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Chris Bryant: Tory MP’s response to equal marriage enquiry ‘as cruel as it was offensive’

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  1. Another day, another d0uchebag using his religion as an excuse to oppress and harm people.

    I didn’t use to hate religion. I bloody do now.

    1. Hating religion… there are so many things to chose from that are worthy of hate in any religion. I despise it. I saw a study that said that without religions holding back technology and ideas, such as allowing the use of telescopes to prove the Earth is not the centre of the universe, we would have likely had the internet, electricity and computers in the 18th Century. How sad is it that we are 300 years (minimum) behind where we should be because of religion?

      1. Mike

        I agree with most of what you say.

        I do wonder how you determined we are 300 years “behind where we should be”.

        How did you establish a) 300 years and b) where we should be (that sounds extremely subjective!)?

        1. I am looking to find the study. I did not decide on a figure of 300 years, I remembered it being found in the study. I took it to mean that 300 years ago we should have been (technologically) the same as we are today, therefore 2012 should have technologies that we will not see for another 300 years etc. If I find the study I will post a link to it.

          1. Thanks, be interested to read it – if you can locate it.

          2. Still looking for the study… I saw it on paper in a friends uni book so I am looking for specific phrases I remembered in the hope of finding it online, but in the mean time is good reading.

          3. It is generally recognised that science began in many religious institutions initially to highlight the glory and complexity of Gods creation but also to advance human kind.It became the driving force for the enlightenment. Most of the early scientists were christians and about 40% of physicians today still believe in God. Prof Dawkins is seriously discredited in much of what he states. He is a polemicist after all. Try reading ”The Dawkins delusion by Alistair Mc Grath

        2. Where should we be? Well, I can throw out a few ideas – cold fusion is a good start, might be able to cure those viruses we class as nigh-on impossible to do much to, cancer might be a horrible albeit distant memory, space colonisation and space travel might be an efficient, safe and inexpensive process, we might actually be free of the growing burden of being reliant on gas, oil and coal, we may also have an efficient way to clean up and store radioactive materials and areas affected by radioactivity and the list can continue on… Basically throw a nice idea of technology that could realistically be invented by Humanity within a three-hundred year period and you have what could have been.

    2. The Abrehamic religions is THE worst thing to happen to Humanity in all of history!!

      1. All religions are just as bad. Look at Japan and how it behaved in the second world war. A lot of that was motivated by Buddhists. Hindus in India have fought with Sikhs for years (look at how Gandhi died). Mormons seem to think that they have a divine right to inflict their way of life on most of America. Even at a much smaller level there are Sects of certain religions that have caused untold misery to thousands of people.

        1. just thought id point out that Japan was a little bit unique in that sense, they became for the most part isolationists, started believing they were invincible as a nation (ever since the failed Mongolian invasions) and disliked (to put it lightly) Christianity and the leaders of the time reacted extremely violently towards it, see the ironic way of them showing their disdain for it, when a large group of local converts were publicly crucified just to get the point across. Shinto Buddism evolved around that lot and fitted the mood of the people who slowly became violently xenophobic and enforcing a culture of apsolute obdediance to their peers, the rest i agree with :P lol

          1. Communism which removed religion from its ideology has been responsible for more deaths across the globe than anything else millions upon millions. Most wars are fought for the personal ambitions of power, resources, land. the idea of nation. Sometimes religion has been used in its name. Very few wars in relative terms have been fought to impose a religious ideology.

          2. Graham,

            I beg to differ.

            George Bush was in little doubt about how the US-led coalition would bring down Saddam Hussein.

            At a prayer meeting, shortly before the invasion of Iraq, he said: “Behind all of life and all of history, there’s a dedication and purpose, set by the hand of a just and faithful God.”

            God’s help was being invoked in Baghdad, too. Saddam Hussein told Iraqis: “Fight as God ordered you to do.”

            President Bush and Saddam Hussein were only the most recent of a long line of political leaders who have drawn on religion to help them in battle or to justify a military campaign.

            Osama Bin Laden portrayed the campaign being waged by his terror network as a religious duty.

            One of the most extraordinary armed campaigns witnessed was that of the Holy Spirit Movement in Uganda in the 1980s, the forerunner of the Lord’s Resistance Army that remains locked in battle with the Ugandan army in northern Uganda today.

            The Israel-Arab wars from 1948 to the present day too.

  2. I see yet again we have someone using a line about PC approaches to disguise the inhumanity and cruelty of their bigotry.

    Clearly, Dr Offord uses the phrase “in today’s world where political correctness runs a mock” as a suggestion that this is being used to prevent him saying something which is endearing or acceptable.

    Cruelty, inhumanity and unjust discrimination where some people are treated unfairly because of how they were born – is never acceptable. If countering that is political correctness – then thats a good thing, not a bad thing.

    Dr Offords constituents should engage in a large scale campaign to tell him exactly what they think of his extremist bigotry.

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can twist a simple request for equality into “persecution” of the majority. I really can’t get my head round how anyone would call his preposterous arguments reasonable. Those poor bigoted parents who will have their children forcibly taught the evil message of equality, inclusivity and compassion.

    1. johnny33308 18 May 2012, 3:29pm

      Very well said!

  4. ‘Dr Offord said parents who objected to their children being taught about equality of gay and straight marriages would be “treated as bigots and outcasts”’ – and so they should… there is no need to be backward in society. Parents should have no say when it comes to giving honest facts in schools. The same goes for sex education. There is no need for the pigheadedness of some people.

  5. It’s a shocking letter.

    This guy is quite young and doesn’t look like he should be one of the old tory brigade.

    I feel like I’ve been conned by the Tory party in thinking that they have changed and I also feel like I’ve been conned by organisations like Stonewall who told us that everything had changed since the introduction of CPs.

    The old prejudices, the section 28 type comments etc etc… they’re still there. If any gay person thinks that gay marriage isn’t important then I suggest they read this letter by Offord. Why shouldn’t children kow that same sex couples can get married and the agument about procreation and marriage is insulting to every married/cped couple that can’t get children for one reason or the other.

    1. Yup, plenty of younger Tory MPs still have just as bigoted and hateful view as the older lot.

      Cameron has spent the last 5 years trying to convince people that that Tory party is more progressive than they have been with regards to LGBT stuff, and while that may be somewhat true of the frontbenchers (Cameron and his buddies), the backbenchers are just as bigoted as ever. Let’s not forget that the backbenchers of today will the be ministers of tomorrow if we let them.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 5:10pm

      john, the Tory hasn’t changed that much. If it had, a Tory would be leading the consultation, instead, it’s a Liberal Democrat, the only major party that endorsed it officially. Believe me, if the Tories had won a mandate in 2010, equal marriage would be a taboo subject and not supported by any of them. There would be NO consultation if they’d won outright. Cameron needs to nip the rebellion in the bud and do it now, confront them, put them on notice, turn it around on them.

