

    That’s really dreadful.

  • NewMeena

    “A biological impossibility.”

    Perfectly possible.

  • NewMeena

    See above and perhaps, with JabbaP, try to improve your understanding.

  • NewMeena

    Stop pretending that you understand zoology.

    PS: Mono-zygotic twins are clones.

  • NewMeena

     Traditional marriage” will go on as before.

  • timothy canezaro

    Marriage is so much more than a right doled out by the state. No nation or state invented marriage as it was something ordained by God. Nations like the United States used to understand the inherent value in having strong marriage based families as the cornerstone of a healthy society. Now, Marriage is being redefined by the state in order to then parcel out this very new and experimental kind of union. And if we do that, do we stop at gays and lesbians, or do we open it up to polygomy or even women taking multiple husbands. And what about the transsexual people too? Do they get this new “right” to marry? Why stop there open up marriage to any living ,beings and in any manner they wish. One day when posterity looks at this time period of humanity when we didn’t value Life anymore, or even the natural bonds that have propogated our species since time immorreal. Kinda wonder what aliens would think if they discovered we kill our own unborn before they ever have a chance.
    Guarantee that what that secular goverment is doing in endlessly fighting to install population control measures that will quietly be directed at the poor and less educated will next lead to laws embracing abortion under the guise of liberating the peoples sex lives. Nonsense.

  • Joe Zammit

    Of course, two lesbians or two homosexuals are FALSE mothers and FALSE fathers indeed!

    Nature wants One Mother and One Father, or in case one passes away, One Mother or One Father. This is nature and no law will ever change that!

    To date we have seen two fathers or two mothers on the stage acted by clowns! But why? to make people LAUGH!

    Two FALSE fathers or two FALSE mothers are unnatural and poor children who will find  themselves in this unnatural environment.

    And who knows more than God what is natural for us? Who knows what is more that God what is good for us? God made marriage a union between one man and one woman. So, whoever is in favour of homosexual unions is going directly against God’s will on us and on marriage.

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    Yes you do.  You want the focus of marriage not to be on children…..but on the sexual whims of adults.  That really disgusts me.  Why do secularists resent children so much?!  Remember….whatsoever you do to the least of my little ones…that you do unto me.  So said Jesus Christ.  Be careful what you do to children!

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    Catholics are not free to do what they want with the introduction of this bill.  It will criminalise the free expression of Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.  We will not be allowed state that homosexual activity is a sin and therfore cannot be the basis of any marriage.

    Oh yes….you secularists have got a fight with Catholics on your hands.  Do not impose your beliefs on us Catholics…..

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    No they don’t.  It will open the way for homosexuals to sue the Church for not conducting gay marriages in the Church.  It will discriminate against Catholics seeking jobs especially in the extraordinarily PC world of social services.  How Muslims manage to get jobs there is a mystery.

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    That is Catholic doctrine……and that is the doctrine the anti-Christs are intent on overthrowing.  In fact….they probably want to dismantle heterosexual marriage and elevate gay ‘marriage’.

  • NewMeena

    “ We will not be allowed state that homosexual activity is a sin and therefore cannot be the basis of any marriage.”
    I think anti-social behavior, such as demonising a minority group of our society, is already a criminal offence.

    “Do not impose your beliefs on us Catholics…..”
    Nobody is proposing to do this. Catholics are, and will be, totally free to believe what they wish.
    But Catholics are NOT free to demonise others who do not share their beliefs.

  • NewMeena

    As the government has very clearly said: churches, mosques and synagogues will be specifically protected by law from having to conduct gay marriages. 

    So long as Catholics, Muslims and religious Jews discharge the duties and obligations of the occupations that they have freely chosen to join, there can be no problem.

  • NewMeena

    Yes, it IS Catholic doctrine and belief. BUT we are not all Catholics or even Christians, and unsurprisingly, many of us do not share this opinion or belief in this doctrine.

    I am not anti Jesus Christ. I agree with B. Russell who said that he accorded Jesus with a very high degree of moral goodness.

    I think, were he alive today, that Jesus would probably approve of gay marriage.

  • NewMeena

    “…the science of Mathematics (the algorithm of natural law) ”

    I am a mathematician and have sometimes wondered if you were – especially when you use “if and only if” ( but not “iff” ).

    (1)  Does a non-empty set of reals bounded above have a limit?
    (2) “i” is the square root of -1.
    What is “i” raised to the power of “i” ?

    I don’t believe that mathematics is a natural science or an algorithm of some “natural law”

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    So….a group of shop assistants are chatting.  And one asks a Catholic what they think of gay ‘marriage’.  And the good Catholic answers that she thinks it is immoral and laughable.  What then?!  Is she prosecuted and loses her job?!

