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Iain Duncan Smith defies Catholic Church to back marriage for gay couples

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  1. Did not see that one coming… genuine change of heart or party whips turning the thumbscrews?
    Next Ann Widdecombe will be doing a Mardi Gras!

    1. I doubt the party whips need to turn the thumbscrews, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a genuine change of heart either. Maybe I’m too cynical, but he’s young enough still to have a good few years left in politics, and I suspect he’s ambitious enough to hope he’ll get one of the top jobs — Chancellor, Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary. He’s unlikely to there by voting again the party leadership.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Apr 2012, 5:04pm

      And that other idiot, Colin Hart of C4M! I’m gloating already.

  2. Is the sincerity of just collective responsibility or what some people will call fashionable policy on the part of the Tory? Its a shame that they are never known as champion of constructive policy but easy for them to jump on bandwagon. If not for labour we will not be having this conversation today

    1. Spanner1960 28 Apr 2012, 12:56pm

      If it were not for the ECHR kicking Labour’s fat arse they wouldn’t have done anything either. Even then they bottled out and gave us a second-rate compromise instead of the real deal.

      1. Stuart Neyton 28 Apr 2012, 2:33pm

        I’m a big defender of the ECHR, and am by no means a cheerleader for the Labour Party, even less so for the last Labour government, but you just have to look at the situation of LGBT rights across Europe (the ECHR applies to 47 countries) to know that’s plainly untrue.

        ILGA-Europe has a really handy chart of LGBT rights, which compares the situation in the 47 EC states, plus the Vatican, Belarus and Kosovo in its own right:

        The UK has the most progressive LGBT laws in Europe according to this, and that’s without gender-neutral marriage, while still forcing trans people to divorce before legally recognising their gender and while hate speech based on gender identity is only a crime in Scotland.

        To say the ECHR is the reason for Labour being progressive with this is untrue, otherwise the rest of Europe’s LGBT population would have legal equality too.

        1. absolutely

        2. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Apr 2012, 1:59am

          Disagree and I used to work for them.

          Its the rights we didn’t get that give the game away.

          Under Labour we continued to deport gay people back to countries where we knew that they faced significant risk of substantial harm because we were no prevented from using the Refugee Act rather that the ECHR. Eventually this situation would have been tested and we would have been forced to use the newer legislation, but until it was Labour were happy to deport gay people to face torture and death.

          Gays in the military was a right that was won through the European Court, and not a right that was magnanimously given to us, so really Labour can take no credit for it

          Marriage equality is another example – there had to be some form of legal recognition for gay couples but no requirement for marriage, so marriage there wasn’t and civil partnerships were born.

          We got what Europe required us to be given, and no more. Britain was never the first nor the last to given us rights – always the middle

    2. Can we ever really be convinced of any politician´s sincerity? Not really, and so we shouldn´t be gullible enough to expect it. However, what we must expect/demand is equal rights across the board – nothing more – and if that politician does happen to have a track record of integrity, then this is simply a bonus!!

  3. Harry (twitter:@hsmall) 28 Apr 2012, 11:22am

    errr. Are you sure. The words in the interview (online version anyway) were:-

    ‘Although he is a Tory traditionalist and a devout Roman Catholic, Mr Duncan Smith appears to have modified his views on gay marriage. “I’m for things that are about stability,” he says. “I think our biggest problem is actually with cohabiting parents breaking up at the rate they do — heterosexual cohabitees, not gay couples — because they’re the ones leaving the trail of devastation afterwards.” ‘

    That is consistent with backing civil partnerships only.

    1. Mr Duncan Smith also boosted gay marriage legislation, saying that he would vote in favour of the move when it was debated in the Commons. He said that he wanted to “support anything that will result in more stable relationships and families” and hoped that the Government soon brought forward a Bill.

      – From The Times’ leading article.

      1. Harry (twitter:@hsmall) 28 Apr 2012, 8:13pm

        I stand corrected.

  4. Hmmmm, I suppose one should be pleased to read this, sinner repented and all that. Whether he was pressured into it or not, it is heartwarming to see false barriers being broken down by our leaders at a personal and parliamentary level. Let’s hope that is what is genuinely happening here. It could actually make him the true leader that he never was before.

  5. Christine Beckett 28 Apr 2012, 11:31am

    WTF? Did this article get lost on April 1st?

    Warning! Does not compute… does not compute…does not compute… does not …….

  6. Jock S. Trap 28 Apr 2012, 11:40am

    Unexpected but welcome and whether a change of heart or party whips, I don’t care so long as it’s another person pushing for marriage equality.

  7. Support from an unexpected quarter. Although it shouldn’t be so surprising as anything that goes some way to adding stability and comittment to society should be welcomed by conservatives.

    Not an easy decision for him to have made and I admire him for it.

  8. Great news!
    But i still feel like someone pressured him in to doing this. But either way nice to see support emerge from the least expected places.

    If his feelings are actually genuine then hats off to him.

