News

British opponents of same-sex church weddings are revolting

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron faced a split in his coalition Government and the wrath of religious opponents of gay marriage after confirming that gay couples could marry in churches, mosques, synagogues or temples.

In a plan unveiled to be unveiled next week, religious institutions that want to carry out same-sex weddings would be allowed to “opt in”.

The plan represents a reversal of the position set out earlier this year which proposed a blanket ban on same-sex ceremonies on religious premises.

Cameron, according to this Daily Telegraph report, was accused of breaking promises to religious groups. Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said the shift made a “mockery” of the consultation and said the move was “madness” which would “boomerang” on the Conservatives.

The National Secular Society has welcomed the announcement. But Keith Porteous Wood Executive Director of the NSS took the opportunity to blast both the Anglican and Catholic churches:

Church hierarchies are perfectly entitled to prohibit their followers from partaking in same-sex marriage, but it is an abuse of religious liberty and of the human rights of citizens to obstruct legislation permitting same-sex marriage in places of worship that wish to conduct it.

The Established Church further breached its covenant with the nation by even challenging Parliament’s right to make this legislation.

He added:

A church with such contempt for the human rights and religious liberty of citizens and for the sovereignty of Parliament should forfeit any right it ever had to the privileges of Establishment.

The Church of England is keen to claim that it operates on behalf of the whole country, yet its role in opposing same-sex marriage for denominations and religions is out of step with the views of the nation, and indeed even the majority of those in its pews.

The Catholic Church hierarchy’s resort to dehumanising language in this debate, such as equating same-sex marriage with bestiality and incest, further demonstrates its complete isolation from the views of public, and indeed those in its own pews. They use of such intemperate and inhumane language can only fan the continuing homophobia in the country.

Letters to constituents passed to the Telegraph suggested that at least 130 Tory MPs are preparing to vote against the plans.

It is understood that the change was triggered by Government legal advice that a complete prohibition would be vulnerable to legal challenge and open the way for further challenges against the Church of England and others.

But writing in the Telegraph, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said the Government had also heard persuasive arguments from groups such as the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism which want to carry out same-sex weddings.

My own personal view is that we should not stand in the way of this, especially if it means that those that don’t want to will be even further protected. It is a fundamental point of religious freedom that religious bodies should be able to make their own decisions on this issue.

For me, far from being a radical departure, this is simply one more in a long line of reforms which have strengthened marriage, ensuring it remains a modern and vibrant institution.

Cameron said:

Let me be absolutely 100 per cent clear, if there is any church or any synagogue or any mosque that doesn’t want to have a gay marriage it will not, absolutely must not, be forced to hold it.

The Coalition for Marriage, which gathered more than 600,000 signatures against same-sex unions, said it was “risible” that any legal safeguard would be able to protect churches from challenges at the European Court of Human Rights, forcing them to marry gay couples.

Colin Hart, its campaign director, said:

The PM is writing a cheque that he knows will bounce.

Although David Cameron has promised a free vote on the issue a large number of his own MPs voting against would represent a blow to his prestige.

There were also predictions that the bill could potentially be defeated in the Lords and warnings that the Government would be unable constitutionally to force it through under the Parliament Act because the Conservatives did not make gay marriage a firm electoral pledge.

35 Responses to “British opponents of same-sex church weddings are revolting”

  1. Angela_K says:

    Call me cynical but I suspect that Cameron has claimed to be pro equal marriage to make both he and his party appear to be egalitarian in full knowledge that his chums in the house of Lords will throw out the Bill. Cameron can then claim the moral high ground, that he did his best to get equal marriage into law but was prevented by the Lords. Cameron is batting for both sides.

    The churches want everything their way [don’t they always]; they have been assured that no church etc will have to marry Gay people if they chose not to but are still demanding that no church should offer weddings or indeed allow us to get married anywhere else.

    The religious have really shown their true bigots colours on this issue and have declared war on any supporter of equal marriage. Some of the comments in the revolting catholic rag, The Torygraph are venomous and hate filled and possibly actionable – some of the commenters must have serious psychological problems.

  2. Stephen Mynett says:

    Considering all of the homophobia and general nastiness coming from church leaders, I fail to understand why anyone would want to get married in a church, whatever their sexual preference.

  3. barriejohn says:

    As far as I know, what the ruling party has or has not promised in its manifesto has no bearing upon the use of the Parliament Act (except, perhaps, in a moral way), and the Conservative Manifesto DID mention equal marriage in any case. The words “clutching” and “straws” come to mind, as well as “disingenuous” and “desperate”!

    http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/parliamentacts/

  4. barriejohn says:

    In a letter this week, LGBTory told Mr Bone: “During your appearance you made a forceful argument that you believe same-sex marriage should be included in a Party’s General Election Manifesto and claimed that no Party did that in the run-up to the 2010 General Election. However, we would like to point out that this is an inaccurate statement.”

