By Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home
I was occupied with other things for most of Tuesday and missed the debates on the same-sex marriage legislation. It was, overall, a very high quality debate with both sides making important points. It contrasted with much of the preceding 'debate' in the media, on Twitter and in veiled threats
to 'out' MPs who didn't vote the right way. David Burrowes MP used the debate
to talk about some of the abuse he has faced. Some of it directed at his children. He worried that this intolerance of his own opposition to gay marriage was a sign of things to come: [...]
It is a great shame that the Coalition has not done enough to address the fear of religious people that they'll soon live in a country where more traditionalist views might be banished from the public square. There is a lot of illiberalism amongst so-called liberals and a lot of intolerance from those who once preached tolerance. While it's true that Maria Miller and other ministers have done much to address concerns about the narrow implications for religious liberty of the equal marriage bill there has not been a bolder, broader recognition that a whole series of equality laws and cultural changes are causing religious people and communities anxiety. There is, of course, no room for hateful attitudes but there must be room for the great faiths to enjoy freedom of conscience and association.
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