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Law, morality and difficult love

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Gay Marriage Comments Off

by Martin Davie

The legislation allowing same-sex ‘marriage’ in this country came into effect last Saturday and when asked for his comments on the matter the Archbishop of Canterbury declared in an interview with The Guardian ‘I think the Church has reacted by fully accepting that same-sex marriage is the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being.’

Archbishop Justin is obviously correct in saying that the Church of England has fully accepted that the change that has taken place in the law means that same-sex ‘marriage’ has become legal in this country. However, what is not clear is why he thought that this was a point that needed to be made. There had never been any suggestion that the Church of England would bury its head in the sand and contend or pretend that the law had not really changed.

However, accepting that the law has changed is not the same as accepting that the law should have changed. In subsequent comments on the Sunday programme the Archbishop went on to say that the government was ‘perfectly within its rights to make this law.’ This is a problematic statement because whether or not it is correct depends on what the phrase ‘perfectly within its rights’ means.

If what this phrase means is that the government had a legal right to change the law then it is correct. There was nothing that legally prevented the government changing the law relating to marriage in this country providing it could get the change in the law agreed by parliament and that the change received royal assent. These conditions were met and so the change in the marriage law was perfectly legal.

However, saying that the government changed the law in a legally valid way is not the same as saying that the government had the moral right to change the law in the way that it did. Recent history is full of examples of laws that were legally enacted by governments, but were nevertheless morally wrong. Two examples from Southern Africa will serve to illustrate this point.

First, following its election victory in 1948 the National Party in South Africa introduced legislation that entrenched racial segregation in every area of the country’s life. This legislation was introduced perfectly legally, but it was morally wrong in that it gave expression to a racist ideology and led to decades of oppression for the black majority in the country. Secondly, after Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980 the governing ZANU PF party introduced legislation that led to the confiscation of farms and other property owned by white commercial farmers. Once again, this legislation was introduced in a perfectly legal manner, but it was nonetheless immoral in that it was racist legislation that was designed undercut political opposition to the Zimbabwean government and to enrich the members of the ruling elite. The governments in both South Africa and Zimbabwe were ‘perfectly within their rights’ to do what they did, but what they did was nonetheless wrong.

What this means is that we cannot simply say ‘the law is the law,’ shrug our shoulders and get on with our lives. While accepting on the basis of biblical texts such as Proverbs 8:15, Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2: 13-17 the God given right of ruling authorities to enact and enforce law, the Christian theological tradition has always insisted that unjust or immoral laws have less authority than just laws and should in some cases be opposed. Thus in Summa Theologica I-II. Q 96. Art 4 St. Thomas Aquinas asks ‘whether human law binds a man's conscience.’ His response is to argue that:

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Christian Demonstrations Violently Attacked by Left Wing Radicals in Baden-Württemberg and Cologne

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

From Intolerance against Christians EU

March 2014: A new governmental sex ed curriculum of Baden-Württemberg has caused outrage among Christian parents. Several manifestions suffered serious attacks by left wing activists which were later identified as LGBT activists. Eyewitnesses reported in shock to the Observatory.
 
Eyewitnesses told the Observatory: Christian parents were shouted at with obscenities. They were spit at, eggs were thrown and little bags with feces or color. Cables of loud speakers were torn out. Pages were ripped out of the bible and used to wipe backsides, then formed into a ball and thrown at the parents. Christians were deeply hurt in this process. At least one banner was snatched from and destroyed in front of the eyes of the parents. Marshals were target with pepper sprays. Shouting by counter-demonstrator made the planned public speaking partly impossible.
Many parents reported to have been shocked at the amount of the hatred and at the inactivity of the police, and that their religious feelings were severely hurt.
 
 
 
 
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It doesn’t come much clearer than this …

April 3rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage, Marriage Comments Off

Here’s US marriage expert Ryan T. Anderson giving one of his sparkling clear presentations on the problem with same-sex marriage. If you want to see how you can talk comfortably to your friends and family about the importance of preserving marriage, watch this video.

It’s nearly an hour long but Ryan’s presentation takes the first 23 minutes – and it’s worth every minute of your time to listen to him.

His bio – just to refresh your memory:

Read here

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Same-sex “marriage’” and homosexuality in schools

April 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

From SPUC

What did you do at school today?