  9. OMG . . .

    Must be a three line whip.

    I thought Ian Duncan Smith was more M&S rather than S&M

  10. What I particularly like about livng here is how little religion really matters.I had no idea he was a catholic which is super as it simply shouldn´t matter. I´ve never been overly impressed with him anyway. But still, getting a leading papist to see reason is surely another step in the right direction. America – take note! Well done IDS. (Never thought I´d ever say that!)

  11. IDS has never been fond of toeing the line. I suspect this is genuine. He has spent the years since his not very noble period of leadership of the Tories in looking at what is wrong with families, what is wrong with society and looking for non-idealogical solutions. I am not surprised that he has looked at things and found that it is not LBGT that are responsible for family breakdown and that if he is to be consistent then stability and joining together and allowing as many as possible to form committed marriages, is actually a step in the right direction.

    This will help many wavering Tories to ignore the wave of opposition they are likely to get from the vile C4M and the vile christian Institute and the vile Colin Hart and the vile catholic church of vile cardinals and their vile leader in the vile Vatican. (Sorry, was that bitter?)
    (P.S I am Labour through and through).

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Apr 2012, 1:25pm

      Paul, have you seen this. I have a problem with foreigners interfering in the domestic political life of our country, don’t you? Maybe a letter to Theresa May is in order?

  12. It was also interesting to hear what Iain Duncan Smith said last year on Question Time about fostering / adoption –

  13. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Apr 2012, 12:39pm

    Well done, sir and thank you. His statement regarding the break up of so many marriages and the devastation it leaves behind when children are involved really blows C4M and its religious zealots’ mantra about one man one woman only and the procreation nonsense out of the water. He’s proved to them that it’s not gay couples marrying causing the problems, turned the tables on them in fact. This is most welcome news indeed!

  14. Bisexual woman in Edinburgh 28 Apr 2012, 12:59pm

    The sudden Tory support for equal marriage isn’t about LGBT rights, it’s about their hatred of couples who split up. They measure the value of an entire country based on how many people pair-bond for life, not based on the quality of their relationships or whether they are happy.

    1. Agreed. It also saves them money. But then as civil partnerships are treated in the same way as marriage regarding the benefits/tax systems it’s hard to see this as being a reason for actual gay marriage.
      Whether a person is pro or anti gay marriage, marriage itself is no guarantee of happiness, wealth or health-for either gay or heterosexual people; so I am not discriminating on grounds of sexuality. This is why I find this fetishisation of it as being a social good irritating.
      It’s so wrong-headed; marriage itself does not promote stability-a crap relationship does not become a good one just because the couple get married-it’s just that stable couples tend to marry. By all means support gay marriage for equal rights, but to support it for reasons of stability is just downright foolish.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Apr 2012, 2:22pm

        Wrong! CPs are not equal to civil marriage. You should do some much required reading in regard to the differences in the pension scheme for CP’d couples and married couples for starters, an issue currently being debated within the consultation. There are no guarantees in life for anything, no matter one’s orientation, that’s NOT the point. If CPs are so equal, why aren’t heterosexuals who choose not to marry but wanting an alternate arrangement demanding them? Why aren’t they the universal standard? How many countries have them? I can tell, just two and even Ireland’s aren’t totally identical to the UK’s. You just don’t like the idea of gay people have equal access to equal marriage if they so choose. Just because YOU don’t like the idea, doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that others who do should be denied it.

        If marriages don’t promote stability, then why would stable couples need to marry in the first place? Why not live together untethered by a legal contract?

        1. Robert, if you read my comment you will see that it says’by all means support gay marriage for equal rights’
          But you are being foolish if you think that marriages promote stability, they don’t.
          You do not magically transform a crap relationship into a good one by getting married. Stable couples do it for a celebration and perhaps legal rights.
          The trouble is people see that stable couples are married and think that marriage itself promotes stability.

          It’s f****** annoying to have negative ratings for comments that are:
          a, Absolutely true
          b, Not attacking homosexuals in any way shape or form.

          If you think that getting married magically makes relationships stable then with all due respect you are living on a different planet to me.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Apr 2012, 3:16pm

            Well, a “crap relationship” probably wouldn’t end up in a marriage to begin with. Let’s be realistic. I for one wouldn’t marry someone if that were the case. For some, marriage does provide stability and who are you or anyone to say it doesn’t if it works for some? I know several hetero married couples who’ve been married 35, 40 and 52 years and one gay couple married for 7 years. Marriage doesn’t guarantee anyone’s happiness and not something I said either, but for some it has. There are no guarantees that any relationship will endure. That’s not my point. I was under the impression marriage was about love and commitment first and foremost. It’s the universal gold standard for recognition of a committed couple. CPs are not. It’s not for everyone, but I’ll beg to differ with you. Sir Iain Duncan Smith is entitled to his beliefs and opinions, just as you are yours. I happen to agree with some of his points and beg to differ with some of yours. I am very much on this planet

  15. Peter & Michael 28 Apr 2012, 1:44pm

    Yes, and we have been the safety nets for our 8 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild, when our daughters have had no place to stay due to their so called ‘macho’ husbands behaviour, and we are always making sure that they have a safe place to stay and sleep. We feel sure that there are many LGBT people who like us, whom happen to be parents, grandparents and in some cases great grandparents and hate to see the straight male of today abusing their partners, also causing mental health problems for their children in the future. Religion should be left at the inside door of the church!