  6. Dr Offord is a dinosaur who is scared of change. He keeps banging on about tradition which was used as a weapon of enforcement in the past just as our opponents are using it now!! Sod tradition this is about equality and the church should be sorting out the mess in it’s own ranks.
    If there was a God I am sure he/she or it would have more important things to sort out like famine, disease, war and kiddy fiddling in the church. Surely this all loving God we are led to believe exists would be just that.. ALL LOVING!!!

    1. Yet we are taught that this All loving god is more interested in the intimate sexual thoughts we all have and punishing us for them. Surely an omnipotent creator would have created us without these thoughts in the first place. Religion lacks logic

      1. Don’t forget that the god of the bible spent a lot of time messing around with Job to prove its point in a wager with the devil. It’s a sadistic little psychopath and its followers would reason that we are being “tested” by it to prove that we are somehow worthy.

        In short – god is a jerk

  7. What Matthew Offord has said is truly grossly offensive. If he cannot understand that then he should have no place in modern politics.

  8. Paula Thomas 18 May 2012, 12:38pm

    Given that his majority is about 400 you’d think he’d be more careful than this…

    1. 106! Another bigoted MP to look forward to losing their seat in 2015 :)

  9. My problem is people, specifically on the right, who want to say racist things, say misogynistic things, say homophobic things, using whatever language (its almost always masked), and then demand to NOT be called racist, homophobic or sexist, and say you’re being PC if you do.

    No, it is not political correctness to call out bigotry when you see it, its honesty, militant right wingers need to stop whining about it.

    Even jokes about it, if its obvious that a joke is intended to convey a certain thought, YES its ok to start a conversation about what thought its trying to convey, that is not political correctness.

    “PC gone mad” is just a bollocks phrase for people trying to excuse their racism and bigotry. The anti-PC crowd is just there to victimize themselves because people are no longer okay with their abusive language.

    I find that most of the people who boast about “not being politically correct” really mean to say “I expect you to find my bigotry endearing.”

    Offords shameful!

    1. I found this satirical article about PC gone mad which I think makes the point incredibly well about the right wing attempts to hijack and devalue the phrase (largely to cover up their own discrimination and unfairness):

  10. DJ Sheepiesheep 18 May 2012, 1:05pm

    Nice to see that this bigot strobly supports our right to civil partnerships. Gee, thanks. It’s like saying: I strongly support the right of a minority to ride at the back of the bus. Thanks for nothing.

  11. Tax paying consenting adults MUST have equal rights in all things – these people who object – insist they will be labelled ‘bigots’ – I say, if the badge fits, wear it!

  12. Garry Cassell 18 May 2012, 1:19pm

    Who said , you had to be intelligent to be in politics…or have any sign of a brain for that matter..Oh, the good old religion, always a good backup when you want to spew hatred…the old time religion…

  13. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 1:19pm

    Why isn’t David Cameron confronting these awful people in his party? They’re all parrotting the same procreation script which has nothing to do with civil marriage. i don’t understand the silence of all three party leaders. What are they so afraid of, offending someone’s beliefs? Tough! They offend our beliefs too and they don’t speak for the entire population either although you’d think they do since they seem to get more coverage than any support we get in the media. Bigotry has no place in the British political system. If people can’t represent the minorities in their constituencies then they should be barred from public office. It’s inappropriate introducing one’s religious beliefs and imposing them on a civil issue which is what this is all about.

    1. In a sentence, because David Cameron is a coward and a hypocrite

  14. This offensive letter from Offord is part of the deception of the right wing that seek to hide the truth and protect their prejudices.

    Why do (usually right wing) newspapers and politicians spread blatant untruths about ‘political correctness gone mad’? Even the Daily Mail admitted that the ‘winterval’ legend was made up (after it printed that it was the gospel truth for many years).
    Is there a subliminal purpose to it, or wider political strategy involved in the smearing? The usual suspects also like to claim that ‘Health and Safety has gone mad’ so much so that even the HSE has been driven to dispel some myths attributed to them:

  15. In the future his comments will sound as fatuous as those who spoke out against race equality. The history books will show him to be a bigotted idiot. Shame we have to wait for then.

    1. We don’t really have to wait – his comments sound fatuous and bigoted to most of us now!

  16. This really is a shocking letter to receive from your Conservative representative.. What it amounts to is no more than a lesson in traditional Christian “morality” being preached by Matthew Offord at his constituent.

  17. Really PN, where do you find these people? Under a big stone at Westminster?

    I don’t understand one thing. Half the bigots (like Nadine Dorries) are saying that marriage equality should not go ahead because there really isn’t enough difference between marriage and civil partnerships to make the change important enough at a time of economic crisis. The other half (including this prat) are arguing that marriage equality should not go ahead because marriage IS completely different and that LGBTs should not be included because the result would be socially and spiritually cataclysmic.

    I do wish these people would get their story, um, well, straight!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 5:05pm

      Kat, I wonder why Nadine Dorries didn’t demand a civil partnership if she thinks they’re so equal, in fact why aren’t all straights opting for them? I think we know why don’t we?

    2. It becomes much easier to understand when one realises that what both sides are actually thinking is “eww, bum sex”.

      But they also know that “eww, bum sex” doesn’t even sound like a legitimate moral or political argument. So they clutch for whatever post-hoc rationalisations they can cobble together. Is it any wonder that those rationalisations are as disparate and incompatible as they are fallacious? Its not like they’re working from anything more than gut prejudice here.

  18. Marriage was around long before the Abrahamic religions began, and will be around long after they die out. Those who follow them shouldn’t have any monopoly on the way marriage is defined. Neither should society be held to ransom by these people. Get over it Dr Offord.

  19. Gay marriage someday will be legal throughout the UK and much wider afield, and future generations will wonder what all the fuss was about.

    This, of course, is merely a prediction, and it is not necessarily a prediction delivered in celebration nor in resignation. It is, however, a prediction supported by trends in public opinion; and by the fact that younger people tend to be more accepting of the notion of gay marriage; and by the inevitable evolution of a society that once debated slavery and women’s suffrage and interracial marriage.

    Most right minded people view the issue of gay marriage to be one of fairness and one of extending similar rights to all citizens.

    Matthew Offord has chosen to be on the wrong wide of history, he has chosen his legacy. Future generations will see his views as extreme, bigoted and totally unreasonable.

  20. Many same-sex couples wish to marry. They want to do so for the same reasons as their opposite-sex counterparts – to publicly proclaim and celebrate their love and commitment, to protect their children, to ensure legal and social recognition and for a whole host of other reasons. These couples would greatly benefit from being able to realise their choice to marry, an intensely personal choice that is widely recognised, at least for heterosexual couples, as a basic human right.

