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More MPs distance themselves from ‘gay cure’ event sponsor’s internship scheme

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  1. Call me untrusting but when it comes to MPs I don’t think they do anything without a poltical agenda. In my view if they back away from something it’s for fear of becoming unpopular with voters.

    1. PhillipDawson 4 Apr 2012, 7:11pm

      Each time someone signs the petition, the MPs on the list receive an email. In the week we had the most signatures, they received 3,000 emails! The petition now has 9,000 signatures. An office manager for one of the MPs (who will remain nameless!) contacted me to say that she felt this was an inappropriate way to campaign (!!)

      Whatever their motivation, I am glad that Catherine McKinnell and Sharon Hodgson have made this announcement, but there are still many more MPs on the list.

      1. Sounds entirely appropriate way to get your message across to me.

        Remind us where the petition is again, so more people who mgiht not have signed up can do so?

        1. PhillipDawson 4 Apr 2012, 7:40pm

          The petition is online at change.org here:

          http://www.change.org/petitions/mps-should-sever-links-with-the-christian-charity-care-which-co-sponsored-gay-cure-event

          Thanks! I am going to spend the weekend collecting email addresses for LGBT groups in the constituencies concerned and send them the link too.

  2. Indications of integrity, or the realisation that we didn’t vote for a theocracy and that it is fraudulent to seek to impose personal religious views when you were not elected to represent religious views?
    Politicians have every right to push religious views provided that they were elected on that basis and not as representatives of a mainstream party.

    1. PhillipDawson 4 Apr 2012, 7:24pm

      I have nothing against fundamentalist Christians being elected as MPs under any party banner – it’s a free country – but for me, the issue is that if your religious beliefs are so strong that when it comes to votes of conscience your mind will not be swayed as a result, then I think that should be made clear to your electorate in unequivocal terms.

      This clarity is particularly important for Christian candidates I feel; for all sorts of reasons.

      For most people, saying you are a Christian who attends your local church on an election leaflet would conjure up images of vicars with bad teeth on Midsomer Murders drinking tea out of a cup and saucer, not a belief in the supreme authority of the bible above all other judgement.

      I am glad that a number of MPs are severing links with CARE but I hope those that don’t want to will be honest enough to say why – even if that means stating they subscribe to CARE’s statement of faith.

  3. I had been surprised to see Sharon Hodgson on the list of MPs who had CARE interns. It is entirely out of character for her to endorse an organisation that has the repugnant views that CARE have shown.

    Its great to see Sharon recognise this and take a positive stance.

    Congratulations to PN and Phillip for continuing to expose this matter.!

    1. PhillipDawson 4 Apr 2012, 7:38pm

      Thanks Stu! The journalists at BBC Radio Newcastle also deserve credit for getting these MPs to make a public statement.

      I was interested in Sharon Hodgson’s views, because it seems to be a similar case to David Lammy and Liz Kendall. Sharon Hodgson’s voting record says she has voted “Very Strongly” for gay rights. But as this updated schedule shows, she has been involved in the CARE intern scheme for a long time;

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/88009060/UPDATED-List-of-MPs-Who-Have-Received-an-Intern-From-CARE

      I believe that she had no idea about the gay cure event, but I think its worrying, given that she is in the same Christian Socialist movement as Ben Bradshaw (not to mention the same political party), that she not know about his concerns? These were raised 12 years ago.

      1. I intend listening to the programme on Iplayer later.

        I have been to dinner several times to friends of mine in Gateshead (Sharon is a friend of theirs) and Sharon has been at the dinner. She has often spoken about the needs to ensure LGBT rights and supported LGBT marriage, which is why I was surprised at her links to CARE. I know she has a faith but she seems when I have met her socially to be fair and genuinely support LGBT rights and equality.

        I think her response about not being unfair to her current intern is an honourable one for her to take (providing she is careful to ensure there is nothing untoward in the period that remains in the internship).

        You are making progress, Phillip – do you usually work in campaigning, if not you might have found yourself a new niche!

        1. Phillip Dawson 5 Apr 2012, 6:14am

          Hi Stu, no I am not a campaigner, I am one of the Directors of a firm of architects, which is a busy full time job which I love! The idea of writing to my MP about some gay rights issue and potentially having it answered or at least dealt with by a member of staff paid for by an apparently anti-gay charity made me so cross I started the petition!

          I think Sharon Hodgson’s reply was honorable – but I also take my hat off to Catherine McKinnell who offered to pay for the rest of her intern’s bursary herself.

