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UK Equality Minister: Church’s opposition to same sex marriage is ‘Dark Age’ homophobia

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  1. Featherstone is right. Opposing equal marriage is thinly veiled homophobia that belongs in the annuls of history not in the 21st Century.

    Celebrating legal, consensual love in an equal manner regardless of orientation is crucial in a respectful and honourable society.

    1. annals*
      Thank goodness you didn’t mis-spell it s a anals, or you might have annulled your comment.

      1. ;-)

        Although in some ways perhaps some of the homophobia does belong in the anals of history too

        1. turd burglars clinic 12 Mar 2012, 9:00am

          As does polygaphobia, of which you are a proponent!

        2. |Ignore the troll.

    2. Poo on the penis..-..eu.uu.g.h! 12 Mar 2012, 2:51pm

      In your mind!

    3. Swansea_1973 12 Mar 2012, 8:08pm

      As a Gay Man, I am about showing the love, to the person that I love not all the frills and bollocks of Marriage and Churches and Venues Etc.. to a load of outsiders, has being in love changed in 2012? who cares about Marriage these days, gay, straight whatever, its an outdated practice. A piece of paper, a bit of gold and a load of on lookers can’t make a person loyal or stay where they don’t want to stay, abolish this Marriage crap, don’t go extending it to Same Sex couples, ban it all together, its just a Sham and bollocks whatever your sexual preference.

  2. The point is so obvious, but in the hysterical atmosphere that some Churches are whipping up she is right to spell it out. Civil marriage and equality under the law are principles of the pluralistic secular state that religions have NO right to interfere in. It’s none of my business if they want to believe in God or the Easter Bunny; it’s none of their business to stop me having a civil marriage.

    1. Rashid Karapiet 12 Mar 2012, 12:24am

      Get real. What’s more important: agitating for church bells and orange blossom and all those trappings of ‘proper’ marriage? Or trying to do something about the recent government-sponsored? supported? massacres in Iraq? Of course, Lynn Featherstone is enthusiastic – she doesn’t need to do anything about massacres and persecution of homosexual people around the world – she doesn’t even need to speak about all that messy stuff not while there’s all this lovely juicy gay marriage stuff to enthuse about. As I sau, get real.

  3. Lynda Yilmaz 11 Mar 2012, 9:47am

    Quoting Cardinal O’Brien ‘…universally accepted human right…’ I don’t know what he’s doing talking about ‘human rights’ when he is a member of a church which ‘universally’ doesn’t know the meaning of human rights! Anyway, apart from that I like Featherstone’s comments. She sums things up nicely.

    1. billywingartenson 18 Apr 2012, 7:25am

      obrien operates on the idea that………..

      if you tell a lie often enough and outrageous enough, it will be seen as the truth.

      Of course it was his guy Goebbels who used that tactic to get another catholic elected to Chancellorship of Germany in 1933

      then there is the German pope who UNexcommunicated bishop williamson, a holocaust denier.

      And lets remember that the CoE is a catholic church, just doesnt kiss the butt of the pope except in part re marriage equality

  4. Keith Farrell 11 Mar 2012, 10:03am

    My spouse is going to mass this morning, yes he is catholic, but if he comes back very upset about whatever this letter is, I will lay a complaint against the church. maybe its time that the cardinal, get charged under homophobic laws, which I am sure there are in this country

    1. Possibility for claims over psychological injury too?

    2. Your spouse would be better off growing out of a belief in bronze age superstition.

  5. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2012, 10:17am

    Here Here, Ms Featherstone!!

    1. Rashid Karapiet 12 Mar 2012, 12:26am

      So the ineffable JockStrap is back with his infantilism intact. How can he be taken seriously?

      1. and Rashid is back with about as much relevance as a chocolate teapot.

        1. Poo on the penis..-..eu.uu.g.h! 12 Mar 2012, 2:50pm

          What an retarded compariosn. You use an analogy of ineffectivemness (chocolate teapot) to make a case for irrelevance.