    Instead of sending a message that all British people are to be treated fairly and equally, regardless of their sexual orientation, the message currently being sent by our law is that it is acceptable to exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons from a central social institution and that our relationships are inferior.

    Whilst government has extended to same sex couples many, though not all, of the legal and economic rights and responsibilities available to opposite sex couples. We remain excluded

    1. from the institution of marriage itself, a distinction that undermines our human dignity, diminishes our families and discriminates against us in violation of our basic right to equal legal treatment.

      Providing same sex couples with the equal right to marry will not harm religious institutions in any way. Each religion will still have the right to choose whether or not to perform marriages for same-sex couples. Religions that wish to perform marriages for same-sex couples should also have the freedom to do so.

      Some opponents of equal marriage have suggested that marriage as an institution would be weakened, even tainted, by our presence. Such people are, of course, free to hold whatever views they wish in respect of homosexuality and the treatment of same sex couples, but British law should not be based upon such degrading and offensive notions.

      No group of British people should be systemically excluded from any legal institution, let alone one as central to our society as legal

    2. marriage. It must be open to all British people regardless of their sexual orientation.

      Some day, same-sex couples in Britain will have the legal right to marry, I suspect some day very soon. That is inevitable. As with every major human rights advance, from the abolition of slavery to allowing women to vote, future generations will look back and wonder how anyone could have opposed such a basic human right.

      Same-sex couples have and raise children. Allowing these couples to legally marry affords their children the same protections and benefits as children raised by opposite sex parents.

      For many British people, marriage uniquely conveys the nature and legitimacy of a committed romantic relationship. Gays and lesbians should not be denied this form of expression.

      Language does not merely reflect discriminatory social attitudes and practices, but is involved in shaping and perpetuating such attitudes and practices. The exclusion of same-sex relationships from marriage and the

    3. invention of a different word to describe our unions represents gays and lesbians, and our relationships in particular, as deviant and abnormal, and as less worthy than heterosexual unions.

      Marriage is a part of British life and same-sex couples, in fact all lesbian, gay and bisexual persons, are constantly faced with the fact of our exclusion from it. It’s not a pleasant feeling.

      Because there is greater social reluctance to recognise the legitimacy of same-sex relationships, the benefit of automatic recognition that marriage confers is particularly important for lesbian and gay couples. When a same-sex partner is injured, the last thing the other partner needs is to have the legitimacy of the relationship questioned by hospital authorities. When a child is hurt on a school trip, and the biological parent is unavailable, the co-parent does not want to have to convince a schoolteacher that the relationship is valid.

      When a same-sex partner dies, the surviving partner does not

    4. need to have the grief of loss compounded by having to prove that he or she is authorised to make the funeral arrangements. In a married relationship, these matters are rarely called into question, and the validity of the relationship can be easily demonstrated if necessary through production of the marriage certificate.

      Britain is a country where individuals are afforded the right to choose their own religion and their own philosophy of life, the right to choose with whom they will associate and how they will express themselves, the right to choose where they will live and what occupation they will pursue. The government should respect choices made by individuals and, to the greatest extent possible, avoid subordinating these choices to any one conception of the good life. Our choice to marry should not be denied because we are not heterosexual.

      In Britain, same-sex couples, and all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons for that matter, still suffer under the weight of

    5. tigma and prejudice. While much progress has been made, we are still often subject to verbal and physical assaults, many of us still grow up in isolation and fear and kids who are not heterosexual still face significantly higher suicide rates than their heterosexual counterparts. These attitudes of prejudice are reinforced – and given sanction – by discriminatory laws.

      Clearly, the ability or desire to have children is not a prerequisite to marriage. Opposite-sex couples can get married whether or not they are able or willing to procreate; same-sex couples are prohibited from marrying, whether or not they are raising children. “Companionate” marriages between elderly heterosexuals past the age of child-bearing are celebrated and affirmed in our society, not banned under law.

      Civil partnerships can provide some or all of the rights and obligations of civil marriage. There is no logical objection to civil partnerships as a supplement to marriage, but as long as we are denied the

    6. equal right to marry, alternative regimes do not fix the discrimination.

      If Matthew Offord does not get this then he should try and explore his own closed mindedness rather than preach to those he is supposed to represent.

    7. Preaching to the converted, Yvonne – but excellent summary!


  21. ‘…marriage is to provide the foundation of a stable relationship in which those two people of the opposite sex procreate and raise a child…’

    is dr. offord proposing CPs for infertile straight couples?

    ‘…schools would have “no choice but to give children equivalent teaching” on gay and straight marriages….So what will happen to parents who because of religious, or philosophical beliefs take their children out of lessons?…”

    philosophical beliefs wouldnt result in parents taking their children out of lessons teaching about equal marriages, it would most likely be parents with bigoted religious beliefs to do that

  22. >>…and outcasts”, “discriminated against” and “persecuted”.<>“And what of the teachers who object to teaching about same sex marriage. Will they face disciplinary action? How will it affect their careers?”<<
    What if teachers objected to teaching that the Earth is round, or that we circle the Sun – how would that affect their careers?

  23. What a bigoted and hateful man, and what a small and sad little world he lives in to think that people only get married to reproduce. Chris Bryant is right, this is offensive (and inaccurate) on so many levels, to both straight and LGBT people alike.

  24. “And what of the teachers who object to teaching about same sex marriage. Will they face disciplinary action? ”

    OK then what exactly do these “teachers” say about civil partnerships at the moment? How do these teachers distinguish between marriage and CPs and do they at the moment downgrade CPs and gays to second class citizens or are we just left out of the eqation completely as though we don’t exist?

  25. It still amazes that these people seem to think that marriage is all about procreation, none if these imbeciles say anything about love and respect for one another. Children are a by-product of that love within a straight marriage, within a same sex marriage those children would be from adoption, fostering or surrogacy! Children who are fostered or adopted come from those straight relationships that do not understand or know how to love and respect one another.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 11:00pm

      Well said! Imbecile is a good word in this context.

  26. For a useful summary of just how “traditional” and “religious” marriage is, read Monbiot’s article:

    (Sorry, I have also posted it elsewhere on this site, but I do think it’s worth readind.)

    1. Great article, Rehan – thanks!

      I particularly liked this:
      “The nuclear family, as idealised today, was an invention of the Victorians, but it bore little relationship to the family life we are told to emulate. Its development was driven by economic rather than spiritual needs, as the industrial revolution made manufacturing in the household inviable. Much as the Victorians might have extolled their families, “it was simply assumed that men would have their extramarital affairs and women would also find intimacy, even passion, outside marriage” (often with other women). Gillis links the 20th Century attempt to find intimacy and passion only within marriage – and the impossible expectations this raises – to the rise in the rate of divorce.”

