“having considered this matter carefully, i am afraid I have come to the decision not to support gay marriage.”
now i claim no journalistic qualifications but did anyone think to ask for his reason?
It was in a letter to a constituent :-)
I am sure a follow up request has been made to the Secretary of State but it is difficult to question a letter and expect a verbal answer!
Mr Paterson speaks with forked tongue.
He has admitted that that Cameron and the government proposal is the right course but that he won’t be supporting it.
He is bigot scum – what else can one expect from such a political minnow.
Unfortunately, as Mr Smith, his letter’s recipient judged, Owen Patterson MP seem to lack logic. Trying to sit on the fence; but he is not even clever enough. I can see him falling off that fence soon & breaking some bones except he take a stand asap.
Has this guy ever voted for any LGBT equality laws. Just looked at his voting record and as far as I could see he’s always voted against or been absent. I didn’t think cabinet ministers were allowed a conscience vote, assuming they’ve got one.
Thank heavens we have the libdems to water down this toxic Tory party..
.just looked at the MPs who are likely to vote against gay marriage on the C4EM website and the Tory MPs are definitely beginning to show their true colours….
First of all Mr Paterson is a committed Roman Catholic, so in part this is not surprising (although other RC govt ministers are supportive of equal marriage).
Secondly, I think the disappointment that Paterson alludes to in his letter is his disappointment that the government will introduce equal marriage in response to the consultation and that the legislation will succeed.
catholic church doesnt recognise civil marriage and see them as living in the sin, therefore the question is, should practicing catholics in parliament decide about matters related to civil marriage?
Well if we use the CI, C4M, Cranmer etc etc argument against the ASA then the answer surely has to be no. All those of a religious backgorund should have no say in a purely civil matter due to their biased view based on religion. Somehow I don’t think they would agree though would they? :P
That’s pretty bigoted. Just because someone is of faith doesn’t mean they are anti-gay. Barring someone from actions due to their religion is bigoted, and against religious freedoms.
Barring Lord Smith from decisions just because he has said he supports equal marriage doesnt mean he can not reach a fair decision putting his personal views to one side.
If its about appearances of bias, then it should surely apply equally to all – and in this particular subject matter – religious adherence would appear (to some, including me) to suggest the possibility of bias.
Just to be clear. That’s not my view on it. I’m purely speculating based on the view of the CI, C4M etc. regarding Mr Smith at the ASA.
They claim he cannot make an unbiased decision based on his support for equal marriage, which is nonsense. So applying equal nonsense then anyone who has had involvement with religion could be considered as equally biased against equal marriage, so therefore should be excluded regardless of their actual ability to be unbiased
Lord Smith’s decision is quasi-judicial, where personal characteristics should be irrelevant. Gay marriage is a political issue where politicians are required to exercise their own judgment and then submit themselves to election on their voting record.
Under UK law there is no such thing as civil marriage. There is just “marriage”
The Marriage Act of 1836 allowed non-conformists and Catholics to be married in their own places of worship.
It was also made possible for non-religious civil marriages to be held in register offices which were set up in towns and cities.
In England and Wales, since 1837, civil marriages have been recognized as a legal alternative to church marriages under the Marriage Act 1836.
And his reason?
Let me guess – He is trying to deduce the desires of an imaginary psychotic tyrant deity, and using that puerile hocus pocus as a cover for his own personal animus.
Why don’t they just be honest and say what they really want to – They just don’t like gay people.
Snivelling coward as well as raving bigot. I am so bloody sick of this cr@p.
A person is not a “raving bigot” because they do not support gay marriage. For us, they may be wrong. Their judgment call is not the right one. But it does not mean that they are bigoted or evil or that they are snivelling cowards. If you look at everyone with whom you disagree as being dishonest or acting in bad-faith, then your head will explode.
I disagree with you largely on religion. I do not say that you are bigoted – just wrong. Similarly, my disagreement with you does not make me evil – it should be enough for you to think of my position as wrong.