Every day millions of parents in Britain ask their children this question. In Canada, February 2012, when a Grade 3 (8-9 years old) boy was asked this question he told his parents that he had married his best friend, James, in a mock wedding ceremony. All the Grade 3 children at this school in Hamilton, Ontario got “married” and celebrated afterwards with cake and ice cream.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005. At the time, ordinary Canadian families may have thought that the new law to allow homosexual marriage wouldn’t affect them. But it has intruded into their lives via their school aged children.

During the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill through the House of Lords, Lord Dear, an opponent of the bill, said: “… we should reflect on the fact that calls have already been made for children to act out gay weddings in class.”

Parents in Britain may think that their own children acting out a homosexual marriage in school will never happen. However, parents, and all concerned citizens, should be aware of what is already happening in schools in the UK.

Here we look at how the new law on same-sex marriage will lead to the next generation growing up with an unquestioning acceptance of homosexual marriage and practices.

Read here (pdf)

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Gay Marriage No Thanks attends a fake gay wedding

April 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

“I am writing to inform you of the gay wedding between Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow taking place this Saturday,” gushed the PR agent’s email from Essex that dropped into the GayMarriageNoThanks inbox a few days earlier.

“We… actively invite protesters to turn up and be interviewed,” said the blurb. “The national press already confirmed are Sky TV, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Sun. A significant number of regional publications, radio stations and TV channels are also confirmed…

“Stars of The Only Way Is Essex are among the many celebrities set to make appearances at the wedding of the gay dads,” the puff piece went on. “Elton John has been invited,” they oozed.

“Yeah, right,” we thought.

Clearly the event was to be master-class in mirrors, hype and fluff. The Drewitt-Barlows were legally bound together in a massively publicised Civil Partnership ceremony in 2006; they cannot therefore legally get married until more laws are changed, probably in early 2015. So there would be a celebration, a party and a booze-up, but no marriage could take place and no marriage registrar would attend. The wedding event would be fun, but a fake.

We decided to go anyway. Having confirmed with the PR agent that no children would be in the media zone outside the event, and that we came in peace to explain our opposition not to protest, we set off with our GMNT posters and arrived just before it started.

Surprise, surprise: Sky TV was not there. Neither was The Daily Mail. Nor The Sun. Not even Elton John.

Read here


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The first harm is the biggest harm

April 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Michael Cook, MercatorNet

A bioethics expert argues that laws ensuring that every child knows its mother and father are unethical.

Britain’s first same-sex marriages will take place this coming weekend. In May Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish plan to exchange vows, making them spouses as well as parents to their two sons, Zachary and Elijah. Jubilant campaigners say that fears of an impending social calamity are nonsense.
 
In The Conversation, a law lecturer at Cardiff University, Leanne Smith, comments: “Ultimately, no institutions, religions, lifestyles or individuals have been harmed … The advent of gay marriage changes virtually nothing – but by validating gay relationships, it will transform lives and spread happiness.”
 
But something has changed: Elijah and Zachary do not know which of the two men is their father and they do not know who their mother is. The California birth certificates list Sir Elton as the legal father and Furnish as the legal mother. The biological mother and the surrogate mother may or may not be the same person, but they have been excluded from the boys’ lives.
 
The UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child guarantees both that “a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother” and that “the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration” in all legislation. Same-sex marriage not only violates these rights, but institutionalises the injustice. Children living within these partnerships are cut off from their mother or father, or even from both. Of all the harms flowing from the legalisation of same-sex marriage, this is the first and most inevitable.
 
Read here
 
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The Church of England’s official teaching on Christian marriage

April 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Marriage Comments Off

By The Revd Paul Eddy

The Church of England’s official teaching on Christian marriage is to be found first of all in the Holy Scriptures, in passages such as Genesis 1.26-28 and Matthew 19.4-6.

Genesis 1.26 – 28: 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Matthew 19.4-6: 4 Jesus answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh."

This understanding of marriage, in the first book of the bible, and in Jesus’ own words recorded by St Matthew, is the basis of the Marriage Service, as it appears in the Book of Common Prayer, which is one of the “formularies” or standards of Christian teaching in the Church of England:

DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

Although today the ‘language’ seems a little strange, marriage, the BCP says, was first, ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.