    1. He claims he will invoke the human rights act to be able to take his dog to work.

      He seems to think its related to his family life.

      The important word here is HUMAN rights act. Not CANINE rights act.

      Is it any wonder that someone with this level of perspective write letters of such cruelty as the one revealed?

  27. johnny33308 18 May 2012, 3:23pm

    If marriage is just simple biology as this idiot seems to think it is, then many marriages under his definition are not really ‘legal’ and are therefore invalid! What a stupid, illogical way to think of civil marriage…..and this man is a doctor as well? Yet another example of how religion destroys peoples brains! Apparently believing silly superstition erodes one’s ability to use congnitive functioning fully. We are all learning a valuable lessen in this conflict with the Religious….that being that they are no longer fully functioning human beings but drones possessed by their respective “religion”. Religion is a hateful superstitious belief that appears to quite negatively impact those who embrace it……it obviously destroys intellectual abilities and common sense……what a waste…..seems like religion is a bad drug, in all honesty…..just say NO!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 10:58pm

      I think Prince Charles’ marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles should be voided since they’re not going to procreate. He and she married twice, divorced once and yet we can’t even marry once.

  28. There’s really nothing one can say about a man who can write a letter like that. Apart from that he is totally unsuited to being an MP. Plainly he has his own agenda and has shut his ears and his soul to anything that does not accord with it.

    We are often encouraged to maintain a respectful debate with those who disagree with us. But how can one respect the point of view of a person who patently thinks we are the work of the devil.

  29. I wonder if thi guy knows I find hi sexy

    1. I think you’ll find the effect wears off the moment he starts talking.

  30. so are we to assume that dr. offord would strongly affirm that opposite-sex couples have a child before marriage as a requisite for marriage eligibility? sure wouldn’t want to be that bozo’s kid.

    as stephanie pappas says in her article in livescience, low iq and conservative beliefs are linked to prejudice.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 10:56pm

      …and also linked to homophobia.

  31. GulliverUK 18 May 2012, 4:12pm

    Offord nicked half of that from a piece written by Peter Bone on ConservativeHome
    The original fb letter was;

    and you can see the rip-off where he starts talking about “Section 403 of the Education Act…..”

  32. This marriage is only for the procreation and raising of children argument surely would lead not just to the assumption that all infertile couples are not eligible for marriage; but that all parent’s marriages should be dissolved once their youngest child turns 18 or leaves higher education?

    Or does that sound incredibly stupid…?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 5:03pm

      Oh, they’d come up with some excuse and dismiss it. It’s about the “plumbing”, you know the penis/vagina nonsense fitting together like a hand in a glove. They hate the ‘ick” factor, two people of the same gender enjoying intimacy and doing it within marriage. In other words, it has more to do with homophobia than anything else and they can’t even be honest about it.

  33. GulliverUK 18 May 2012, 4:19pm

    Dr Offord will be looking for a new job at the next election. You just say what happened to the Tories in the local elections. Offord has a majority of 106.
    So this d0uchebag has a very limited shelf-life. :)

  34. Inspector General 18 May 2012, 5:34pm

    I say, types, seems a perfectly reasonable attitude you know. Correct on so many levels, don’t you think. Some people think it’s ‘cruel and offensive’ to receive a reply they don’t agree with. Come on now, you’re not Charles Hawtree. Well, a good weep and we’re right as rain, and no harm done for sure. What !

    1. The theologian considers sin mainly as an offence against God; the moral philosopher as contrary to reasonableness.
      Thomas Aquinas

      Given that there is nothing reasonable in the comments of Matthew Offord or of the irrepressable deviant Inspector – I would contend they are both exremely sinful.

    2. Crazy Jane Svoboda is posting under a new name same old insanity though. Delete and forget. Bye Bye Jane.

    3. “Types”? Are you Times New Roman? No, Bookman Antiqua I think.

  35. what a thoroughly nasty misguided and stupid man!!!!! Time he spent a lot of “time with his family” [though God help them]

  36. aww, bless… An other one of CallMeDave’s protegees.

  37. Same old Tories! Vote for them at your peril!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 10:55pm

      I voted for them for the first time in 2010, never again.

  38. Dr. Offal of Henford is simply too erudite. Perhaps he is an Orwellian scholar. You see, all people are equal, but some are more equal than others. So LGBT people, please don’t misunderstand him. You are not less equal; others are just more equal. Now doesn’t that make you feel better?

    1. Some are more equal than others in terms of ability to reason – clearly, Charlie-O is one of those of us less well endowed by means of reason and logic.

      Certainly in terms of manners and etiquette he is extremely lacking.

      1. Isn’t Charlie-O just being sarcastic in his reference to Orwellian Doublespeak?

    2. april 16th Local Newspaper The Chronicle & Echo

      Gay Marriage

      Northampton South MP Brian Binley is one of those challenging the bid.

      “I might start off by saying I haven’t been very successful in marriage myself ( Estranged from his wife in 2010, who also in 2010 plotted with her son to pervert the course of justice after she tried to take the blame for her son’s drink-drive accident. The son was a police officer who had to resign ), but I do think it’s a vital ingredient for the well-being of society,” said Brian. “I also believe it is a sacrament ordained by God for the purpose of procreating and the continuation of the species and that’s between a man and women and I think that it should remain special for that particular reason. “I had never had any demand from any of the gay, lesbian or bisexual members of my community to get married. “I think the civil partnership is perfectly right and proper.”

      Just exactly how many Conservative members of Parliament have similar views ?

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 10:53pm

        Civil marriage was NOT ordained by some sky pixie but by secular governments. I wonder what their response would be if there were no civil partnerships. If they construe them as equal then why wouldn’t they want one if available to them? I’ve said this before, but CPs though well intended have caused nothing but trouble for equal marriage.

        I’m so sick of this procreation red herring. Why aren’t they banning heteros from a civil marriage who can’t procreate because of age on the part of the woman or those who choose not to?

        Why doesn’t someone confront them and debunk this marriage equal procreation nonsense once and for all? There are millions of unmarried heterosexual women with children or choosing to have them without a husband.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 10:55pm

        david, I suspect more than 50% of of Conservative MPs hold the same views. I think it will be evidenced when a final vote in Parliament comes to fruition.

  39. It is notable just how many Tories don’t appear to have changed their stance despite Cameron’s attempts to detoxify them

  40. Ask just about anyone. They’ll all tell you they’re in favor of equal rights for homosexuals. Just name the situation, and ask. They’ll all say, yes, gays should have the same rights in housing, jobs, and should have equal access to government benefits, equal protection of the law etc etc. Then you get to gay marriage.

    And that’s when all this talk of equality stops dead cold.

    Why all the passion?