Some people are genuinely bigoted and nasty. It may be that this Minister is genuinely bigoted and nasty. But, for whatever reason, it is generally easier in life to get-on with people with whom we do not agree if we can accept that their views are genuinely held for reasons which are not sinister.
I kind of agree with you, although the intolerance of some in the anti-gay campaigns (particularly the grotesque language of some senior church leaders) towards the opposing view does seem to fulfill the dictionary definition of bigotry.
How do you define bigotry if it is not about intolerance to others ideas and views?
If it is does that not mean that people like Cardinal O’Brien are intolerant?
Of course, it is entirely plausible and feasible that some can be intolerant of the pro-gay marriage campaign and that labels could be applied to this intolerance. However, if you look at the level of rhetoric generally its clear that the most insidious and grotesque has come from the C4M and religious organisations. Its understandable why many will refer to it as bigotry. In my view, some of it certainly is, some is wrong thinking that needs challenging.
Well, my definition of a bigot is one who resorts to a verse in Leviticus puportedly condemning homosexuals while dismissing verses condoning polygamy, incest, the stoning to death of women for adultery as well as the killing of children for insolence, among many others. The same applies to the denominations who use religious beliefs to support a ban on equal civil marriage, something that is none of their concern or business.
He wishes to deny me equal rights under the law due to my personal innate characteristic for no reason than either he does not like me or he thinks his personal interpretation of his god does not like me
What in the bloody hell do you call that if NOT bloody bigotry.
If he stood there and said that people who are black or Asian should not be allowed to marry there would be entirely justifiable outrage. What he did is No. Bloody. Different.
There is, presently, a difference between gay equality and racial equality. That reflects the reality that not all discrimination is morally wrong – it depends upon the reason for the discrimination.
Most discrimination is capable of rational justification – that is to say that it is permitted if justified. There is an argument that only citizens of the European Union should be able to claim state pensions within the European Union. Some might go further and say that only citizens of England should be entitled to an English state pension. There is discrimination on grounds of nationality but it is rationally justified.
We also discriminate on ability, intelligence, performance, attractiveness. Sometimes this might be unlawful, sometimes now. A person who is gifted at football is more likely to be chosen over a person who is not – despite both being inherited conditions.
- sometimes not
I follow most of what you are saying, and I entirely agree that some discrimination is both lawful and some morally arguable.
I note that you state a difference between gay equality and racial equality and then you mention grounds for justification of discrimination but you do not return to explain how that impacts on the difference between racial and gay equality.
I wondered what you were considering when you mentioned the difference between gay and racial equality and the justification for some discrimination. The connection is not clear to me.
There are some categories of discrimination, however, that are seen fundamentally to undermine human individualism. Discrimination on grounds of age has not yet crossed this bright line – most would not disagree with a compulsory retirement age even though this is discrimination. Most people also would not become angry if an older person was rejected for a training role in favour of a younger person.
Discrimination on grounds of race has crossed this bright line. Most now agree that this undermines the fundamental dignity of individuals.Discrimination on grounds of sexuality perhaps is somewhere in between age and race.
We would suggest that discrimination on grounds of sexuality undermines our dignity as individuals. There are others who would argue that it can be justified with rational justification – as with age.
That is the biggest difference between sexuality and race. There is, as yet, no universal consensus the former – although it is slowly moving in that direction.
Your second post has appeared now.
It partially answers my questions above – and for the answers you have given (so far) – I do not disagree with the bigger picture of what you are saying, in that “some people” would certainly say that discrimination on grounds of orientation is justifiable. I would disagree with them, but nonetheless there are those that hold that view.
I return to my original question to you earlier, because I am still not entirely clear where you are coming from. I agree with most that you say but I am struggling to understand a) your personal opinion on discrimination and b) what you perceive to be bigotry and how you would explain the intolerence of gay people that some have described as bigotry (and seems to fit the dictionary definition)
Discrimination, as anything, it is justified when it is justified and it is not when it is not. It depends when and where it is practised.
