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Muslims and Sikhs back Church on same-sex marriage

By on Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (PA WIre)

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (PA WIre)

The leader of the Muslim Council for Britain (MCB) has backed the Catholic Church’s response to the legalisation of same-sex marriage

Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB, said: “Whilst we remain opposed to all forms of discrimination, including homophobia, redefining the meaning of marriage is in our opinion unnecessary and unhelpful.

“With the advent of civil partnerships, both homosexual and heterosexual couples now have equal rights in the eyes of the law.

“Therefore, in our view the case to change the definition of marriage, as accepted throughout time and across cultures, is strikingly weak. In common with other Abrahamic faiths, marriage in Islam is defined as “a union between a man and a woman”, he said. “So while the state has accommodated for gay couples, such unions will not be blessed as marriage by the Islamic institutions.”

Murad’s comments follow criticism of the Government’s proposals from Cardinal Keith O’Brien and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.

The leader of Britain’s Sikh’s community, Lord Singh, head of the Network of Sikh Organisations, also said that the Government’s proposals were “a sideways assault on religion.”

“It is an attempt by a vocal, secular minority to attack religion,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.”

He continued: “We have total respect for gays and lesbians and we are delighted that there is a Civil Partnership Act. We believe that this gives gays and lesbians everything they need.”

The Government are now in the process of consulting on how a change to the definition of marriage would be brought about.

  • GFFM

    I wonder if Cameron will countenance the beliefs of these Muslims and Sikhs and their view of authentic marriage? I wonder how far his “sensitivity” toward religious minorities actually extends? I’ll make a guess, political correctness on the side of “gay” marriage will trump “sensitivity” and political correctness toward Muslims and others every time.

  • John Byrne

    These leaders of other faiths (like Catholic leaders) have no right whatsoever to tell gay people that “they have everything they need” by way of Civil partnerships.

    It is rather obviously up to gay people themselves to say whether or not they have everything they need.

    It seems clear enough that they actually want EQUALITY and not a special sort of legal document created for them alone.

  • Charles Martel

    Mr Murad says “redefining the meaning of marriage is in our opinion unnecessary and unhelpful”. Crikey, that was some Fatwa that will make them tremble in their pink boots! Why don’t you say what you really believe, that homosexual unions are all abominations? Because that is what the Catholic Church and Islam both teach, isn’t it? Or has PC got to the Muslims too?

  • Charles Martel

     It is not up to ‘gay’ people to tell us whether they have everything they need and to keep demanding whatever they please. Homosexuality is a disorder which cannot be promoted or approved of for the sake of the common good of society and the eternal salvation of souls. Sodomy is a sin crying to heaven for vengeance.

  • P. Tatchill Stonewill

    Why is the demand by a very minute minority consisting of homosexuals being listened to before the vast majority of the public who believe that the Civil Partnership legislation is sufficient.  Let them prove their case for marriage by showing their ability to procreate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682186715 Savia D’cunha

    People also have free will.  Civil unions is a secular issue.  As long, they don’t force the church to change her teachings on same-sex sexual relations. The church does not teach that all homosexual unions are wrong, only ones that involve sex.

    I think we should be fine with legal arrangements that are not marriage.The nature of marriage needs to be preserved.

  • A Normal Person

     I dont think this has to get to such religious and political extent that you have to pass laws to permit people to marry or not. Homosexuality is a disorder (its not their choice to love people of their sex) and therefore, they should have all the rights that “normal” people have. It should be their choice of same-sex marriage not a religious or political concern.

  • Charles Martel

     No, you’re wrong, Savia:
    “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.”Take a look: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

  • Anonymous

    Quite compassionless for a Christian aren’t you. If you read your catechism you will find it says that gays must be supported and helped in their hardship.

    Clearly that book has a thick layer of dust on it… You know it is possible to be against gay marriage without cruel – I suggest you try it.

  • Anonymous

    Ok Charles lets test your Bible knowledge on ‘abominations’ shall we… 
    How about food, (Of course I’m quite sure you comply with these):

    from Leviticus 11:

    And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. (No more sausages I’m afraid)

    Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
    (So no shrimp, crab, scallops or oysters)

    And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even.
    (hope you don’t have a dog or cat Charles)

    So, Charles as long as you do not keep a dog or cat, never eat pork and never eat any seafood that is not just fish – then you can talk about the ‘abomination’ that is gay sex.

    So sorry to burst your bubble Charles – in order to avoid this kind of humiliation in future Charles I suggest you actually read the Bible before commenting.
    Thanks, Paul.

  • Anonymous

    No one is trying to redefine the Catholic sacrament of marriage. What should be changed however is to allow gays to participate in civil marriage. In a registry office, and in the odd Church that (decides themselves) to allow it.

    For example I believe the Quakers expressed that they would be willing to hold gay marriage ceremonies.

    However, not to force religious institutions to hold any ceremonies against their will, nor for them to change their teaching.