    It’s because there is a lot of misunderstanding about what homosexuality really is, as well as the erroneous assumption that gay people enjoy the same civil rights protections as everyone else. There are also a lot of stereotypes about gay relationships, and even a great deal of misunderstanding of what marriage itself is all about.

    First, lets discuss what gay relationships are really all about. The stereotype has it that gays are promiscuous, unable to form lasting relationships, and the relationships that do form are shallow and uncommitted. And gays do have such relationships!

    1. But the important fact to note is that just like in straight society, where such relationships also exist, they are a small minority, and exist primarily among the very young. Indeed, one of the most frequent complaints of older gay men is that it is almost impossible to find quality single men to get into a relationship with, because they’re already all ‘taken!’

      If you attend any gay event, such as a Pride festival or a PFLAG convention, you’ll find this to be true. As gays age and mature, just like their straight cohorts, they begin to appreciate and find their way into long-term committed relationships.

      The values that such gay couples exhibit in their daily lives are often indistinguishable from those of their straight neighbors. They’re loyal to their mates, are monogamous, devoted partners. They value and participate in family life, are committed to making their neighborhoods and communities safer and better places to live, and honor and abide by the law. Many make valuable

    2. contributions to their communities, serving on school boards, volunteering in community charities, and trying to be good citizens. In doing so, they take full advantage of their relationship to make not only their own lives better, but those of their neighbors as well.

      A benefit to heterosexual society of gay marriage is the fact that the commitment of a marriage means the participants are discouraged from promiscous sex. This has the advantage of slowing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which know no sexual orientation and are equal opportunity destroyers.

      These benefits of gay marriage have changed the attitudes of the majority of people in Denmark and other countries where various forms of gay marriage have been legal for years. Indeed, in 1989, when the proposal to legalize marriage between gays first was proposed in Denmark, the majority of the clergy were opposed. Now, after having seen the benefits to the partners and to society, they are overwhelmingly in favor,

    3. according to the surveys done then and now.

      So, having established the value of gay marriage, why are people so opposed to it?

      Many of the reasons offered for opposing gay marriage are based on the assumption that gays have a choice in who they can feel attracted to, and the reality is quite different. Many people actually believe that gays could simply choose to be heterosexual if they wished. But the reality is that very few do have a choice — any more than very few heterosexuals could choose which sex to find themselves attracted to.

      Additionally, many people continue to believe that homosexuality is about nothing but sex, considering it to be merely a sexual perversion. The reality is that homosexuality is multidimensional, and is much more about love and affection than it is about sex. And this is what gay relationships are based on — mutual attraction, love and affection. Sex is a means of expressing that love, just the same as it is for heterosexuals. Being gay is much

    4. more profound than simply a sexual relationship; being gay is part of that person’s core indentity, and goes right the very center of his being. It’s like being black in a society of whites, or a blonde European in a nation of black-haired Asians. Yes, being gay is just that profound to the person who is. This is something that few heterosexuals can understand unless they are a minority themselves.

  41. 1. Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. Well, that’s the most often heard argument, one even codified in a recently passed U.S. federal law. Yet it is easily the weakest. Who says who marriage is to be defined by? The married? The marriable? Isn’t that kind of like allowing a banker to decide who is going to own the money in stored in his vaults? It seems to me that if the straight community cannot show a compelling reason to deny the institution of marriage to gay people, it shouldn’t be denied. And such simple, nebulous declarations are hardly a compelling reason. They’re really more like an expression of prejudce than any kind of a real argument. The concept of not denying people their rights unless you can show a compelling reason to do so is the very basis of the American ideal of human rights.

    2. Marriage is for procreation. The proponents of that argument are really hard pressed to explain why, if that’s the case, that infertile couples are allowed to

    1. marry. I, for one, would love to be there when the proponent of such an argument is to explain to his post-menopausal mother or impotent father that since they cannot procreate, they must now surrender their wedding rings! That would be fun to watch! Again, such an argument fails to persuade based on the marriages society does allow routinely, without even a second thought.

      3. Same-sex couples aren’t the optimum environment in which to raise children. That’s an interesting one, in light of who society does allow to get married and bring children into their marriage. Check it out: murderers, convicted felons of all sorts, even known child molesters are all allowed to freely marry and procreate, and do so every day, with hardly a second thought by these same critics. So if children are truly the priority here, why is this allowed? Why are the advocates of this argument not working to prohibit the above categories of people from raising children?

      The fact is that many gay couples

    2. raise children, adopted and occasionally their own from failed attempts at heterosexual marriages. Lots and lots of scientific studies have shown that the outcomes of the children raised in the homes of gay and lesbian couples are just as good as those of straight couples. The differences have been shown again and again to be insignificant. Psychologists tell us that what makes the difference is the love of the parents, not their gender. The studies are very clear about that. And gay people are as capable of loving children as fully as anyone else.

      4. Gay relationships are immoral and violate the sacred institution of marriage. Says who? The Bible? Somehow, I always thought that freedom of religion implied the right to freedom from religion as well. The Bible has absolutely no standing in American law (and none other than the father of the American democracy, Thomas Jefferson, very proudly took credit for that fact), and because it doesn’t, no one has the right to impose rules

    3. anyone else simply because of something they percieve to be mandated by the Bible. Not all world religions have a problem with homosexuality; many sects of Buddhism, for example, celebrate gay relationships freely and would like to have the authority to make them legal marriages. In that sense, their religious freedom is being infringed. If one believes in religious freedom, the recognition that opposition to gay marriage is based on religious arguments is reason enough to discount this argument.

      5. Marriages are for ensuring the continuation of the species. The proponents of such an argument are going to have a really hard time persuading me that the human species is in any real danger of dying out through lack of procreation. If the ten percent of all the human race that is gay were to suddenly refrain from procreation, I think it is safe to say that the world would probably be better off. One of the world’s most serious problems is overpopulation and the increasing anarchy that

    4. is resulting from it. Seems to me that gays would be doing the world a favor by not bringing more hungry mouths into an already overburdened world. So why encourage them? The vacuity of this argument is seen in the fact that those who raise this objection never object to infertile couples marrying; indeed, when their retired single parent, long past reproductive age, seeks to marry, the usual reaction is how cute and sweet that is. That fact alone shows how false this argument really is. Let’s face it – marriage is about love and commitment, and support for that commitment, not about procreation.

      6. Same-sex marriage would threaten the institution of marriage. That one’s contradictory right on the face of it. Threaten marriage? By allowing people to marry? That doesn’t sound very logical to me. If you allow gay people to marry each other, you no longer encourage them to marry people to whom they feel little attraction, with whom they most often cannot relate sexually, and thereby

    5. reduce the number of supposed heterosexual marriages that end up in the divorce courts. If it is the institution of heterosexual marriage that worries you, then consider that no one would require you or anyone else to participate in a gay marriage. So you would have freedom of choice, of choosing what kind of marriage to participate in — something more than what you have now. And speaking of divorce — to argue that the institution of marriage is worth preserving at the cost of requiring involuntary participants to remain in it is a better argument for tightening divorce laws than proscribing gay marriage.