    This is why we Catholics will never accept this bill.  Because it makes criminals of us for stating our beliefs.  Catholics are the new outcasts…..and we will fight.

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    Your reassurances are just weasel words.  We are not stupid.  Already Thatchell has announced that they intend to fight the CoEs exemption.

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    And we are not all secularists and do not want secular beliefs which are lies anyhow….imposed on us.  Which is the point of this whole exercise really.  Equality (for something which is not equal) is just a fig leaf.

  • NewMeena

    “Yes you do.”

    No I don’t, no I don’t.

  • Sweetjae

    Hare lips, blindness, deafness etc as ypir examples are all proven scientifically. Again, no one can transform his or her nature RATHER he or she deliberately choose to have a gay lifestyle. A married man for 20 years wakes up one morning suddenly finds his wife as stranger? No, he chose to be gay!

    I thought Atheists are believers of Science and anything that can’t be proven by Science is nonsense, then why appeal to the unproven?

    You cannot transform a nature RATHER the “transformation” you are talking about is actually a choice.

  • Sweetjae

    Sorry about my grammar, english is just my third/fourth language option. Anyways, back to the subject, an algorithm is a defined sequence of operation and calculations thus when mentioned natural laws, I was refering to the physical-scientific laws, such as: Gravitational and Relativity Law, Hydro-Dynamics, Laws of Motion, Quantum Mechanics,Thermo-Nuclear, Probability and Electromagnetism etc which are all subject to Mathematical formulation, symmetry and equations.

    You said, “…wondered if you were”, well madam, i’m just finishing my last semester of Numerical Analysis and Topology, then all the way to Ph.D.

    How about you?

  • Sweetjae

    Give them your hand, they will take your arm, after that, your freedom.

  • Sweetjae

    Bullseye!

  • karlf

    Why, if possible, would anyone choose to be gay? How on earth can a heterosexual man make himself find other men sexually attractive? What evidence do you have for men turning themselves gay?

  • scary goat

     Well argued Sweet. And well spotted!  I didn’t notice that before.  The Atheists with their various relativistic  agendas (ie gay rights) always say there is no “proof” of God and “deduction” is not sufficient. They put the burden of proof on us for the existence of God. Yet when it comes to gay rights they totally reverse that thinking.  There is no proof (as far as I know) that gays are born that way.  yet we are supposed to accept their claims without proof. Well done :)

  • scary goat

     God help our children.  They are to be educated to over-ride nature and indulge in perversion. 

  • karlf

    “I thought Atheists are believers of Science and anything that can’t be proven by Science is nonsense, then why appeal to the unproven?” If neither argument has been proven, I tend to be drawn towards the one that has more evidence supporting it – the one that seems more likely. But unlike you I fear, I am willing to have my opinions changed

  • Sweetjae

    To answer your questions:

    1. Ambiguous, i dont know if this pertains to english grammar.
    2. Since square root of a negative number falls in Complex Number system thus square root of -1 is merely as “i”. Now “i” raised to the power of “i” (i^i) is:

    i^i = e^ i* “pi”/ 2 = e^”-pi”/ 2 = 0.207879…..infinity

    How about this:

    X^2+Y^2 = Z^2

    Where X,Y,Z are positive numbers.

  • Sweetjae

    Fair enough….i’m a man of science myself (math) that deals with a lot of formulations, laws that are part of a bigger law and so on and so forth. The Order of the entire Universe is based on Cause and Effect. It is extremely high probability and very logical that these physical/scientific laws of the Universe came from a Higher Law that transcends the physical reality. Where are these physical laws came from? It can not cause itself (law) to exist, furthermore, the order it follows is superbly Methodical!! By any mathematical calculation if you believe in the idea of “randomness” there is a 99.999999999…. % that you will not be assembled as a functioning organic being named, Karlf. Really, this number to us is like ZERO (0) chance, then add LIFE itself! Don’t tell me this entity called “LIFE” is brough into existence from a combination of chemical elements like what Dawkins liked us to believe? That is blind faith.

  • Sweetjae

    Why does a person (smoker) choose to smoke? Why does a man (phedophile) choose underage boys? How on earth can a heterosexual man make himself find another man (under 18) sexually attractive?

    Deviant behaviour….a choice.

  • Sweetjae

    Hi scary goat, thanks. Both sides of “there is God” and “there is no God” are based on probability, meaning both can’t be proven definitively (by science), but here is the big difference, ours is extremely, highly and logically tenable, theirs is way, way down the scale. The only way out of the Atheist’ position is through blind faith and deny the origin of physical reality.

  • Rkm624

    Are you a homosexual experiencing  these feelings first hand?

  • Rkm624

    With all the gay bishops how could they take a note on this and be honest to their God?

  • Rkm624

    What world do you live it?

  • Rkm624

    There is much study done on homosexuality even among animals. Do your homework before you speak.