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Gay marriage, integrity and the church

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage Comments Off

Bishop Alan WilsonBy Ian Paul, Psephizo

One of the issues that has kept surfacing in the last few months, in the rapidly changing scene relating to same-sex relations, gay marriage, and the church, has been the question of integrity. Is the Church doing one thing, but saying another?
 
Jeffrey John pointed out some time ago that much of the Church’s current problem has arisen from the 1960s, when ‘liberal’ bishops started permitting and even encouraging relationships ‘on the ground’ that were completely contrary to the Church’s actual teaching. I have found it fascinating, in various discussions, to be accused of this hypocrisy myself. In defending the Church’s teaching, surely (it is said) I must have known that this was not the Church’s practice. As a naive, credulous evangelical, who actually assumed that people meant what they said and were committed to keeping promises they had made, I didn’t!
 
As Justin Welby has signalled, the battle over same-sex marriage in society is now over. But of course the battle in the Church continues—and in fact I think will now intensify. A notable commentator on this is Alan Wilson, suffragan Bishop of Buckingham in Oxford Diocese. Alan and I have had a good number of interesting exchanges over the last couple of years, and I think we have been able to do so whilst maintaining some mutual respect. (You can see his comments about me on the Commendations page of this blog.)
 
His latest comment has been characterised as a call that ‘Clergy should defy Church’s ‘morally outrageous’ gay marriage ban’.
The Rt Rev Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, said priests should be “creative” to get around restrictions on blessings for same-sex couples and that gay clergy who wish to marry should do so in defiance of the official line.
Given Alan’s call for ‘honesty and truthfulness’ and the need for integrity, I find this a strange recommendation on at least two levels. First, clergy have committed themselves to obedience to their bishop in all things ‘lawful and honest.’ You might disagree with the current position of the C of E, but it is clearly not illegal, and the position itself can only be called ‘dishonest’ as a rhetorical ploy. To encourage clergy to act as Alan suggests is to encourage them to break their ordination vows.
 
 
 
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Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow tie the knot in lavish Stock ceremony

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Will Watkinson, Essex Chronicle

As same sex marriages became legal this weekend an Essex couple became one of the first in the UK to tie the knot.

Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow were wed at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa in Stock on Saturday (March 29) in a £80,000 ceremony after same sex marriages became legal at midnight.

National media and Closer magazine flocked to see what is believed was the first same-sex marriage ever in Essex under new legislation.

Barrie, 43, said just before they tied the knot: “I’m very nervous but also very excited – the preparations have been a nightmare but we are very happy.”

[...]  Outside the venue a number of people from the organisation “Gay marriage no thanks” were in attendance.

Director of the group, Dr Lisa Nolland travelled up from Bristol she said: “We are here because we believe in the idea of family. We believe that a child has a right to a mother.

“We know after research that some children express a need for a mother as they get older.”

Alan Craig, 67, from the group claimed that the marriage wasn’t legal because the couple haven’t removed themselves from their civil partnership.

He said: “This marriage is fake. It’s just a PR stunt to promote their gay case.

Read here

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The Church must not let the State shape its understanding of right and wrong

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Rob James, Christian Today

I hesitate to rush to judgement, and I am always reluctant to criticise other church leaders publicly, but I must admit that I was more than disappointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury's latest response to the same-sex marriage legislation. In fact disappointed hardly begins to describe my feelings; despair might be a more accurate description.

I listened to the Archbishop talking on Radio 4 and could hardly believe my ears when I heard him suggesting that the issue was now settled and we simply have to "accept" the new law and move on. It seemed to me that he was encouraging us to roll over and submit rather than fight the good fight of faith.

Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting we engage in acts of civil disobedience. I am fully committed to the traditional Biblical understanding that Christians should do all they can to obey the law and to honour those who have been given authority over them. But I would argue that it is one thing to respect a law and quite another to accept it. If I accept a particular law it means I agree with its basic premise and like many, many others I have to say that this much celebrated law is at odds with both the natural order and Biblical truth. For these reasons I cannot, and will not accept it.

We do not need leaders who advocate unconditional surrender, we need spiritual leaders who are will to be prophetic in the way that Jeremiah was. He knew his people had turned their backs on God and would reap a bitter harvest as a result. And as so often his listeners turned on the messenger but Jeremiah knew what he had to do, and did it at great personal cost.