      7. We shouldn’t alter heterosexual marriage, which is a traditional institution that goes back to the dawn of time. This is morally the weakest argument. Slavery was also a traditional institution, based on traditions that went back to the very beginnings of human history. But by the 19th century, humankind had realized the evils of that institution, and abolished its legal status

    6. No one is proposing the alteration of heterosexual marriage at all. Heterosexuals may still marry (and divorce) at will – entirely unaffected by the institution of gay marriage. No change there – not even one whit.

      Then there is the issue of divorce. If we are supposed to worship the traditional status and nature of marriage, why do we freely allow divorce, which has only been legal in most states for just a few decades? To suggest to most of the ardent supporters of this argument that they should not only be married, but will get only one shot at getting it right, and a mistake will and must permanently ruin their life, will sound onerous. But how less onerous is the notion that one will have to marry someone one cannot love and to whom one cannot relate, if one is to enjoy the benefits of marriage? Clearly, this hypocrisy – on the one hand, asserting the importance of the traditional nature of marriage, while allowing its destruction through the thoroughly modern concept of

    7. divorce with hardly a second thought – demonstrates very clearly that this really isn’t about traditional definitions at all, it’s about using this argument as a cover for another, less acceptable motivation. Why not recognize the hypocrisy – that there is no sound moral ground on which to support the notion of worshipfully traditional heterosexual marriage while freely allowing its destruction through divorce? Wouldn’t it just be better to recognize that the concept of marriage is not as rigidly traditional and fixed as claimed?

      8. Same-sex marriage is an untried social experiment. The American critics of same-sex marriage betray their provincialism with this argument. The fact is that a form of gay marriage has been legal in Denmark since 1989 (full marriage rights except for adoption rights and church weddings, and a proposal now exists in the Danish parliament to allow both of those rights as well), and most of the rest of Scandinavia from not long after. Full marriage rights

    8. have existed in many Dutch cities for several years, and it was recently made legal nationwide, including the word “marriage” to describe it. In other words, we have a long-running “experiment” to examine for its results — which have uniformly been positive. Opposition to the Danish law was led by the clergy (much the same as in the States). A survey conducted at the time revealed that 72 percent of Danish clergy were opposed to the law. It was passed anyway, and the change in the attitude of the clergy there has been dramatic — a survey conducted in 1995 indicated that 89 percent of the Danish clergy now admit that the law is a good one and has had many beneficial effects, including a reduction in suicide, a reduction in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and in promiscuity and infidelity among gays. Far from leading to the “destruction of Western civilization” as some critics (including the Mormon and Catholic churches among others) have warned, the result of the

    9. the “experiment” has actually been civilizing and strengthening, not just to the institution of marriage, but to society as a whole. So perhaps we should accept the fact that someone else has already done the “experiment” and accept the results as positive. The fact that many churches are not willing to accept this evidence says more about the churches than it does about gay marriage.

      9. Same-sex marriage would start us down a “slippery slope” towards legalized incest, bestial marriage, polygamy and all manner of other horrible consequences. A classic example of the reductio ad absurdum fallacy, it is calculated to instill fear in the mind of anyone hearing the argument. It is, of course, absolutely without any merit based on experience. If the argument were true, wouldn’t that have already happened in countries where forms of legalized gay marriage already exist? Wouldn’t they have ‘slid’ towards legalized incest and bestial marriage? The reality is that a form of gay marriage has

    10. been legal in Scandinavian countries for many years, and no such legalization has happened, nor has there been a clamor for it. It’s a classic scare tactic – making the end scenario so scary and so horrible that the first step should never be taken. Such are the tactics of the fear and hatemongers.

      If concern over the “slippery slope” were the real motive behind this argument, the advocate of this line of reasoning would be equally vocal about the fact that today, even as you read this, convicted murderers, child molesters, known pedophiles, drug pushers, pimps, black market gun dealers, etc., are quite free to marry, and are doing so every day. Where’s the outrage? Of course there isn’t any, and that lack of outrage betrays their real motives. This is an anti-gay issue and not a pro marriage or child protection issue.

      10. Granting gays the right to marry is a “special” right. Since ninety percent of the population already have the right to marry the informed, consenting adult of

    11. their choice, and would even consider that right a fundamental, constitutionally protected right, since when does extending it to the rest constitute a “special” right to that remaining ten percent? As Justice Kennedy observed in his opinion overturning Colorado’s infamous Amendment 2 (Roemer vs. Evans), many gay and lesbian Americans are, under current law, denied civil rights protections that others either don’t need or assume that everyone else along with themselves, already have. The problem with all that special rights talk is that it proceeds from that very assumption, that because of all the civil rights laws in this country that everyone is already equal, so therefore any rights gay people are being granted must therefore be special. That is most assuredly not the case, especially regarding marriage and all the legal protections that go along with it.

      11. Churches would be forced to marry gay people against their will. This one has absolutely no basis in law whatever,

    12. existing or proposed. There are many marriages to which many churches object, such as interracial marriage, interfaith marriage, the marriage of divorcees, etc., and yet no state law of which I am aware requires any church to marry any couple when that church objects to performance of that particular marriage. The right granted by the state to a church to perform marriages is a right, not a requirement, and to pretend that it would be a requirement in the case of gays, but not in the above examples, is disingenuous on the face of it.

      12. If gay marriage is legalized, homosexuality would be promoted in the public schools. Gay marriage is already legal in several states and many foreign countries, including Canada, but can anyone point to an example of homosexuality being promoted in the public schools? No. Because it hasn’t happened in any significant way. What is being objected to is tolerance of gays, not genuine promotion of homosexuality. And if tolerance itself is not acceptable,

    13. what is the absence of tolerance? It is bigotry. If we do not promote tolerance in the public schools, we are accepting that bigotry has a place there. Is this really what we want?

      13. Gay marriage and its associated promotion of homosexuality would undermine western civilization. Homosexuality is as old as civilization itself, and has always been a part of civilization, including this one – indeed, cross-cultural studies indicate that the percentage of homosexuals in a population is independent of culture. So even if promotion of homosexuality were to occur, it wouldn’t change anything – people aren’t gay because they were “recruited,” they’re gay because they were born that way, as the population statistics across cultures makes clear. As for gay marriage itself undermining western civilization, it is hard to see how the promotion of love, commitment, sharing and commonality of values and goals isn’t going to strengthen civilization a lot sooner than it is going to undermine it.