  6. I’m really glad to see a senior member of the government calling the church out for it’s mediaeval attitudes. It’s time that the secular leadership of this country stop kowtowing to the church. Equal rights for LGBT people is a secular issue and the church should be told clearly that it has no place in this discussion.

  7. I think that kids attending church today could be very upset when they hear what is being said. There are quite a lot of unexplained teen suicides, and I think some may be put down to the alienation they feel when they realise their church and family don’t approve.

  8. I think Lynne Featherstone is doing a FANTASTIC job!!!

  9. Though I’m concerned about the Government’s reluctance to discuss straight civil partnerships and religious marriage equality, here Featherstone is bang on.

  10. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 11 Mar 2012, 11:42am

    Modern politics is all about the people and their rights, not about the church and what they want to preach. It’s a simple fact that marriage, as a ceremonial tradition, predates the Pauline Heresy by many thousands of years, and is a complete fabrication (bigotry) that allowing equal marriage would undermine society – if only such things were possible!

    It was only in 325CE that some holy-holy rich men batting for their God, wearing what could only be described as bleached togas, became concerned with marriage ie. obsessed by the money that could be accrued from the activity of blessing all marriages by other rich guys in frocks so to “save” the happy married couple from their own lust. It is purely speculation that these “traditional” men never tire of obsessing about other peoples sex lives because they can’t get it on themselves, so to speak.

    Sorry fed up reiterating the same lines over and over… Except to say they don’t scare me, they belittle my race.

  11. GingerlyColors 11 Mar 2012, 11:48am

    Today is Sunday and no doubt many vicars and priests will be looking out from their pulpits and altars across rows and rows of nearly empty pews. Maybe they should look at themselves and ask why people are not going to church anymore. As their congregations decline they see it as the coming of Armageddon and distort the teachings of the Bible to blames the LGBT community for it. In my view the propohecy of Armageddon is merely the coming of the end of the Christian/Muslim era and something more up-to-date an in keeping with modern living will eventually supersede it. This process has already started but may take several centuries to run it’s course.

    1. billywingartenson 18 Apr 2012, 7:32am

      An englishman told me that only about 15% f the people there attend church on a regular basis

      EWTN (catholic TV here in the states) said last year that only about 13% of the people in France attend church on a regular basis, which prob means half that number.

      when il Papa of the paedophile church went to spain, it was reported that only 15% of the people go to church on any regular basis. Maybe the people realize that the church supported the fascist Musolini.

      BTW given what i read of England and see in the states, despite the battles there maybe we should give up our independence and join back with Britain.

      And leave the southern conservatives who help teach the vatican how to hate in their own country.

      Then turn it into a prison and totally separate men from women.

      50 year and the problem is solved as the bigots go to their reward.

  12. Oh, thank goodness, the government is standing firm on this issue. Tony Blair has also voiced his ‘strong support':

    independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/blair-takes-on-the-pope-by-backing-gay-marriage-7555115.html

  13. Well said, Lynne Featherstone! Nice to hear some straight-talking for once rather than grovelling round homophobic attitudes just because they happen to be justified by religion.

    Civil marriage is no business of any religion at all. They already stop people getting married because they’re divorced/not the right religion etc etc and they have NO right to interfere in civil marriage whatsoever. Next up, they’ll be demanding that the state doesn’t remarry divorcees or trying to influence policy in some other way.

    GingerlyColors, you’re right about the reasons for dwindling church attendance, yet the churches are to blind to see that and would rather transfer the blame to somebody else. Sad.

    1. *TOO blind

  14. O/T just listened to a debate on Sky News with Peter Bone, A catholic journalist and a women representing marriage equality (whose name I didn’t catch). The woman representing marriage equality began by saying, “Well I don’t believe in marriage anyway” which would have been music to the ears of the opposers.
    Couldn’t Sky have invited someone on who believed in marriage in order to defend marriage equality?

    1. Similar to having Boy George argue against that self-hating homophobe in the David Mitchell interview. Boy George starts off by saying the whole argument is irrelevant.

      1. I don’t know about that, Boy George – whatever you think of him and his views regarding same sex marriage, he said some wonderful things about being accepting and even liberated by his own sexual orientation. Surely that is inspiring?

