By Robert Oscar Lopez, Public Discourse
On September 14, 2013, I had the privilege of attending the “Summer University” of the Manif pour Tous. The latter is the French grassroots movement that sprang up last year as a counterrevolution against President Hollande’s same-sex marriage law. While I had been involved in the Manif since January, it was at the September conference that I saw the larger picture of what is happening in Europe. This year I also traveled to Brussels, Strasbourg, and London for the first time, on a mission to forge a transnational alliance for children’s rights.
Those who have defended marriage until now may feel beleaguered. They may be irritated with the press’s misconstruing of Pope Francis’s multiple comments about compassion toward homosexuals. Nevertheless, Europe ought not to be cause for pessimism. On the contrary, Europe has an active underground building Defense of the Family.
[...] I cannot explain the difference between France and England, but the strong sense of tradition in the United Kingdom simply never sparked the fireworks that went off across the Channel. Anglicans in England are still dumbstruck by the speed with which the same-sex marriage law passed earlier this year. Many of them are impatient with the leadership of the Anglican Church, seeing clear signs that their bishops are interested in avoiding controversy. Traditionalists in England are equally enraged at the mosques in London (I met with two Muslim groups), because Muslim leaders specifically told their rank and file to remain quiet about same-sex marriage in order not to anger the Labor Party leaders who have political ties to prominent imams. One sheik I met in London for tea and crumpets (no joke) had actually been driven out of his mosque for defying those standing orders and circulating pamphlets in a Muslim neighborhood, warning residents to voice their opposition to same-sex marriage based on Islamic teaching.
Britain’s aristocracy caved quickly in the House of Lords, scuttling any hopes of an eleventh-hour veto on the same-sex marriage law last summer. Then the House of Windsor failed traditionalists as well, for the Queen signed on without any fuss. One disadvantage faced by the English is owed to Henry VIII: without a large Catholic population, there simply wasn’t the massive edifice upon which activists, even if mostly secular, could rely for manpower and assistance, as there was in France.
The English are already seeing the visible signs of the ligbitist agenda, and there is cause for doom and gloom. A same-sex couple is suing to force the Anglican Church to marry them. Another lesbian couple, I found out from a source I can’t name, has already prepared to sue the Anglican Church in order to force it to baptize the baby they conceived by sperm-banking. Ex-gay counselor Mike Davidson just lost his license after a long battle with medical licensing authorities.
Yet England is not a place to be written off yet, for a few inspiring reasons.