    14. Gay marriage has been legal, in various forms, in parts of Europe for more than twenty years, and in Canada and many states in the United States for some time now, but can anyone point to any credible evidence that gay marriage itself is leading to the crumbling of western civilization? If they can, it certainly hasn’t been presented to me.

      14. If gay people really want to get married, all they have to do is to become straight and marry someone of the opposite sex. There are several problems with this argument, the first of which is that it presumes that sexual orientation is a choice. This lie is promoted so endlessly by bigoted religious leaders that it has become accepted as fact by society as a whole, and it was advanced, beginning in the 1980’s, for the purpose of discrediting the gay rights movement. But the reality is that a half century of social research on this subject, consisting of thousands of studies, beginning with the Kinsey and Minnesota Twin studies of the 1950’s

    15. and continuing to the present, has shown conclusively – beyond any reasonable doubt – that among males, sexual orientation is only very slightly flexible, and among females, it is only modestly more so. That homosexuality is congenital, inborn, and has a strong genetic component. In other words, if you’re gay, you’re gay and there is little that you do about it, regardless of the endless propaganda to the contrary.

      Another problem with this argument is that it presumes that heterosexuality, if it were a choice, is self-evidently a more desireable and/or morally superior choice to make. This is a qualitative argument with whom many gay people – and many thinking straight people as well, both religious and secular – would take issue.

      A third problem is that this argument presumes that someone else has the right to veto your presumed choice sexual orientation on the basis that they are not comfortable with the choice you have made. It is difficult for me to see how any religionist

    16. or anti-gay bigot, however sincere and well-meaning, has the right to arrogate to himself that veto power. Or, frankly, why a homosexual should be forced to go out of his way to make bigots comfortable with their bigotry.

      A fourth, legalistic problem with this argument is that it presumes that if the choice of sexual orientation can be made, the voluntary nature of that choice removes any and all right to the protection of the law for the choice which has been made. But I would point out that the First Amendment to the United States constitution protects, by constitutional fiat itself, a purely voluntary choice – that of religion. So if it is acceptable to argue that unpopular sexual minorities have no right to equal protection of the law because they can avoid disadvantage or persecution by voluntarily changing the choice they have presumably made, then it is equally true that the First Amendment should not include protection for choice in religion, because no rational person

    17. could argue that religious belief is itself not a choice. In other words, this is like arguing that you should not expect legal protection from being persecuted because you are a Mormon or a Catholic; the solution to such disadvantage or persecution is simple: just become a Southern Baptist or whatever. I have never, ever seen a religious opponent of homosexuality who is asserting that homosexuality is a choice, advance that last point with regards to religion – a fact which very glaringly demonstrates the clearly bigoted character of this argument.

  42. 1. Just not comfortable with the idea. The fact the people aren’t comfortable with the idea stems primarily from the fact that for many years, society has promoted the idea that a marriage between members of the same sex is ludicrous, mainly because of the objections raised above. But if those objections don’t make sense, neither does the idea that gay marriage is neccessarily ludicrous. Societies have long recognized that allowing civil rights to certain groups may offend some, and at times, even the majority. But that is why constitutional government was established — to ensure that powerless, unpopular minorities are still protected from the tyranny of the majority.

    2. It offends everything religion stands for. Whose religion? Many mainstream Christian denominations, to be sure, and definitely most branches of Islam and Orthodox Judaism, but outside those, most religions are unopposed to gay marriage, and many actually favor it. When the Mormon church arrogantly claimed to

    1. represent all religions in the Baehr vs. Lewin trial in Hawaii, the principal Buddhist sect in that state made it very clear that the Mormon church didn’t represent them, and made it very clear that they support the right of gay couples to marry. That particular Buddhist sect claims many more members in Hawaii than does the Mormon church. In a society that claims to offer religious freedom, the use of the power of the state to enforce private religious sensibilities is an affront to all who would claim the right to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.

      3. Marriage is a sacred institution and gay marriage violates that sanctity. This is, of course, related to the motive above. But it is really subtly different. It’s based on the assumption that the state has the responsibility to “sanctify” marriages – a fundamentally religious idea. Here we’re dealing with people trying to enforce their religious doctrines on someone else, but by doing it through weakening the

    2. separation of church and state, by undermining the Bill of Rights. Not that there’s anything new about this, of course. But the attempt itself runs against the grain of everything the First Amendment stands for – one does not truly have freedom of religion if one does not have the right to freedom from religion as well. It would seem to me that anyone who feels that the sanctity of their marriage is threatened by a gay couple down the street having the right to marry, is mighty insecure about their religion anyway.

      Even if one accepts the presumption of the United States as a bible-believing, Christian nation as an acceptable legal doctrine, as many conservative Christians insist, and the bible should be the basis for the sacred institution of marriage, perhaps those Christians should get out their bibles and actually read them for a change. Including all the inconvenient passages that not only permit but can even require polygamy, involuntary marriage and the like.

      How about

    3. Deuteronomy 25:5-10, for example: “When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her, taking her in marriage and performing the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and the firstborn whom she bears shall succeed to the name of the deceased brother, so that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. But if the man has no desire to marry his brother’s widow, then his brother’s widow shall go up to the elders at the gate and say ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me. Then the elders of his town shall summon him and speak to him. If he persists, saying ‘I have no desire to marry her,’ then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, pull his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and declare ‘This is what is done to the man who does

    4. not build up his brother’s house. Throughout Israel his family will be known as ‘the house of him whose sandal was pulled off.'”

      If the Bible is sacred and inviolate when it comes to the institution of marriage, then the above passage and all the other inconvenient ones require reverence too, do they not? If the Christian is going to say, well, that’s old, quaint and should no longer be expected to apply, well, then, that’s exactly the point! The institution of marriage as it is practiced in the real world is a culturally defined institution, not biblically defined, as a reading of the above quotation should make quite clear, and it is high time we recognize and face up to the cold reality that cultural values have changed since the bible was written, and the institution of marriage has changed along with it. Gay marriage is simply part of that evolutionary process of social progress.

      4. Gay sex is unnatural. This argument, often encoded in the very name of sodomy statutes, betrays

    5. a considerable ignorance of behavior in the animal kingdom. The fact is that among the approximately 1500 animal species whose behavior has been extensively studied, homosexual behavior in animals has been described in at least 450 of those species. It runs the gamut, too, ranging from occasional displays of affection to life-long pair bonding including sex and even adopting and raising orphans, going so far as the rejection by force of potential heterosexual partners. The reality is that it is so common that it begs for an explanation, and sociobiologists have proposed a wide variety of explanations to account for it. The fact that it is so common also means that it has evolutionary significance, which applies as much to humans as it does to other animal species.