Persons who are homosexual should not be excluded from a restaurant on grounds of sexuality. Otherwise, gay people would be excluded from the society in general. However, it should not be prohibited for a gay nightclub to exclude persons who are heterosexual on the basis that such a heterosexual is not being excluded from society at large; rather, a minority homosexual culture is seeking to carve some protected space in which they can associate in order to avoid being dominated by the majority culture.
I do not really understand the second part of your question. It seems to me that the English word ‘bigot’ derives itself from the french ‘bigoterie’, being an intolerance towards persons who have different opinions and an obstinate belief that their views are superior.
Valsky’s post could appear to be bigoted in that it could be said to show a prejudiced intolerance to the idea of religion in general. Although its roots are in the feeling of persecution from religious persons or groups, there is an argument that Valsky considers his own views not merely to be correct but also superior and that this shows itself together with a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of religious people.
For myself, I consider Valsky’s views to be wrong and lacking theological learning. I would prefer to avoid to use the term ‘bigot’ because it carries a weight that I wish not to use. Sue de Nimes (which sounds like a French name) thought otherwise. Perhaps because she herself felt attacked by them.
Valksy – that is quite a bigoted post from you.
Cry me a bloody river. He has NO legitimate bloody argument other than cramming his faith down the throats of others, or just not liking gay people.
@Sue De Nimes
Is your argument that Valksy was being bigoted due to the fact she said Paterson was bigoted?
If so, its ad hominem to point and say “and so are you” without producing evidence to substantiate what appears to be a childish and infantile claim.
For the record I can see no indication of bigotry in Valsky’s comment.
I wait with bated breath to see how Sue De Nimes tries to justify her allegation …
Maybe she can’t – thought not!
I suspect Sue De Nimes is one of those persons who thinks the very mention of Black or Asian is Racism……which is itself racism.
Paterson should be very careful that his disappointment is not his views and his pandering to the RC church and his being a sycophant to the right wing extremists in his party does not lead to the collapse of his government and the loss of his influential job.
His coalition partners appear very keen to draw a line in the sand over equal marriage.
The coalition could fall if equal marriage does not happen.
Another day, another Tory against equal marriage! Why am I not surprised?
Equal Civil Marriage is shaping up to be THE issue a the next General Election.
Does ANYONE think that the Tory party is NOT still the NASTY PARTY?
I think DC need to crack the old whip!
His use of the phrase “I am afraid” is interesting in that his response seems to have been forced upon him or somehow it was against his will. Has he personally been threatened by his constituency office or some other means so that he probably thinks his job is on the line? Conspiracy theory much but one is rather led by that phrase.
However be that as it maybe, he ought to show some moral fortitude and stand up and be counted so that he doesn’t end up on the wrong side of History, which is it would seem a foregone conclusion if Cleggys story is to be believed. Are the Law and Justice Tories prepared for oblivion rather than countenance Marriage Equality. Seriously I doubt it, either that or they don’t care because they are also not prepared to do the things needed business and tax wise, in order to get the country back on it’s feet.
owen you might not like the idea of equal marriage, but like divorce it is a matter for the state to regulate. religious influence should not affect state’s ability to legislate in civil matters. having civil marriage in any form or shape does not interfere with your way of life in anyway.
I think this is a very strong hint that if the govt presses on with this, the Tory right will demand a free vote – and almost certainly get it.
Others will get the calculators out, but my rough calculations suggest a free vote could be a lot closer than I thought six months ago, and might even result in equality being defeated.
This should only lead us to redouble our efforts to explain the dignity, humanity and justice of our case to everyone we know. We need every possible supporter, because I suspect we are going to need every MP’s vote we can get.
It will be a free vote, they’ve already said as much because it’s a matter of conscience.
I think that equality will win on a free vote. I believe that the majority of the Tory party will vote in favour ultimately along with the vast majority of Labour MPs, all Lib Dems with the possible exception of Alan Beith, Plaid and the Caroline Lucas all voting in favour.
The problem is going to be the size of the Tory vote against. If it’s very large, and some have estimated that it will be at least one third of the Parliamentary party, then that’s a major embarrassment for Cameron and he may well decide not to pursue a vote rather than face such an embarrassment.
