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Forcing through the same-sex marriage Bill will bring Cameron down: his determination to do it shows how out of touch he has become

He has thrown away his authority as Tory leader over an issue utterly irrelevant to the nation’s problems. Is he mad?

By on Monday, 4 February 2013

David Cameron is setting up a cabinet level task force to combat Islamic extremism (Photo: PA)

David Cameron is setting up a cabinet level task force to combat Islamic extremism (Photo: PA)

It is now becoming clear that marriage, more than Europe or the economy, is the issue which more than any other will lose the next election for the Tories. They cannot now win. According to a ComRes poll, taken this month, quoted by the rather well-written letter handed in at 10 Downing Street yesterday by 25 Tory local party chairmen, 20 per cent of those who voted Conservative in 2010 agree with the statement “I would have considered voting Conservative at the next election but will definitely not if the Coalition Government legalises same-sex marriage”. That includes me: I voted Tory in 2010 — I didn’t just want rid of Brown, in my naivety, I was attracted by the idea of The Big Society, as were other Catholics, including Archbishop Nichols (maybe that should have made me think). That turned out to be an empty slogan. Now Cameron is about to enact same-sex “marriage”, which did not figure, either in his election manifesto or in the coalition agreement. I will never vote Tory again, so long as Mr Cameron remains Tory leader. I know that means Miliband in Downing Street: but how could that be any worse? The fact is that our polity has been wrecked, and our society gravely (though perhaps not, given time — at least half a century — irreversibly) damaged by those who have held power in this country over the last 25 years. There is very little real democracy left. Blair wrecked the constitution. Cameron is about to damage, very seriously, the institution of marriage, the building block from which our society is built. It all looks pretty hopeless, and if your assumptions are entirely secular, hope isn’t, indeed, a commmodity you can rationally harbour very much of.

Back to the Tories. The fact is that if 20 per cent of those who would have considered voting Tory at the next election will not do so if the gay “marriage” bill is enacted, then he cannot win. Nor can he ultimately survive as leader if over half his MPs vote against him tomorrow, as the Sunday Telegraph (which always has good information among the Tories) predicts. There is very little loyalty to the Tory leader left among his MPs, who are well aware of opinion among their own grassroots. According to yesterday’s Telegraph, around 180 Conservative MPs, including six whips and up to four members of the Cabinet, are ready to oppose the Prime Minister’s plan to legalise gay marriage: that leaves only around 120 Tories to vote for the measure. At the same time, the 25 chairmen or former chairmen of Conservative party associations I have already quoted have warned that the policy will cause “significant damage” to the Tories’ 2015 general election campaign. One chairman, who has quit over the issue, said “this is a policy dreamt up in Notting Hill”; a still serving chairman said it had angered the grassroots more than Europe. Cameron is tearing the Tories apart, and for what? It seems like political madness.

According to the Telegraph, among those who will vote against will be Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, and David Jones, the Welsh Secretary, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, who will either vote against or abstain; Iain Duncan Smith is expected to abstain. At least half of the Tories’ 12-man whips’ office, on whom Cameron relies to enforce party discipline, will also vote against as will senior Tories like Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Liam Fox and Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee. A good number of junior ministers will also vote against. The fact that this will be on a free vote can provide no comfort for Mr Cameron. Downing Street has made it plain that it regards this as an issue of confidence; and bullying messages have been put about implying that those who vote against the bill can forget any advancement in their political careers.

The letter from the Tory chairmen is too long (Cameron probably won’t even look at it, he’s so arrogant), but it’s worth reading, all the same. I quote simply two paragraphs:

“According to another ComRes poll in February 2012, 70 per cent of British adults agreed that ‘marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman’.

“To dismiss these strongly held views as those of an extremist minority, or a minority at all, would be wrong, as would the assumption that this is an issue which will swiftly be forgotten and abandoned by those who have made their feelings clear. We feel it would also be wrong to assume that the passage of time will remove opposition to same sex marriage and the advocacy of traditional conservatism. The largest faith groups, the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and Islam ,are strongly opposed to same sex marriage in common with most practiced faiths in Britain. Equally, we are sure you will agree that the Conservative Party needs to do much more to attract ethnic minority voters to the Conservative cause. It is predicted that by 2030, 25 per cent of voters will be of ethnic minority background, most of whom oppose same sex marriage.”