Read here


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Caterers who refuse to work on same-sex weddings face prosecution

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Alice Philipson, Telegraph

Chauffeurs, photographers and caterers could have to pay thousands of pounds in damages if they refuse to provide services to a same-sex wedding

Chauffeurs, photographers and caterers will break the law if they do not provide services to same-sex couples getting married on conscience grounds, the government's equality watchdog has said.

In accordance with new rules introduced yesterday, businesses such as florists, hoteliers and wedding planners could have to pay thousands of pounds in damages to same-sex couples if they refuse to work on a gay wedding.

The guidance, drawn up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and civil servants, makes it clear that "refusal to provide services to customers" is in breach of equality laws and all weddings must be catered for on an equal basis.

Churches, religious organisations and other groups opposed to same-sex marriage could be denied contracts with publicly funded bodies such as schools, hospitals and prisons, according to The Sunday Times.

Under the new rules, they could lose contracts or be refused grants for any service where their opinion on same-sex marriage cold be "relevant", such as marriage guidance counselling or during the process of adoption or fostering children.

Read here


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Get used to gay marriage, Philip Hammond tells Tory critics

March 30th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Politics Comments Off

Philip HammondBy Christopher Hope, Telegraph

Critics of the Government’s decision to legalise same sex marriage should get used to it and “move on”, according to a Cabinet minister who fought the reforms.

Philip Hammond said that his concerns about allowing homosexuals to marry were now history and the party had to get used to the new status quo.
 
The Defence secretary spoke out last November to complain that legalising same-sex marriage was “damaging” for the Conservative Party and was pushed through too quickly by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.
 
Mr Hammond had said he and other Tories were left “shocked” by the “tumultuous” pace of change and would have preferred if it had “gradually taken root”.
 
Asked on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 if he it was “a good thing for a Conservative Government to have done”, he said: “We’ve made that decision. Parliament made a decision to allow same sex marriage.”
 
 
 
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Accommodating Archbishop Welby

March 30th, 2014 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Doctrine, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Peter Mullen

Archbishop Justin Welby has told The Guardian: ‘I think the Church has reacted by fully accepting that same-sex marriage is the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being.” He added on this morning’s Sunday programme that the government was “perfectly within its rights to make this law.”

Two things then.

First, we know that Christians should continue to demonstrate the love of Christ for everyone. Welby’s words are just cliche, cant and touchy-feeliness. Secondly, while we might agree with him that the government was within its rights to pass this law, does this entail that Christians must accept it? Whatever happened to the Scheltrede and the Drowert – the prophetic word of judgement? Marriage is a Christian Sacrament instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency for, among other things, the procreation of children and the avoidance of fornication. Neither of these two things is possible in same-sex “marriage.” A same-sex “marriage” is not a marriage. The Book of Common Prayer directs us to the second chapter of St John’s gospel which tells how Christ “ordained and beautified with his presence” the wedding at Cana. In The Book of Revelation, Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is his Bride. Thus the Sacrament of marriage – which includes the definition of marriage – belongs to the Church. And the Church says it is between a man and a woman.

This is not to say that there are no other forms of personal and sexual relationships. But whatever they are, they are not marriage. It follows that anyone who declares marriage to be something other than what the Church celebrates and defines thereby desecrates the Sacrament

And it is the duty of the Archbishop to say so.

Read here

Read opinions on the future of the Church of England from Roman Catholics David Lindsay and Damian Thompson, and one from the Ordinariate


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29th March 2014: the day we un-named marriage