      5. A man making love to another man betrays everything that is masculine. Well, I’ve known (and dated) plenty of very masculine gay men in my day, including champion bull-riding rodeo cowboys and a Hell’s Angel biker type,

    6. who, if you suggested he is a limp-wristed fairy, would likely rip your head off and hand it to you. There was a long-honored tradition of gay relationships among the tough and macho cowboys of the Old West, and many diaries exist, detailing their relationships. In fact, the Autrey Museum of the Old West in Los Angeles recently did an exhibition of this little-told story. Plenty of masculine, respected movies stars are gay. Indeed, Rock Hudson was considered the very archtype of a masculine man. Came as quite a shock to a lot of macho-men to find out he was gay! So what’s wrong with all these kinds of men expressing love for each other? Why is that so wrong? A society that devalues love devalues that upon which civilized society itself is based. Should any form of that love for one another be discouraged?

      The base fear here is that of rape and a loss of control or loss of masculine status. This is instinctual and goes right to the core of our being as primates. If you examine what

    7. happens in many animal species, especially displays of dominance in other primate species, dominance displays often have sexual overtones. When, for example, in many species of primates, a subordinate male is faced with aggression by a dominant male, the dominant male will bite the subordinate, causing him to squeal in pain, drop the food (or the female) and present his rump. This is an act of submission, and it is saying to the whole troupe that the subordinate is just that – subordinate.

      It has been suggested that homophobia is an instinctual fear of being raped by someone that the homophobe regards as lower than him in status. And the notion that a gay man might rape him is an instinctual fear.

      This happens in humans just as it does in other primates. It is the cause of homosexual rape in prisons. Prison rape is not an act of sex as much as it is an assertion of dominance and a means of control. Nearly all of the men who aggressively rape other men in a prison setting actually

    8. revert to promiscuous heterosexual sex once they’re on the outside.

      So is this something straight men should fear from gay men? Well, relax, all you straight guys. You’ve nothing to worry about. The vast majority of gay men prefer sex in the same emotional setting you do as a straight man with a woman – as a part of the expression of love, affection and commitment. We’re not out to rape you or force you into a subordinate position. The majority of gay men don’t want sex with you because we’re looking for the same thing in a sexual relationship that you do – the love and affection of a partner. Since we’re not likely to get that from you, you’re not desirable to us and you have nothing to fear from us. The small minority of us (and it’s a very small minority) who enjoy sex with straight men understand your fears and are not going to have sex with you unless it’s clearly and completely on a peer-to-peer basis and your requirement for full and complete consent and need for discretion

    9. is honored.

      6. The thought of gay sex is repulsive. This is the so-called “ick factor.” Well, it will come as some surprise to a lot of heterosexuals to find out that, to a lot of gays, the thought of heterosexual sex is repulsive! But does that mean the discomfort of some gays to heterosexual couples should be a reason to deny heterosexuals the right to marry? I don’t think so, even though the thought of a man kissing a woman is rather repulsive to many homosexuals! Well then, why should it work the other way? Besides, the same sexual practices that gays engage in are often engaged in by heterosexual couples anyway. Prompting the ever-popular gay T-shirt: “SO-DO-MY — SO DO MY neighbors, SO DO MY friends.”

      7. They might recruit. The core cause of this fear is the result of the fact that most virulent, even violent homophobes are themselves repressed sexually, often with same sex attractions. One of the recent studies done at the University of Georgia among convicted killers of gay

    10. men has shown that the overwhelmingly large percentage of them exhibit sexual arousal when shown scenes of gay sex. The fear, then, for the homophobe is that he himself might be gay, and might be forced to face that fact. The homophobia is as internalized as it is externalized – bash the queer and you don’t have to worry about being aroused by him.

      The fear of recruitment is baseless because it is based on a false premise – that gay people recruit. We don’t. We don’t recruit because we know from our own experience that sexual orientation is inborn, and can’t be changed to any significant degree. Indeed, the attempts by psychologists, counselors and religious therapy and support groups to change sexual orientation have all uniformly met with failure – the studies that have been done of these therapies have never shown any significant results, and usually create psychological damage in the process, which is why they are uniformly condemned by mental health professional associations.

    11. So the notion that someone can be changed from straight to gay is quite unlikely. Yet there remains that deep, dark fear that somehow, someone might be.

      8. Gay marriage would undermine sodomy laws. Many conservative religionists privately oppose gay marriage in part because it would undermine the legal basis for sodomy laws, which, even though they have been deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, are still dreamed of by those who would seek to legalize discrimination against gays. It would be hard to justify, before a court, allowing a couple to marry and then legally bar them from having sexual relations.

      9. Gay marriage would legitimize homosexuality. This presumes that homosexuality is anything other than simply a normal variation of human development. The reality is that every mental health association has recognized that homosexuality is a perfectly normal variation on how humans develop, and there is now a substantial body of evidence from science that there are

    12. sound reasons why it has evolved, and why it is not selected against in evolutionary pressure. It is not perverted, it does not degrade human culture, it is not a threat to humankind in any way. All those stereotypes, long cultivated by homophobes, have been disproven both by experience and by scientific research, but that does not prevent the homophobe from holding to them dearly. And allowing state sanction in the form of marriage, threatens the stereotype by undermining the justification for it.

      At the end of the day, the opposition to gay marriage stems ultimately from a deep-seated homophobia in American culture, borne almost entirely out of religious prejudice. While many people do not realize that that homophobia exists to the extent that it does, it is a very real part of every gay person’s life, just like racism is a very real part of every black person’s life. It is there, it is pervasive, and it has far more serious consequences for society than most people realise, not

    13. just for gay people, but for society in general.

      That the organized opposition to gay marriage is primarily from groups with an obvious homophobic agenda should be self evident if one looks at who they are and what they are doing outside of the arena of the gay marriage debate. That many of them call themselves “Christian” does not, in any way, relieve them of the responsibility for the fact that preaching hate is still preaching hate, even when the hate is dressed up in the form of religious doctrine. Putting lipstick on a pig does not make it any less a pig.

  43. Dr Offord was elected by 106 votes in Hendon. Bye, bye Dr Offord at the next election!

  44. Offal is a good-looking bugger and I wouldn’t be surprised if his hostility to saying Yes! to gay marriage is as a resulting of his needing to say No! to his own homosexual urges, alongside whatever heterosexual urges he may also have.

  45. Loved this tweet:

    Hugo Rifkind ‏@hugorifkind

    Still not sure why I should consider any religion’s view on gay marriage any more pertinent than I would, say, Lego’s view on gay marriage.

  46. For a country of so called equality we seem to be having a hell of a problem with bigots when it comes to OUR equal rights!!!

    And yet in the US there are more and more States allowing Marriage Equality!

  47. “woven into the fabric of our nation” Gays feared for their lives to be known as gay yet want to get married – ignorant backward moron.

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