  • Anonymous

    Charles I hardly see it appropriate to put ‘gay’ in quotation marks – what are you meaning by this? You don’t see people write ‘heterosexual’ or ‘straight’ like this.

    Its like you question there existence or something! Or as a belittling tactic. Really why would you do that?

  • Anonymous

    ‘Sodomy is a sin crying to heaven for vengeance’

    … yes, of course, but so is eating pork or shellfish

  • Scyptical Chymist

     Chambers dictionary:
    Gay – lively, bright, playful, merry ————–
    in modern use, homosexual (orig (sic) prison slang)

    Perhaps the quotation marks are used by the writer to differentiate the modern usage from the original quite contrary meaning.

  • Anonymous

    The meanings of words change. People simply do not use gay to mean the first meaning any more. (Hence why Chambers dictionary says ‘in modern usage’) And in the context of the article it would be impossible to be confused.

    He needs to remove the quotation marks, at the risk of not appearing to understand modern society.

  • Scyptical Chymist

     You are right (almost) about “gay” – the original meaning has been corrupted but some still use it as meaning “merry” etc.

  • Anonymous

    Yes granted. But not in the context of gay marriage!

  • Scyptical Chymist

     I very much agree!

  • John Byrne

    Small minorities have rights also, and they are not to be denied simply because they are in a minority. Indeed it would be right to say that the rights of a minority are in greater need of protection by a civilised society than those of the majority.

    There are many heterosexual marriages that do not produce children. Marriage is about much more than producing babies.

    The homosexual case for marriage is mainly one of demanding equal Rights.

    Incidentally you seem to be unaware that your ilk have already lost the case. There WILL soon be homosexual marriage.
    Not, at first, in the various Churches – since the new law will make a special case for them. But, very soon afterwards, Civil Rights lawyers will easily drive a coach & horses through such discrimination, and the Churches will be obliged to open the doors to homosexual marriages.

  • John Byrne

    Gay people are not demanding “whatever they please”.

    They are demanding (and they will soon get) EQUAL RIGHTS in respect of marriage.

    The totally good (and Christian) demand of equal rights, in respect of divers matters, has been sweeping the world.

    Some people, regrettably, seem not to have noticed.

    When you see, in the near future, homosexual couples being married in registry offices, first of all – and then very soon after in the Churches, it will be very good for the education and spiritual enlightenment of many.

  • John Byrne

    When gay marriages become law in the near future, the Churches will (first) have a special “opt-out” – i.e. the CofE and Catholic Churches etc will not be required to hold religious ceremonies for gay couples.

    However this is obviously discrimination. Civil Rights lawyers will very soon, and without any difficulty, obtain Court decisions (UK Courts and the European  Human Rights Court) declaring any such discrimination unlawful. 

  • Oconnord

    Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB, said:”…….marriage in Islam is defined as “a union between a man and a woman”.

    That’s not quite the “whole truth”, it would have been more honest and accurate if he had said:

    “.. marriage in Islam is defined as a temporary union between a male and up to four females, regardless of their age, soluble by the male at any time by repeating the words “I divorce you” three times.”

  • John Byrne

    You say : ”
    Homosexuality is a disorder”.

    Well actually not everyone agrees with this. Some evolutionary biologists see a possible Darwinian function in homosexuality. 
    If society contains some adults who are not burdened with the raising of children,  they would have additional periods of valuable time (and energy!)  in which to attend to other essential matters: the production of food, guarding of the tribe etc… .
    Homosexuals have also provided a disproportionally high (to their numbers) contribution to the arts and sciences.

  • GFFM

    Yes they do have a right. It’s called freedom of speech and freedom to have an opinion counter to yours. Also they have a right to defend what marriage truly is.

  • Anonymous

     As it stands religious institutions are not required to provide any marriage that they do not want to. Catholic priests simply refuse to marry couples that they see as unfit to marry.

    Marriage in a Catholic Church is a sacrament, the terms of which the Church is free to define – or else freedom of religion no longer exists. Therefore any case would simply be thrown out.

    If you want concrete proof simply look at the places in which gay marriage is already legalized – Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.
     - In none of these countries no such legal challenge has been put forward.

    I have discussed the issue of gay marriage with many people, and never has anyone wanted impose on a religion that they must perform gay marriages. After all why on earth would two gay men want to marry in an organization that declares gay sex an abomination!

    No, people are happy to leave the Church with its definition of marriage the sacrament, all they want is for state/civil marriage to include same-sex couples.

    Which is something that the majority of the public in fact supports.

  • Oconnord

    I agree totally with your point. I do think there will need to be further advances on two points:

    At the moment even churches that are willing to provide gay marriages will still be barred from doing so.

    Civil partnerships will not be available to straight couples who would prefer such an arrangement.

    I do of course realise that I’m advocating a “tier” system of marriage but I don’t think that is a bad idea. 