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

From gentlemind

[...]  “Gender”: Gender pertains to our attitude (Mind) towards our (physical) maleness/femaleness. Understood as a purely legal invention, Gender is the concept through which the State governs us as though we were states of mind (hence male/female/other). Man-made law has peeled the names Male/Female off of Body and attached them to Mind. Using the name Gender instead of Sex is dangerous, since it hides the physical reality of that which is being represented linguistically. Where the legal institution of marriage is redefined, the new definition gives marriage as a relationship between two adults (no mention of Male/Female). Some name this Genderless Marriage. When we use Sex instead, we clearly see what Genderless Marriage is – Sexless Marriage (legal permission to marry without marrying). If Past, Present, and Future are three towns along the same road, then that road is named Sexual Difference. Man-made law has placed a road-block on the outskirts of Present reading “Gender: road closed”. Since Gender means Sex, Sex now means “sexual activity”, not “sexual intercourse”. Since Sex now means “sexual activity”, Sexual now means “of sexual activity”, not “of Sex”. Since Sexual now means “of sexual activity”, Sexual Relationship now means “sexually active relationship”, not “relationship of the sexes”. Two women can be “a couple (of women)” but by virtue of their sexual sameness, they cannot unite/couple sexually. A man and a woman can be “a couple (of adults)”, but by virtue of their sexual difference and sexual maturity, they can also unite/couple sexually. The “Permanent Faithful Stable” concept is often used to try to justify sexually active relationships between, say, two women. But in order for a sexual relationship to be permanent, faithful or stable it must first be a sexual relationship. Since “sexual relationship” means “relationship of the sexes”, there cannot be a sexual relationship for two women to be permanently and stably sexually faithful to. If somebody is a boy, they are not a man. If somebody is a friend, they are not family/spouse. But if Boyfriend is “male in relation to sexual relationship”, Boyfriend is a double disguise (sexual immaturity/Boy instead of maturity/Man, and non-sexual relationship/Friend instead of sexual union/Spouse). Boyfriend is Husband. The prefix Trans means “Across”. Since across pertains to direction, “Across” means “across from/to”. Since there are two sexes, “Transsexual Man” means “across from woman/to man”. Since it is not possible for the body to cross from female to male, “Transsexual Man” means Woman. Since Gender pertains to Mind, “Transgender” means “across from one Mind/to a different Mind”. To say there is a third sex is to say purple is made from blue, red, and a third colour. This is refuted by every past instance of having made purple from “only two of the three colours” (both colours). A third sex would be contradicted by the body of everybody who has ever existed. Intersex means “between the (two) sexes” (neither male nor female). But if there can be no third sex, an intersexed person can only ever be non-sexed, male, or female. Since a “Lady-boy” is a man, he is neither lady nor boy nor therefore lady/boy. The name is a double hybrid, as it features both sexually mature female and sexually immature male.

Read here

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Dr Jeffrey John: Most Church of England people agree, same-sex weddings ‘have God’s blessing already’

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

From Pink News

Now that same-sex couples can marry in England and Wales, Britain’s most senior openly-gay cleric the Dean of St Albans Dr Jeffrey John has written for PinkNews to congratulate couples getting married, and to reassure them that they “have God’s blessing already”.

Along with very many Church of England people (in fact I think most of them, despite the impression that is given by the official spokesmen) I am overjoyed that marriage is now possible for gay people, and I wish those who are getting married today and in the future every happiness.

I don’t doubt that God is rejoicing too, because when two people love each other and commit themselves to one another in this way, they are expressing the deepest part of themselves, the part that is closest to God’s own nature as Love.

Read here


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David Cameron welcomes first gay marriages

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

Prime Minister says change to the law on same-sex marriage is in keeping with Britain's proudest traditions – but poll suggests it will cost Tories votes

Gay marriage will make British society stronger, David Cameron has insisted as an historic change to the meaning of matrimony comes into effect.

Mr Cameron said the introduction of same-sex marriage in England and Wales – after a debate which bitterly divided his own party and pitted church against state – was a tribute to “the sort of country we are”.

Writing in PinkNews, the gay and lesbian website, he said the redefinition of marriage was in keeping with Britain’s “proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth”.

But opponents of the change said it had “ripped up” the centuries-old understanding of marriage and divided the country.

New polling seen by The Telegraph also shows that the issue could cost the Conservatives significant votes in the local and European elections in May.

The ComRes survey found a quarter of 2010 Tory voters are now less likely to support the party as a result – more than twice as many as were attracted by the change.

It also underlined how gay marriage had bolstered gains made by the UK Independence Party from the Conservatives, with almost half of Ukip supporters saying the issue made them less likely to vote for the Tories.

Colin Hart, director of the Coalition for Marriage, which campaigned against the change, said: “David Cameron was right when he said that gay marriage was a vote winner – I just don’t think he meant the beneficiary to be UKIP."