I think it is pessimistic to say it will not get through the commons (and parliament).
In terms of commons very few labour MPs will not support (less than 10%) in my view. Very very few Lib Dems will not support (perhaps only 1 or 2). Those Lib Dems and labour who do not support will predominantly abstain rather than vote against. Sinn Fein and SNP will abstain. So with a majority of 320 in the Commons required to secure victory (adjusted to allow for Sinn Fein and SNP abstentions). Then if my estimates are right then with the adjusted Labour/Lib Dem support it would only require 39 Conservatives, Greens, Plaid Cyrmu, Respect, Indep, Speakers etc (provided every MP votes).
It doesnt seem as insurmountable a problem as some might paint it.
It seems to me more of the right wing being desperate to try and pretend securing equal marriage is impossible, when they realise their opposition is hopeless. That hopelessness is reinforced by Patersons realisation that he may be disappointed.
I think you’re absolutely right. The problem is that Cameron may well not want to be embarrassed by a large number of his MPs voting against what he put forward as a flagship policy at the Conservative Conference. He won’t want to rely on Labour and Lib Dem votes to get this through because it will make the Tories look bad.
I think Cameron is too canny in terms of his ability to spin to have a problem with how a policy is won in the Commons.
He will merely say the government achieved what it set out to achieve – equal marriage. How it was achieved is largely irrelevant – and it is a lesson to those who opposed that the UK has moved on and does not tolerate either homophobia, inequality or the use of religion as an excuse to exercise those divisive characteristics.
He seems to be part of the “cornerstone” conservative group…” whose motto seems to be…. “We believe that these values must be stressed: tradition; nation; family; religious ethics; free enterprise”
They’re also the usual homophobic suspects…a real dastardly and motley group of Tory MPs…I wonder how many in this group have spoken out against gay marriage?
I am really convinced that the Tory opponents to equal marriage really don’t care about their party losing in 2015. Even if the economy weren’t in disarray, they’d be no different, they would come up with some lame excuse not to vote for it. What they’re doing is reinforcing the fact that theirs is still the same nasty party that it’s always been. This is a serious issue for Cameron and he needs to do something about it. He should follow Clegg’s example and draw a line in the sand right now.
I think given the maths (if assumptions are correct) show that we should concentrate our efforts on ensuring that Labour and Lib Dem MPs vote in favour of equal marriage – because ensuring that Labour and Lib Dems is perhaps more important than kowtowing to the right wing bigots (those Tories that will support us have either already said they will or will do so quietly so as not to attract agitation from the right wing bigots).
I think these Tories are fooling themselves. They somehow think that if they vote against then this will all go away but the stopper’s out of the bottle now. If we don’t get it this time out we’ll keep pushing until we do.
New York and Denmark are good examples to follow. New York had numerous votes on gay marriage which failed until finally they got a strong governor who pushed it through. Denmark had a centre right government for a long time which voted down gay marriage. Finally a friendly government came to power and now Denmark should have gay marriage from the middle of next month.
If this government don’t have the testicular fortitude to push this through another one will come along eventually who will. But if France and Ireland and other countries get there first then as a nation we should be ashamed.
New York actually won on the second attempt to introduce it but it took some arm-twisting by the democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to get 4 republicans to support it.
I think France will get there before we ever do and hopefully Scotland and Australia. Now Scotland would put a cat among the pigeons in England and Wales.
The arithmetic of the vote in New York was significantly different to that of the UK parliament.
It was actually the third attempt, the lower house of the state legislature passed same sex marriage proposals in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Everyone thought it would pass in 2009 but the state Senate voted against. I realise I was exaggerating but I guess 3 = numerous!
I wasn’t aware of the 2007 proposal, thanks for clarifying.
Do not take GOD’s name to justify your anger!! GOD loves we all it doesn’t matter you are black or white, heterosexual or homosexual. These religious people and the governments sin taking GOD’s name into everything.