        And that author for the Catholic Herald – poor boy. Before he starts going on about elderly queens et cetera – he should look up heterosexism.

    2. billywingartenson 18 Apr 2012, 7:34am

      peter bone – is that his real name or his catholic name to the kiddies he probably molested?

  15. Any bill on marriage equality will be stalled by opposition from the bishops in the House of Lords. Another reason why they should be removed.

    1. Paddyswurds 11 Mar 2012, 1:22pm

      @David….
      ….can’t see David Cameron letting them away with that. Their position in the Lords is tenuous enough without crossing the PM. Perhaps that is what will finally see the end of an unelected second chamber. Heres hoping…

  16. I think that if the Bishops want to speak out against the equality of marriage they should look at forced marriages of women in communities in the UK and elsewhere. Is this what their idea of one man one woman, and the sanctity of marriage, is all about? Isn’t this what should be condemned as being “grotesque” No they would rather speak out against LGBT Equality. They should think about those who are being harmed physically and emotionally because of forced marriage and leave alone, those who love each to celebrate that commitment to each other in marriage. Gay marriage harms no one.

  17. As Catholics were preparing to go to their church services this morning they might have just had time to catch the start of the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One.

    They would have seen Robert Pigott’s extremely one-sided news report preparing the ground for the church propaganda :-

    http://youtu.be/j9dOiJmmHXY

    Are those quotes on a cardinal red background just there for deaf people, or are they there to underscore the Catholic view?

    1.25pm Just seen the the same report again at on the BBC News Channel. But now they’ve added John Sentamu’s comments also made on this morning’s Andrew Marr Show. The pro-gay side wasn’t put at all.

    1. Would that be the BBC being dominated by their Cathollic leadership in the DG and Chair of the BBC Trust?

    2. The BBC is still pretty much putting the anti-gay case. Here’s the BBC News Channel report and discussion from soon after 4pm this afternoon

      1. I have not seen the BBC mention Lynne Featherstone (let alone do an interview with her) once.

      2. auntie babs 11 Mar 2012, 9:36pm

        if i hear most gay people don’t want gay marriage one more time I shall scream……….even if it was true it does not mean that all gay people should be denied it.

    3. The main early evening news on BBC One covered the story. The report was 2′ 27″ long. Peter Tatchell was given less than 15 seconds to put our case. This is what he said: –

      “The government proposals are simply about civil marriages in registry offices. Not about religious marriages at all. So the Church has no legitimate justification for demanding that it has a veto over gay marriage.”

      That was it. No-one else spoke for marriage equality, but several spoke against it.

      1. I have made a complaint to the BBC about their bias favouring the RC church and would encourage others to do likewise.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/?reset=#anchor

  18. Another Hannah 11 Mar 2012, 2:28pm

    Truth is the Catholic church is a bunch of parasites who want to keep all that ridiculous exploitation stuff going so that they can keep their blood sucking probiscus stuck in all the peasants they can. My own childhood was ruined by the Catholic church and their lack of care for their menbers. Thank God I went to a C of E secondary school where effort and ability counted rather than who yur parents were and the Catholic churches need for money and all they can get….those priests just keep turning up wanting their money for the hounour of their wonderful visit, making the poor poorer and poorer and poorer.

  19. Is my ‘faith’ in the Liberal Democrats being reignited? A decisive statement of fact and belief in the nation as a nation – dusting off my membership card.

    besides, religious bigots – According to your story book, it says all (hu)men are ‘created’ equal.
    nuff said

  20. GulliverUK 11 Mar 2012, 2:43pm

    People need to make sure they sign the petition for equal marriage, and get everybody they know to sign it.

    http://www.c4em.org.uk/

    The petition won’t decide it, nor will opinions polls, but they will use their opinion poll as more evidence against us.

  21. Lynne is wonderful – brave, forthright and determined to stick to her principles in the face of this onslaught. Kudos to her and why have her opinions been ignored by the BBC?

    I’m no LibDem, but at the next election I hope folks in her Wood Green constituency make an exception for her. She has a moral fibre lacking in politicians of all colours.