  • Charles Martel

     Hello paulsays. I write ‘gay’ because, honestly, I’m not sure what it means. When I was a boy, the word was never used in England. Does it mean all homosexuals? Does it mean only openly and aggressive homosexuals? Only effeminate homosexuals? Would all homosexuals accept the word ‘gay’. I have no idea, though I would doubt it.

  • Honeybadger

    Not according to the Catechism!

  • Charles Martel

    Thanks for the education, paulsays. Gosh, I had no idea. I am indeed humiliated. OK, now it’s all clear to me. Sodomy is OK! Phew! It’s amazing how one post on a website can overturn the Magisterium of the Catholic Church for 2000 years. I look forward to more revelations….

  • Honeybadger

    Like the old flick ‘The Gay Divorcee’?

  • Charles Martel

    Not everyone would agree that the Earth is round, John, but that won’t make it any less true.

  • Honeybadger

    Why, oh, why, oh, why are you banging on about pork, shellfish, cats and dogs?

    I notice that you have not quoted Acts of the Apostles with regard to dietary stuff.

    You are losing the plot. Seriously, losing the plot.

  • Oconnord

    Why are you so concerned about sodomy? I eat 3 or 4 times a day, so I would be interested about old laws about diet.

     I’ll leave the logical conclusion unsaid.

  • Oconnord

    True the earth is not round, it’s spherical. 

    It’s not even truly spherical due to gravitation pressures.   

  • Mal

    But, we cannot say marriage when we talk about gay unions. In accordance with our human nature when people from two different yet complementary ugenders unite there is a marriage.

  • Oconnord

    Well if you had no use for the word in a innocent sense, why are you confused about it now? 

    I think there should be a level of Hell for those who hoodwink their less smart brothers by simple tricks. 

    Do your toes feel warm?

  • Anonymous

    The Bible does not have many passages that condemn homosexuality. Most are found in the Old Testament. And two of the most quoted are found in Leviticus.

    What is wrong with adding some context to the Bible passages of homosexuality, by quoting text around it. 

    I hear all the time that it one cannot be a ‘cafeteria Catholic’ but when it comes to a great deal of passages in the Old Testament – they are simply ignored. Such as these. 

    How is it losing the plot to quote the Bible?

  • Anonymous

    Can’t be comforting to have contradictions between the Bible and the catechism

  • Anonymous

    I’m not quite sure what century you are living in. I’m finding it remarkably hard to believe your supposed naivety…
    But I guess it is possible you are not sure I suppose, so: 

    For the record the word gay refers to all homosexuals, it is usually the preferred word – as it was in fact chosen by themselves.
    It can encapsulate lesbians, but not usually.

    In the same way as you might refer to yourself as straight, they would refer to themselves as gay. Heterosexual and homosexual are more formal and therefore not used as much.

    Lesson over.

  • Anonymous

    Your comments are quite hilarious!

  • Oconnord

    What can I say, I’m ugly as a stump but do have a GSOH.
    That doesn’t work so well on dating sites.

  • Charles Martel

    I don’t refer to myself as ‘straight’. I refer to myself as ‘Charles’, and I honestly don’t know what these homosexuals call themselves, and I doubt whether they all want to be called ‘gay’. What do you base your superior wisdom on? The pronouncements of the politically correct elite?

  • Charles Martel

     paulsays,  Occonord says we are talking about old laws. Yes, they are laws from the Old Testament. In case you hadn’t noticed,
    there’s a New Testament too, which is now in force, unlike the Old.
    Some things from the Old were cancelled (diet), some were tightened
    (divorce), and some were kept (sodomy). Is that clear to you, old chap? Is that enough for your little lesson today?

  • Charles Martel

     Well, if you’re a Catholic, you cannot hold such a position, paulsays. Please listen to the Magisterium: “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.” Is that clear enough? Catholics may not hold your position. Please stop advocating it and try to conform your conscience to the teachings of Holy Church.

  • Charles Martel

    Is that the best you can do?

  • Oconnord

    And it is easier for for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail” Luke 16:17.

    Doesn’t sound like a cancellation of law to me.

  • Oconnord

    No…. I should have said gravitational pressures. 

    But thanks for the hint.

  • John Byrne

    Actually it’s nothing to do with gravitation. The Earth is oblate due to the progressively higher centripetal forces required as the equator is approached.
    These forces increase as the square of the tangential velocity, for points on and below the Earth’s surface.

    The point I was making about homosexuality perhaps having a Darwinian evolutionary function, is a serious possibility. It is considered such by some respectable biologists.

  • Oconnord

    I honestly did know that. I was stupidly trying to make a point that even a planet can change due to outside influences. It was ill-conceived and I pretty much hit post rather than delete.

    As to your point about homosexuality, I fully agree. It’s a view I’ve held for a long time, but admittedly I’ve no real evidence to back it up.

  • paulsays

     Well according to your own criteria the highest Catholic authority in Britain cannot be called a Catholic either…

    In supporting civil-partnerships arch bishop Vincent Nichols is supporting ‘legal recognition of homosexual unions’ something which you are saying rules me out as a true Catholic.