Unfortunately, God seems to be rather backward in making his feelings clear to rather a lot of His followers then.
to be fair to him he sent his son to convey his point of view in this matter to his followers. therefore one would have to question ability of his followers to take the point on board
GOD does not exist – that’s why it can’t defend it’s name – EVOLVE!
judging the quality of your post you clearly hadn’t
Yes- it may get through the COMMONS- but surely it faces a much more difficult passage through the LORDS??
It does but as a government bill they can use the Parliament Act to get it through the Lords if the Lords reject it twice. The Lords cannot veto an act of the Commons unless it’s a private members bill.
The exact terms of the Parliament Act give me a headache but I think in order to get things through by May 2015 then the government will need to introduce leigslation by no later than May of next year to ensure the Lords can’t hold it up for too long.
I say rap him in orange and hand him over to the IRA
Owen Patterson is bigotted scum who should join the BNP – that party matches Patterson’s appalling bigotry.
I hadn’t seen you for ages and had started to miss you. I do hope that you’re well. JV
now i claim no journalistic qualifications but did anyone think to ask for his reason?
If you compare the Coalition for Marriage petition (at time of writing, approx 527,500 signatures), with Peter Tatchells “Equal Love” petition (currently 4,090 signatures), it can be easily seen that opposing ministers are reflecting public opinion.
This is what is supposed to happen, in a democracy.
So those against outnumber those in favour by over 100-1, which – unsurpringly – is not far away from the heterosexual-homosexual make up of society.
(According to the ONS, 98.5% of the population are heterosexual, 1.0% gay and 0.5% bisexual – this is from the biggest ever British study which included the matter).
The Government has no mandate for this, and it is ridiculous it is still being discussed at all.
You’re trying to say that a bunch of hateful, prejudiced bigots reflect the entire population? Naively presented rubbish. Anyone can use statistics to say that they are right no matter what they are arguing. If 1.5% of the population are denied basic rights, then there is already a huge issue. Being in minority does not warrant ignoring us.
If you wish to make comparisons probably best not to start with a dubious petition as your main evidence
Firstly, no one asked Patersons reaasons – they were elicited in a letter to one of his constituents (if you read this or similar stories in other media) properly. Its difficult to get further response from a piece of paper. I suspect many journalists are seeking further clarification from Paterson though.
Seocndly, Interesting how you seek to compare the discredited C4M petition with the smaller of two petitions that are in favour of equal marriage. Why would you do that, if not to highlight your bias?
Thirdly, Human rights are never about what the majority think – they are about fairness.
Fourthly, a democracy is supposed to protect human rights for all – not just those that are selected by majority (isn’t that the same method of human rights that many dictators past and present have tried to introduce).
Fifthly, outnumbering is irrelevant when it comes to human rights. To make matters worse in terms of the “outnumbering” you claim you are using a petition to justify your
claims that is totally discredited – ranging from duplicate signatures, signatures from outside the constituency (England & Wales) affected, politicisation of school children (thus under age signatures being attached), no verification and forged signatures – currently under investigation by at least 3 government agencies.
Sixthly, the ONS accept that the statistics in the study you quote are likely to be inaccurate as they are the first survey conducted in the manner it was and thus trust and confidence in those giving answers and disclosing sexual information may be somewhat limited. Whilst their surveys usually have a margin of error of around 1%, then argued there could be a margin of error of 8.5% in this survey. Considering a survey they conducted in their usual methods 3 years earlier had given a LGBT population of 6% in the UK with a margin of error of 1%, it seems much mroe feasible that the figure is around 6-7% than the much lower questionable figures in the study quoted.
Wrong! The last government census revealed the gay population to comprise 5% of the population, or 3 million of us out of a total of 60 million. 527,500 is a meagre 0.08%.of the population, hardly a drop in the ocean. There would have to be at least 20 million signatures to make any inroads and that’s not going to happen. You’re on the losing side which explains why you come here and peddle erroneous information. Now run along, go play with your toys, idiot.
I think Robert needs some arithmetic lessons.