    The Conservative ‘Contract for Equalities’ said: “We will also consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage”. (16th March, 2012)

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/16/gay-tories-challenge-mps-no-mandate-for-equal-marriage-claim/

  5. DCBrighton says:

    Holocaust denier and my old bishop, the Bishop of Motherwell Joe Devine has thrown his hat into the ring.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/bishop-joe-devine-attacks-david-cameron-s-morals-1-2682424

  6. Robster says:

    Won’t it be fun when all the unused and unloved former church buildings become impressive reception centres. For the first time, full of happy relaxed (except for the couple perhaps) people enjoying themselves and looking forward to making the most of this one and only life. Reception centres pay tax too, unlike the halls of delusion that used to occupy the sites. Lots of jobs too! Sadly no more free wine and crackers on Sunday though.

  7. Matt Westwood says:

    “I fail to understand why anyone would want to get married in a church, whatever their sexual preference.”

    I fail to understand why anyone would want to get married at all. Not that I’d put anything in the way of two people who do …

  8. […] more from the original source: British opponents of same-sex church weddings are revolting Filed in: Religion « PreviousHistoric Church Moved To Chapel Hill Next […]

  9. barriejohn says:

    Most parents would prefer their kids not to be Tory MPs. Well – someone had to say it!

  10. angelo ventura says:

    Yes, gay haters are really revolting, repulsive and despicable.That said, why a gay couple should want to marry in a church is beyond me.No objection to those who want to do it…I simply can`t understand them.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Does anyone know who it is that Lord Scary is about to throttle in that pic? Suggestions?

  12. Stephen Mynett says:

    I actually think it is from an interfaith discussion with ratboy. He is saying “Now, if you approach from behind and grab the boy round the head like this . . . “

  13. barriejohn says:

    SM: “Interfaith discussion”. You made I laugh!

    http://www.jewishtelegraph.co.uk/leeds_2.html?

  14. MaryD says:

    What exactly has atheism got to do with normalisation of congenital mental disability?

    I can’t think you would all be saying “I’d LOVE my child to be blind/deaf/incapacitated” so why would you want a child to be sexually incapacitated?

    The purpose of the ‘established’ church is to give spiritual guidance to the nation, not for it to slavishly follow the whims of the current pack of un-elected Marxists. These are the people who told us that Civil Partnerships was the end goal, there would be no push for same-sex ‘marriage’. Then it was ‘marriage’ would not take place on religious premises. And so it shifts and the lies continue. Can’t be long before we will be into child brides, grooming by homosexuals is already going on openly in schools.

  15. Angela_K says:

    MaryD, the catholic apologist troll is back. Thank you for posting your ignorance and bigotry. It is you and your religious chums who have a “congenital mental disability”

    “Grooming by homosexuals in schools” get that from The Tablet or the Torygraph? Children are at risk from priests, in particular the catholic variety of which there is evidence a plenty; and muslim mullahs who take delight in the savage beating and genital mutilation of children.

    As to the purpose of the churches: they exist purely to extract cash from the gullible to spend on the hierarchy lavish lifestyles, a hiding place for paedophiles, provide meaningless platitudes and interfere with progress.

  16. barriejohn says:

    MaryD: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

  17. Sasha says:

    This nonsense about the Parliament Act (well, Acts – there are two) keeps being repeated everywhere.

    For the sake of clarity, there is no obligation within the PA for the proposed legislation to have been an election promise. HMG can use the PA to push this through if needs be.

    This misunderstanding is the result of one pig-ignorant Tory MP who confused the PA with a different parliamentary convention, and tweeted it: lazy journalists (including the Beeb’s chief political wonk, who really should know better) didn’t bother to fact-check the Tory twerp and this error is being endlessly repeated as fact.

  18. Tom80 says:

    Angela_K
    Just because I happen to believe in God does not mean that I,or anyone else who happens to believe,are mentaly disabled. A little courtesy always helps in a debate.

    If same sex couples want to get married and the Bill gets through parliament ,so be it. What I want to see,as part of this,is legislation that would ensure that no Church or Mosque could be taken to court on the grounds that by refusing a same sex marriage they were denying their human rights,as I fear this may happen.I have a close relative who is a priest and he tells me he fears that this a possible outcome of the legislation and could mean he ends up in court.

  19. Stephen Mynett says:

    “A little courtesy always helps in a debate.” That is pretty rich coming from someone who is standing up for the church, especially when you see some of the outrageous ranting from various vicars, priests etc.

  20. 1859 says:

    MaryD : So, let’s be clear, you think that all gay people are displaying a ‘congenital mental disability’ and are ‘sexually incapacitated’? If this is truely what you believe then some very fundamental truths about human nature have completely passed you by. I would guess you are still terrified at the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood. You are probably revolted by the idea of anal sex. And as for masturbation you probably see this as an act of defilement worse than bestiality with pigs.Then there is oral sex – the list is endless. Oh, I forgot to mention, this is what ‘normal’ heterosexuals get up to.
    If these notions fill you with revulsion, then there are iron bars growing inside your head and you have become a prisoner of outdated prejudices you have never questioned.