    1. BBC News Channel summary at 8.15pm this evening –

      “Catholics have been urged to protect the true meaning of matrimony as the Catholic church steps up its campaign against gay marriage”

  22. Gene Touchet 11 Mar 2012, 4:57pm

    Of course it’s Dark Ages rhetoric. The whole of religious theology is based on pre-historic societies’ attempts to survive.
    This survival depended on the birth of as many children as possile. Children were a commodity; the commodity’s value was enhanced when a proprietor could be established. Thus, marriage.
    This continued until recently, in the history of humankind.

  23. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9135181/The-case-for-gay-marriage-is-fundamentally-conservat

    Conservative case for gay marriage in, surprise surprise the Telegraph, and all the more welcome for that.

    1. Your link is broken. Try this: http://goo.gl/sv7hX

  24. Well done LF!

    “…This is in part to ally the fears of religious critics but PinkNews.co.uk understands that if significant numbers of people and organisations call for this (ie religious wedding) during the consultation period that opens this week, the Government will consider adding provisions to legislation. ”

    LGBT want marriage equality so of course that means equal marriage rights and in the UK we have both civil and religious marriages so YES we do want the option of a religious marriage if that religious org will allow it. IT’S OBVIOUS!!!

  25. I guess I am being really thick, but what’s the difference between civil partnership & “gay”marriage?

    1. Some Christians don’t like the prospect of gay people using the word ‘marriage’ because, they say, it’s reserved for one man and one woman. If they read their bilbles they will see that in Christ there is no male and female. So really they’re making a fuss about nothing.

    2. There is NO difference between civil partnership and gay marriage, that’s why it’s so important that we stop using the term “gay marriage”. “Gay marriage” is a new invention and that falls right into the anti-gay argument that we are looking for “special rights” when in fact we are looking for EQUAL MARRIAGE or MARRIAGE EQUALITY. We are looking to join the EXISTING institution, not form a new one.

      Your confusion is valid. Every time we use the term “gay marriage” we foster this confusion.

      1. i agree ith Hayden – ‘gay marraige’ implies something different from ‘marriage’. it is rhetorically devisive which is exactly what is wrong with CPs. yes, marriage equality, not ‘gay marriage’.

  26. This is a watershed moment in my view. Having left the UK 19 years ago I admit I haven’t kept up to date much with UK affairs since then, but has there ever been such a strongly worded attack on church leaders in the UK by a government minister before in our lifetimes?

    I am absolutely delighted with Mrs. Featherstone’s words.

  27. -Like I’ve said many times, no religious people/buildings should be forced to perform same-sex marriages, just like I shouldn’t be forced to abide by their rules. Although, goverment officials/buildings and wedding stores should not be allowed to discriminate.

    -This right here proves, without morals/religion coming into question, why same-sex marriage should be legal in the UK-

    The right to Freedom of religion in the United Kingdom is provided for in all three constituent legal systems, by devolved, national, European, and international law and treaty. Four constituent nations compose the United Kingdom, resulting in an inconsistent religious character, and there is no state church for the whole kingdom. The United Kingdom is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which provides in Article 9 a right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; and the policy of the British government is to support religious freedom.

  28. Another Hannah 11 Mar 2012, 9:47pm

    With the action of the Catholic church the right to freedom of religious belief is under attack as never before. If the Catholic church and C of E get their way there can no longer to be said to be a secular state i this country. It means that we have once again become a society controlled by religion. Is it significant that a Catholic has just been allowed to marry into the Royal family after years of being barred? Perhaps they should re-introduce the ban on Catholics given their wish to override the secular state?

  29. “Grotesque” is an umarried male virgin, dressed in slippers a dress and a pointy hat, predisposed to raping children, lecturing adults on marriage.

  30. The church has nothing to do now but harass gays and not use birth control since they can’t burn scientists any longer. Thanks for setting us back 500 years.

  31. Lynne Featherstone is not a equal Equality Minister. She should be removed from her position before she falls flat on her face along with her no hope Cameron.