For starters, the petition is only available to those aged 16 or over – of which there are around 45 million in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Currently, there are just shy of 530,000 signatures – which makes 1.2% of the population.
But when you consider that in the recent local elections, just 31% of the population turned out to vote – we can see that the percentage of C4M signatories compared to those who voted in May is almost 4%.
I’ve absolutely no idea of how this 0.08% figure has penetrated your mind, Rob. If you were correct and 527,500 people did equate 0.08%, then the country would have a population of 660 million!
I’m guessing you are one of those school-leavers who fail to attain a C at GCSE Maths. I imagine you must feel intellectually ostracised in South Kensington!
I think Jeanette needs some lessons in facts
There is clear evidence (and the Welsh government accept this) that the RC Church have manipulated school children (perhaps as young as 9) to sign the petition.
Online there is no method to verify age.
Also, the government have made it clear the consultation is about HOW to ensure equal marriage not IF – so the discredited petition that used and manipulated children and has fake entries and those from people outside the jurisdiction affected is frankly irrelevant and pointless – like the entire C4M set up.
My post was to challenge Robert’s frankly atrocious grasp of arithmetics and in particular percentage calculation.
I’m making no point whatsoever about the authenticity of this petition, or indeed the Homosexual Marriage petition (which has also attracted a fair few signatories.)
When the petition is presented to Downing Street in due course, each and every signature will be verified and we’ll then know the official number.
“The Government has no mandate for this, and it is ridiculous it is still being discussed at all.”
And yet you;’re here in a gay site with false statistics debating it?
You’re right, people like you have complacence debating it, we deal in facts.
Well then I’m opposed to Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson.
By contrast, New Zealand is going for a bit of straight talking, so to speak: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D_4JwQ2Fug
(Sorry, bit of a tangent but it’s worth a look.)
Its fantastic Rehan!
Thanks for sharing it!
Glad you like it Stu, it’s good isn’t it? Could do with a bit of that frankness over here!
Let’s hope he is punished by being reshuffled into obscurity.
You don’t get much more obscure than Northern Ireland these days.
I don’t know anyone whose heard of the guy…. shows how irrelevant he is….
I have heard of him. He is kind of relevant as N Ireland secretary – but only borderline relevant and probably not for long!
I am guessing that many of those who have not voiced are actually in favour and avoiding harassment from militant anti gays.
If the calculations are right for Labour and Lib Dems then it only takes 39 Tories to vote in favour and 41 so far are in support.
Of course the battle is not quite over, but you’re losing.
!”I am hopefully guessing that they are opposed to it.”
You hope for a lot of things that are not real, don’t you? Your life must be a litany of crushing disappointments, its no wonder you’re so angry all the time.
He voted against civil partnerships, so he was hardly likely to vote for civil marriage. He has voted against all gay reforms. He’ll trip himself up one of those days.
It appears Cameron is kicking off with Paterson and the loony right wing extremists are trying to sound influential and strong (how wrong they are!).
Politicians can choose how they want to be seen by history. The extremists arguments have all been rehearsed in history with regards to slavery, womans subjugation, racial equality etc.
They can choose to be seen like Peter Bone (irrelevant, cold hearted, cruel and inhumane)
The can choose to be like Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, the Suffragettes, Desmond Tutu or many other fine upstanding members of society.
Peter Bone will always be remembered both for his heartlessness in the 87p wage he paid his workers and for opposing human rights for LGBT people.
Cardinal O Brien will be remembered for his grotesque language and inhumanity in how he sought to prevent LGBT people having equality.
Every other MP and senior clergy member, every other person who chooses to influence this issue – should ask themselves a question – how would they like to be remembered in history, how would they like their great grandchildren to recall them when reading their story. As a humane person who sought to achieve equality, integrity and honour or as a callous thug and bully who sought to suppress a minority,
Peter Bone and Cardinal O Briens place in history is assured. Others have a choice to make.
If there is any of the original writers of this post checking the comments, please be aware that I stumbled upon this exact same article on some other website. They have blatantly copied and pasted your work. Which is surely plagiarism, never mind lazy ‘journalism’.