That final point really does show how out of touch Cameron has become. He has just had the bright idea, it seems (on top of his renegotiation with the EU, etc etc) of trying to make the Tory party more attractive to black and Asian voters. And he forces through this vote on gay marriage? Is he totally out of touch with reality? But why do I even ask the question?

  • Dan Wilson

    Marriage is suppose to be a union between man and a woman who love each other and who will have children, It creates future generations, It creates family stability and good environment for our children to grow up in, Family life is a rock for society.  I am not against gay people but it is my religious belief that marriage should be seen through the eyes of God and his church

  • scary goat

     Ummmmm…..all the time.

  • scary goat

     I am female and I want no such thing.  I have come across a few trendies who do, but certainly not a majority.

  • Chrismanchester

    By the time the next election comes around this issue will be ancient history in the minds of most people.  According to the polls, even today – the very day when the vote in parliament has taken place-  the subject was barely on the list of ‘important issues’ for most people.  By 2015 it will not even register.  Cameron has done himself no significant harm today and probably even won over some younger voters.

  • scary goat


    The Rite of Marriage


    Fr. H:   Dear children
    of God, you have come to this church so that the Lord may seal your love in the
    presence of the priest and this community. Christian marriage is a sacred union
    which enriches natural love. It binds those who enter it to be faithful to each
    other for ever; it creates between them a bond that endures for life and cannot
    be broken;

    it demands that they love and honour each other, that they accept from God the
    children he may give them, and bring them up in his love. To help them in their
    marriage the husband and wife receive the life-long grace of the sacrament.

  • Jonathan

    I don’t think you’re following the reasoning here, TheBlueWarrior.  

    Go back to what is asserted by Fractious.  Then ask yourself why infertile couples should be allowed to marry.

    Light bulbs and lamp sockets not needed.

  • Jonathan

    That’s all great, Dan – no probs.  In our society, though, how do you propose we accommodate those religions that believe that God calls to marriage same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples?

    The European Convention on Human Rights requires states to protect the freedom of individuals to manifest their religion.  What do we therefore say, as a society, to Unitarians, Liberal Jews and Quakers who sincerely believe that God calls and requires them to celebrate same-sex marriage?

    All religions in the UK are minority religions, remember. 

  • Jonathan

    I think that you might be right, kinkysox, about the house of peers.  Detta O’Cathain… George Carey… Tim Stevens… They’ll have a field day.

    Aside from the rightness or wrongness of the legislation (which you’re very clear about…) the bill is a dog’s breakfast.

  • Jonathan

    Just fewer tories, I suspect.

  • Elizabeth

    Such a disappointing outcome today, and one that will not be ignored.  Surely, such powerful people have more important issues to discuss and resolve - such as child poverty, youth unemployment and delinquency, the prison population, human trafficking as well as the decline of democracy in this country.

  • ninoinoz

     I’m afraid you’re deluded, my friend.

    1. Those involved in the anti campaign will most certainly remember.
    2. Fresh reminders will be coming in the form of lawsuits from gay activists.

  • Liam Ronan

    “I beseech thee, saith he, be not angry, Lord, if I speak yet once more: What if ten should be found there ? And he said: I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” Genesis 18:32
    Pray indeed, my friends, that ten just men might be found in the UK. Better still beseech the only truly Just Man, who lay down His Life for sinners, that the judgement we are courting will be mitigated if possible.

  • EditorCT

    By “traditions” do you mean false religions?

  • Jonathan

    Paulsays didn’t characterise any changes as progress or otherwise.  He used entirely neutral language, but made a good point about direction, trajectory and the seemingly long-term nature of many (but not all) societal changes.

    Whether you describe that as progress, or going to the dogs, or whatever… doesn’t alter the point that Paulsays very clearly made.

    Your personal value judgement on various changes is interesting, but beside the point.

  • LongIslandMichael

     As an American I want to point out that Gay “marriage” is not legal on the Federal level or now. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed and signed into law over a decade ago by the Congress and President. Unfortunately the train wreck that we sadly currently have as our president has instructed the US Attorney General not to enforce that law. Fortunately, on the flip side many states recognized the threat to traditional marriage by homosexual activists and  passed amendments to their state constitutions recognizing marriage as being only between a man and woman. Of the 50 states and 4 territories 33 have amended their state constitutions recognizing marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Only 2 states passed laws at the ballot box recognizing gay “marriage” – Washington state and Maryland. The other states where gay “marriage” legal (New York, Massachusetts, Vermont) were passed not at the ballot box by vote of the people but by extremely liberal state legislatures or by judicial fiat from liberal activist judges who turn laws upside down and sideways and who have complete disregard for laws and the US and individual state constitutions.