    Its all propaganda, Tony Blair Fox Hunting all over again. You’ll see.

  32. Sack Lynne Featherstone. Her antipathy to religious freedom and conscious disqualifies her from her ministry

    1. So, Aiden because she supports fairness in civil marriage and that is something you don’t like … because you would prefer to see apartheid retained with regards segregation of gay people (in loving committed relationships) in terms of how the state (not the church) treats them … because Featehrstone is speaking out against the church support of a form of segregations and apartheid – the only tool you have is to say sack her? Isn’t she entitled to support her government own policy and attack those who are against it? Thats an Equality ministers role, and she is doing it incredibly well.

      You, Aiden, are a sore loser. The church has no “special” place in society. Society recognise that. You have lost the argument.

      1. You Stu are a Pratt. Featehrstone is bias.

        Shows how times have changed due to polititians being homos and do-gooders trying their best to promote homosexuality as normal behaviour, I’ve even heard of blokes marrying eachother and adopting kids……….whatever next?

        1. @Aiden

          Whats next … blokes marrying each other and having kids … thats next!

          Beautiful. Stunning that society can recognise diversity!

    2. Aiden, “religious freedom” has nothing to do with civil marriage whatsoever. In addition, it’s some CHRISTIANS who are attempting to limit other denominations’ freedom by saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to perform religious marriages for same sex couples.

      Your prejudice is blinding you to the facts.

  33. George Broadhead 12 Mar 2012, 8:56am

    Well said Ms Featherstone!

    It’s great to find a government minister taking the side of LGBT rights campaigners and putting the homophobic Churches firmly in their place.

  34. There’s either a misquote in this article or LF got a bit muddled up. When she is reported as saying:

    “Mrs Featherstone reiterated that the Government will not propose to make it legal for Churches or Synagogues that wish to conduct same sex marriages to do so.”

    it should be, “reiterated that the Government will not make it illegal for Churches or Synagogues that wish to refuse to conduct same sex marriages to do so,” surely?

    I.e. the Church’s argument that it will be forced to conduct same sex marriages is bogus

  35. It’s not often I come across a politician who says it like it is, isn’t afraid to speak their mind and says exactly what I am thinking and I think just that. The church is living in the dark ages, you people need to get into the 21st century and fast because your views are winning you few favours!!!

  36. Swansea_1973 12 Mar 2012, 7:59pm

    Can I put the cat among the pigeons here and say that if you love someone, be it straight, gay or alien why does a piece of paper and a bit of gold around your finger on your left hand prove?? As I don’t believe in marriage gay, straight or otherwise as many, many of my friends who have got married just for the ‘big day’ to show off on how their 80 tier cake is looking and for the flash venue, basically the norm for 2012, its not to celebrate a couples love, but to show off to a load of people, and usually a majority that you never see or cant stand.
    The amount of personal friends both straight and gay (who have had civil ceremonies) that have had their ‘big day’ and their declaration of love, who were cheating either at the time of the actual marriage, or just after. As a person who lived with both parents who were married to each other, who made life hell for each other and their 2 children because it was against the wishes of the Church to divorce. Abolish Marriage all together.

  37. Swansea_1973 12 Mar 2012, 8:33pm

    As a Gay Guy who lives a ‘Normal’ Straight acting lifestyle and totally against Marriage regardless of sexual preference, Gay or Straight. Is it just an excuse for Couples to walk down the aisle not for the ‘supposed’ purpose to show their love, but to show off?? Most of the Straight women go down the aisle looking like Katie Price a right Chav!! What will the campest of Gay men go down the aisle like? Lady Ga Ga, Bet Lynch, All sequins and feathers, What a state, because your gay why turn all camp and over the top, I like men to be men, isn’t that why I’m gay? If I wanted glitter and feathers and frocks, I would be straight right! there are more than just one version of a gay man, not the camp stereotype showing their ab’s in a tight white t-shirt, not all gays are camp, not all gays support marriage full stop!!

  38. While she rebukes ‘dark age’ homophobia, soft and subtle homophobia seems not to register at all on her radar.

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