Read here


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Gay marriage: bishop of Salisbury gives backing to same-sex weddings

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

Bishop of Salisburyby Andrew Brown, Guardian

The Church of England's divisions over gay marriage have been reopened by the bishop of Salisbury, who has issued a statement praising the couples who will get married and assuring them of his prayers and good wishes.
 
The Right Rev Nick Holtam's supportive remarks on the eve of the legalisation of gay marriage express the views of a significant body of dissent within the Church of England, unhappy with the formal position that prevents Anglican clergy from marrying partners of the same sex.
 
Gay marriage, the bishop said, "embodies a commitment to be faithful, loving, and lifelong. These are virtues which the Church of England wants to see maximised in society."
 
Although Holtam was one of the signatories to the recent letter from the house of bishops – one of the three sections of the General Synod of the Church of England – prohibiting clergy from marrying same-sex partners, his remarks show attitudes in the church hierarchy are softening in line with those of their congregations.
 
Polls suggest that support for gay marriage is widespread among younger churchgoers, but every expression of liberal or humane sentiment enrages some conservatives who maintain that the church is free from homophobia.
 
Read here
 
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The C of E: Gayer, Grayer … & Going Away?

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage Comments Off

By Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

[...]  I highly doubt that if the C of E changed itself to fit every social liberal’s ideal, that it would win a single more convert or Sunday worshiper. It just doesn’t happen. This is the great liberal hope: that if the Church changes itself to suit the times, that it will revive. Yet as we know, the churches that have done this in the United States are continuing their historic collapse, in spite of trying to accommodate the world. Those churches that have resisted are also in decline, but generally speaking, doing so more slowly. I’m not sure what Linda Woodhead means about there not being an “absolute decline” in religion in her country, unless she’s talking about self-reported religious sentiment. But that doesn’t do the C of E, or any institutional church, any good.

Anyway, as an outside observer, it seems to me that as a matter of sociology, a church whose clergy feel no compunction against following the church’s rules about something as foundational as Christian marriage is not a church that’s coherent, or has a future within its society. It’s notable how quick progressives within these Protestant churches — for example, this Methodist bishop — refuse to play by the rules of the church, and dare the orthodox within those churches to do something about it. Which, increasingly, they won’t do. Interesting times.
 
Read here
 
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The norm!

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage Comments Off

From Ancient Briton

TV commentators among others are working themselves into a frenzy as 'gay marriage' day approaches. In a pathetic vote buying move, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has decided that the Rainbow flag will be hoisted over Whitehall to mark the occasion. A sort of metaphorical 'Jolly Roger' designed to say 'up yours' to the over 668,000 Britons who signed the Coalition for Marriage petition only to be ignored by the governing coalition.

 Was it coincidence I wonder that the BBC's Question Time was held in the 'gay capital', Brighton, last night where the audience seemed to think that the only expression of love is marriage. What does that say about hetero-sexual couples who are shunning marriage? Love is love but there wasn't much love shown towards the two brave ladies in the audience who stood against the rest to defend the traditional principle that marriage is the complimentary union of one man and one woman. My impression from the debate was that the audience imagined there was something profoundly wrong with anyone who had not been bitten by the Zeitgeist.
 
As predicted each demand has led to another. Not satisfied with civil partnerships, same-sex marriage was being demanded as a right immediately afterwards. Having achieved that goal there are demands that the Church conform. Practicing Anglican, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow who owns a surrogacy company and his civil partner Tony, the 'gay dads' of five, will be among the first to undergo a civil marriage ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, but still intend taking the Church of England to the European Court if necessary so that they can have a church wedding ignoring "the very fact that you take another believer to court means you have lost the battle already (1 Corinthians 6).
 
Read here
 
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Religious leaders support marriage for same-sex couples

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Gay Marriage Comments Off

Joint press release from the Cutting Edge Consortium and the LGBTI Anglican Coalition

We rejoice that from tomorrow same-sex couples will be able to marry in England and Wales.

As persons of faith, we welcome this further development in our marriage law, which has evolved over the centuries in response to changes in society and in scientific knowledge.

We acknowledge that some (though not all) of the faith organisations to which we belong do not share our joy, and continue to express opposition in principle to such marriages. We look forward to the time, sooner rather than later, when all people of faith will feel able to welcome this development.

Read here

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