  21. Matt Westwood says:

    @1859: Or she never outgrew her childhood squeamishness.

  22. Barry Duke says:

    “I have a close relative who is a priest and he tells me he fears that this a possible outcome of the legislation and could mean he ends up in court.”

    If your close relative is true to his vocation, then paranoia and fear-mongering comes with the territory, Tom80, and his words should not to be taken too seriously.

  23. Angela_K says:

    Tom80. A little courtesy! I see, it is OK for you religious types to insult anybody who does not fit in with your perverted dogma but we have no right to turn that insult around and fire it back.

    The religious believe that the stuff in their bibles, korans etc is true in spite of the overwhelming evidence to show that much of it not; that is a delusion and delusions are a form of mental illness.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Matt: I have a very strong suspicion that all that “squeamishness” over natural bodily functions etc is learned behaviour. If so, that would explain a lot where the religious are concerned!

  25. AgentCormac says:

    Mary D

    “The purpose of the ‘established’ church is to give spiritual guidance to the nation…”

    Oh, really? And there’s me thinking it’s job was to feed the nation a pack of lies about life after death so its inhabitants would blindly fill the pews every month, keep them in their place by frightening them witless with nonsense about hell, and empty their pockets at every available opportunity to maximise the wealth, power and influence of those at the top of the festering ‘establishment’.

    As for homosexuals ‘grooming’ children in schools – not only is that just blatantly hysterical propaganda, I would point you to the ‘grooming’ that the church has openly and wilfully carried out in schools for centuries to ensure that each new generation of impressionable minds is filled with the exact same poison that has turned yourself into such an ignorant and dislikable bigot.

  26. Daz says:

    MaryD

    grooming by homosexuals is already going on openly in schools

    Citation needed, please.

    Also, please be aware that sexual grooming, whether homo- or heterosexual, is illegal. There is no proposal that I’m aware of to make it legal. If you see such behaviour, it is your duty to report it to the police; not complain about it on blog-sites and the like, or inform your priest, parson or pastor.

    Unless, of course (the cynic in me wonders), you’re redefining “grooming” to mean merely talking about homosexuality and not condemning it…

  27. JohnMWhite says:

    I see MaryD is back to demonstrate how heartless, vindictive and desperate to judge Catholicism has made her. Good show. Not sure which unelected Marxists you’re whining about though, the Liberal-Conservative Coalition earned close to 2/3s of the vote between them, and if you think David Cameron’s a Marxist you should see a doctor. Or open a book, whichever is least uncomfortable for a bigot who believes in her own piety so long as she’s able to kick gay people in the teeth.

    Tom80, why is it that people who spend so much time fretting about what people do in their bedrooms never seem capable of paying attention to the world around them? The legislation in question very much does say that churches which do not wish to host same-sex ceremonies will be able to make that choice, just as it aims to ensure those who do wish to are able to do so. Stop pretending that this is some sort of threat to anything other than the roadblocks to regular people’s lives being vindictively thrown up by the petty prejudices of a dying population of bigots.

  28. remigius says:

    “I have a close relative who is a priest and he tells me he fears that this a possible outcome of the legislation and could mean he ends up in court.”

    Tom80. How can you be sure he was referring to same-sex marriage rather than kiddy-fiddling?

  29. barriejohn says:

    JMW: I find it ironic beyond belief that the churches are actually carping about the fact that the government is now allowing them to do what they want. Previously, they were FORBIDDEN from carrying out same sex marriages, but they are now free to do so if they wish – but NOT being forced to. You can’t bloody please some people!

  30. Tom80 says:

    @remigius

    Tom80. How can you be sure he was referring to same-sex marriage rather than kiddy-fiddling?

    Because he is a close relative. I think people should be very careful when they make comments such as this,note what happened when the BBC implied Lord Mcalpine was a paedophile. Please do not imply my relative is a paedophile, he is not.

    @JohnMWhite
    As it now appears that the Church of England will not be allowed to even opt in to same sex marriage and no church can be taken to court on human rights grounds (according to the news tonight),then, that’s ok by me.

  31. remigius says:

    ‘Because he is a close relative.’

    Ok. You’ve convinced me. Because priests who have close relatives wouldn’t rape a child.

    Sorry for any misunderstanding!

  32. Matt Westwood says:

    “How can you be sure he was referring to same-sex marriage rather than kiddy-fiddling?

    Because he is a close relative.”

    Yes, but how can you *know*? And how do *we* know that *you’re* not lying? After all, you’re a Christian apologist, it’s an odds-on bet – 99% of what you communicate is lies, that goes with the territory.