          I have nothing against the individual interns themselves, but it is worrying to see that Sharon’s former CARE intern went on to write speeches for the Shadow Education Secretary – especially because, as we know, interns are required to sign up to CARE’s beliefs when they join the scheme – and because CARE has consistently sought to influence education policy; successfully banning homophobic bullying packs in Scottish schools for instance.

          1. Congratulations in what you have done and continue to do with this matter.

            I hope more of the remaining MPs continue to see that CARE interns are no longer an acceptable option.

            You should be nominated for a Stonewall award!

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 4 Apr 2012, 4:31pm

    “CARE’s website urges readers to sign the Coalition for Marriage, opposing full equality for gay couples citing a risk of polygamous marriages and “other forms of relationship”, restrictions on freedom of speech and the belief that “clergy may be called upon, against their beliefs and conscience, to perform ceremonies” if gays are given equal rights to marry.”

    Have CARE and C4M provided any factual evidence to justify that outrageous statement that I find so offensive? Have they not heard of bearing false witness against one’s neighbour which is what this clearly is? The hypocrisy and the bigotry exhibited are absolutely disgraceful.

    1. “Have they not heard of bearing false witness against one’s neighbour which is what this clearly is? The hypocrisy and the bigotry exhibited are absolutely disgraceful.”

      CARE don’t care

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 4 Apr 2012, 5:23pm

        I do wish someone in authority would ask CARE and C4M for the facts to support their “citing a risk of polygamous relationships and other forms of relationship” nonsense. After all, there are ten countries allowing equal civil marriage and they can’t even produce one shred of evidence to substantiate their disgusting statement? The fact of the matter is they can’t yet gullible people buy into this. They should be taken to task for spreading lies and misinformation about this entire debate and the inference that same-sex marriages will lead to all this nonsense. In a way, they’re defaming gay people in a libellous manner. Wouldn’t this constitute grounds for a law suit?

    2. All bloody christians are cherry-picking hypocrites – when their ridiculous holy book is full of contradictions, it is inevitable. So they play cafeteria christian and slide their tray down the scriptures and just pick out the bits they like. It’s one of the main reasons I am so contemptuous of them.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 4 Apr 2012, 5:01pm

        I have noticed that the “bits they pick” always match their own prejudices.

        1. Indeed. Isn’t it convenient… Quote from Anne Lamott “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

      2. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 4 Apr 2012, 5:29pm

        “So they play cafeteria christian and slide their tray down the scriptures and just pick out the bits they like.” Love it.

        1. I wish I could claim originality, or attribute it correctly, but my memory is often goldfish-esque.

  5. something I don’t understand here… aren’t this group “care” using a name that already exists for another organization called “CARE” (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, whence the name “care package”)?

    It seems to me that the original CARE (established in 1945) should sue them for misappropriation of their name.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 4 Apr 2012, 5:03pm

      I think theirs stands for Cowardly Arrogant Religious Eedjit’s

  6. Craig Denney 4 Apr 2012, 5:08pm

    Is it OK for prime ministers to ‘do God’ in public?

    Vote here: http://tinyurl.com/bqcr96v

  7. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 4 Apr 2012, 5:26pm

    Creepy CARE. Creepy CARE. They do know the laws about stalking, oh wait England doesn’t have that law yet… what do they mean by “mentoring the sexually broken”… Is this sexology with je$us freaks? No wonder MPs… are… in… there… with them!

  8. The “gay cure” is a scam just like the psychiatry and psychology they use to try and brain wash gays to be straight and by adding Christian prayer, which has yet to be proven to work. They are all a fraud to get your money and control you.

  9. Has Tim Farron MP, LibDem President, said he will discontinue this relationship?

    1. Phillip Dawson 5 Apr 2012, 6:21am

      The ‘best’ (from our point of view) statement so far has been made on Twitter and not in a public statement to the media. He told Harry Small, who also posts here, that he will not have a CARE intern next year, but he will be having paid interns again, but will be looking for other sources of funding in future. I captured the conversation in a screen print here (hope that’s allowed!)
      http://twitpic.com/8zr8tv

      It’s important that Tim makes a public statement. He is now one of only two MPs who currently have CARE interns who have not made a public statement to withdraw from the scheme in future. The other MP is John Glen (Con, Salisbury). The other MPs who currently have CARE interns have all now publicly stated they will no longer do so in the future.

      1. Have CARE made any public response to your campaign, Phillip?

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