    So you can see that when gay “marriage” is put to a direct vote by the people it is a miserable failure when it comes support among the voters except in liberal states like Maryland and Washington state. It even failed at the ballot box in California one of the most liberal states in the country. Unfortunately the results in California were overturned by an activist liberal Federal Appeals Court that was made up of liberal judges one of whom was gay and wanted to “marry” his long term partner. The suit should never have been brought before that court and at most the judged should have recused himself based on his partiality. 

  • Acleron

    The dinosaurs of the letter are very much out of touch.

    The ComRes poll of Feb 2012, showed that 86% agreed that it was possible to preserve traditional marriage and be tolerant of others. The second question was:-

    ‘Since gay and lesbian couples already have the same rights as other couples, they should not be allowed to redefine marriage for everyone else’

    51% agreed with this.

    But as marriage between heterosexuals is not being redefined, the second question is irrelevant.

    So contrary to the doom mongers, everyone’s marriage hasn’t changed and a few more people can be happy. Who except the homophobes can complain about that?

  • Acleron

    Not zero, science is always advancing.

  • Acleron

    I keep seeing that statement, have you a reference to the evidence that it is correct?

  • Alex

    How can he be out of touch when most of the UK support equal marriage?

  • Bbach8

    Archbishop Nicholls must now withdraw all contacts with the sodomite enabling government, just like Cardinal O’Brien did with Salmond.

  • JabbaPapa

    Out of touch with the grass-roots of conservatism ….

  • JabbaPapa

    as marriage between heterosexuals is not being redefined

    I see — so X is to be redefined, but this will not redefine X ???


  • JabbaPapa

    None of those things are as important as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

  • JabbaPapa

    Cameron has demonstrated that he is a “New Conservative”, and that his political views are coherent with the corrupt ideology of Blair’s New Labour.

    Demagoguery and puritanical US dictated politicalism have replaced the unwritten Constitution of the United Kingdom with technocratic rule by decree.

    They should just get rid of Parliament, turn Her Majesty into an impotent rubber stamp for their decision making, and run the Country from an office inside Buckingham Palace. It would be no more dictatorial than the present system, but at least it would be more honest. Heck, that’s how things are done pretty much worldwide — why should the UK (hrm hrm sorry — the soon to be “England, Wales, and Northern Ireland”) need to be any kind of exception ???

  • JabbaPapa

    Whatever Doctor Moreau may be getting up to on that island of his, it’s not “Science”.

  • JabbaPapa

    Is there not, though, a greater ontological gap between fertile
    heterosexual couples and sterile heterosexual couples than between
    sterile heterosexual couples and gay couples?


    Because “sterile” heterosexual couples do – very rarely – produce offspring together anyway, despite all odds. We had a cat once, who continued to sire offspring (albeit more sparsely) after he was neutered …

    Infertility is NOT the same thing as the complete and total impossibility of childbirth.

  • JabbaPapa

    I don’t think you’re following the reasoning here, TheBlueWarrior. 

    Actually, he is — you’re the one not following my original reasoning.

    You’re treating “ontologically” as if it meant “superficially”.

  • JabbaPapa

    the compassion and love that you are expecting others to show towards you

    Towards me ??? What have I to do with this ?

    And why should you expect anyone other than the Christ and His Saints to be “a model of … compassion and love” ???

    I certainly do NOT expect that any individual should set his or her own self up as some kind of paragon of human virtue that people should be expected to strive towards — and this would of course include Conor Burns MP.

    Try practicing what you preach.

    Try thinking about what it is that I’m actually preaching, instead of assuming something that’s 180° its opposite…

  • JabbaPapa

    He used entirely neutral language, but made a good point about direction, trajectory

    If that were true, then there would be no cogent point contained in his post. It would be a simple platitude.

    It is wiser to assume otherwise, and that he had an intention behind his decision to write that post.

  • JabbaPapa

    Lies are one of the hallmarks of evil, unsurprisingly.

  • JabbaPapa

    By “traditions” he meant to point out a simple spelling mistake in his own post, where he used “tradions” instead.

  • JabbaPapa

    “gender” is an artificial concept having no biological meaning whatsoever in material reality.