  16. Great and cheering news. Support for marriage is deeply Conservative, and it shows that the logic of argument and debate is really winning through. IDS is his own man and would never make a radical departure from his previous position without deep thought and reflection. It has cheered my weekedn to read it.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Apr 2012, 3:19pm

      Totally agree with that. Marriage isn’t for everyone, gay or straight, but even if one is in opposition to it, shouldn’t mean that they must deny those of us who want it. It’s refreshing to hear a reasoned voice in the Tory Party and an older generation too. He puts Ben Bradshaw to shame. Well done, IDS and thank you again.

  17. While I disagree with the viewpoints he’s had and the things he’s said, I’m glad he’s backing same sex marriage now

    Honestly, his motives don’t matter because it’s none of his business in the first place, and I’m glad he’s realizing that.

    It disappoints me, this negative view of marriage. Not every marriage is unstable, not every marriage ends in divorce. There are people who want to get married, believe it or not, too. I for one very much so want to get married to a woman someday.

    Oh, and for the billionth time, not every married same sex couple wants children. I am never having them so leave me out of that argument.

  18. de Villiers 28 Apr 2012, 4:04pm

    I’m not sure that the Right can ever win. If Conservative deputés oppose gay marriage then they are condemned as bigots. If they support gay marriage then they are condemned as liars.

    It seems to be extraordinarily bad grace not to welcome a situation where a socially-conservative Conservative minister positively welcomes gay marriage. It does not matter whether he has been pressured – the public message and the shift in public attitudes is a substantial resulting benefit. In any event, he is part of a government that supports the measure.

    It does not matter if it is a conversion due to ambition. All that means is that the minister realises the country as it is and has changed his position accordingly. It does not take away from the effort and work of the Left that brought us to this place.

    When the facts change, it is time to change one’s mind. Both for Conservative ministers and those on this board attacking them.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Apr 2012, 4:44pm

      Totally concur with that.

  19. Straight Christian couples with children who break up are the leading cause of destruction to children. And I thought it was Catholic priest who destroyed them.

  20. By the way, civil partnerships will NOT do. I, and most homosexuals/bisexuals, want MARRIAGE.

    1. Me, me, me, me. Its the same bloody comment form you ever time. What ewxactly is wrong with you, out of interest? OCD? Bi-Polar?

      Weren’t so bloody moralistic when you were abusing trans people on another comment page, were you?


  22. Great news but I’m not so sure my co-habiting brother in law will like his comments about co-habiting parents breaking up….

    I want marriage but I’m not so sure I want to put unmarried couples on a lower scale that eveyone else..

  23. No doubt he’ll get his bum felt for this.

  24. What’s this artcile all about?

    “The Mail on Sunday has been told that Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin has privately assured anxious Tory backbenchers that the Prime Minister’s same-sex marriage plan will ‘not come to a vote’.
    The MPs say Mr McLoughlin told them the controversial proposal will be ‘kicked into the long grass’.
    The Chief Whip, a former miner, is one of the most senior Roman Catholics in the Conservative Party……..”

    Read more:

    1. Its the Daily Fail getting desperate again!

  25. What a slap in the face for David Davis and Alf Widdecombe.

    1. Was the ‘Alf’ a genuine misspelling or a hefty crack at Ms Widdecombe?! lol

  26. Mr Duncan Smith is not my favourite politician or one I particularly respect. I do however, respect his decision to stand up and be counted on this (regardless of motivation) especially as he is a Catholic!

  27. Alastair Roy 28 Apr 2012, 11:32pm

    Don’t knock it! The guy has changed his mind for whatever reason – that can only be good

  28. I doubt it’s a genuine change of heart. But if his support, no matter his reasons, adds credence to the effort for equality then I say go Iain Duncan Smith!

  29. We are a few days away from the next local party and a few years from the next general party. Wolves are still running around and craving for sheep. Some wolves wear their victims clothing on these occasions.

  30. Paul Halsall 29 Apr 2012, 10:12am

    This is quite, quite remarkable.

    I am not fan (that’s putting it politely) of Iain Duncan Smith (his welfare policies are not all bad, but they are dreadful when combined with a Treasury effort to cut the benefits budget), but he is just about the most explicitly serious Catholic politician in Britain.

  31. That there other David 29 Apr 2012, 10:30am

    I take his comments as yet another example of the widening disconnect between British Catholics and the senior Bishops and other Vatican lapdogs. His very public support for our equal rights is welcome.

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