  • Alban

    As has often been said, if the electorate were to be given a referendum on hanging I suspect there would be a majority vote in favour of restoring it. But that does not mean it is right.

  • Breff

    You may be right but I suspect that this issue will have lost its impact with traditional Tory votes by 2015, if not with you and me. With UKIP suveying a shot fox the referendum on EU membership will be concentrating Tory minds and this will seem like yesterday’s battle.

  • Lucypower

    You do realise that France voted in even greater numbers for same-sex marriage only a few days ago. It seems the church is the last bastion of bigotry in our world, ironic when Christianity is supposed to be a force for good.

  • AlanP

    This is the kind of attitude we should strive to avoid, indeed should condemn.  “Sodomite enabling”, as you disgracefully call it, was done in the 1960s (and rightly so).  This bill (which I oppose) is about something completely different, namely the nature of marriage.

  • AlanP

    Now that “gay marriage” is on its way to becoming law (hopefully with some amendments) perhaps we could turn our attention to the infinitely more important issue of 200,000 abortions-on-demand every year in this country.

  • Jonathan West

     I suggest that the first thing you do is to consider why the demand exists, and look into ways of persuading (rather then forcing) people who want an abortion to decide against.

    And in doing so, I suggest that you not all those tho have suggested all sorts of untrue correlations between abortion and mental illness, abortion and breast cancer etc, and make a firm decision that your case cannot and must not be served by lies on its behalf.

  • Katec481

    Who has nobbled him I want to know?

  • rjt1

    How patronising.

  • Katec481

    Lucy it is not bigotry.  
    Since when did two males/two females need the protection of the sanctity of marriage to protect the female while she bred young?  THAT is the purpose of “marriage”, and was brought about by society for… not to dress up in a frilly frock or pay less tax.No-one says gays cannot have civil partnerships and if they wish to live together that they should not enjoy the same tax/inheritance rights, but marriage is/was a RELIGIOUS ceremony.   If same sex relationships are forbidden by religious teaching, I would ask WHY they need that piece of paper – bizarre.

  • Jonathan West

    I suspect that a significant proportion of those who oppose same sex
    marriage would repeal the Civil Partnership Act 2004 if they had the
    chance, and would even repeal the legalisation of homosexual acts in the
    Sexual Offences Act 1967.

    If that is the case, would you please have the honesty openly to say so?

  • Nicolas Bellord

    Yes I would repeal both the CP Act and any proposed Act in favour of same-sex marriage.  I would not want to re-criminalise homosexual behaviour.  It is interesting that the original Buggery Act which criminalised it was brought in under the schismatic Henry VIII, repealed by the Catholic Mary Tudor and re-introduced under the Protestant Elizabeth I.

  • Benedict Carter

    I want to know from where has come this wholesale western denial not only of Divine Law but of Natural Law too.

    It’s got French Revolution/ Freemasonry written all over it. 

    And it’s come throughout the West in what? Two years? Three years? I don’t believe in cooincidences. From the UK to Portugal to the US, all over the West they have foisted this on nearly every country. There is surely a plan which these “leaders” of ours are working to. But who is giving the orders?

  • Benedict Carter

    Of course repeal it! We have to support with all our might the human FAMILY, and that means man + woman + children, not any other variant. 

    We are made completely human by the union of man and woman, the two sides of humanity. Any other variant destroys our humanity. 

  • Katec481

    I agree.  There is a vast plan covering a bigger agenda… there has to be for the man to plough ahead irrespective of the chagrin of his party and voters.

  • Jonathan West

    So, would you agree with the Wolfenden Report of 1957 which reached the following conclusion?

    “Unless a deliberate attempt is made by society, acting through the agency of the law, to equate the sphere of crime with that of sin, there must remain a realm of private morality and immorality which is, in brief and crude terms, not the law’s business.”

    It would seem to me that you are following the same philosophy, that not all things you regard as sins should be treated as crimes. Am I correct in this understanding?

  • Katec481

    And what of sister and brother?  Should ALL those who are forbidden to be together, also no longer be denied?  

    “For evil to take hold it needs only good men to do nothing”… or words similar.  

    In this instance many good men have said “No” to a religious ceremony which is not acceptable to religion. Why is that so difficult to understand? 

    All I can say now is “watch and learn”… the taking of one inch, etc.,

  • Jonathan West

    But other variants of the family already exist, e.g. widow and children with the man no longer present. Does this variant destroy the family?

  • Jonathan West

     Do you intend answering my question?