Reader comments · Video: Prime Minister’s closest aide, Desmond Swayne MP, comes @Out4Marriage · PinkNews

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Video: Prime Minister’s closest aide, Desmond Swayne MP, comes @Out4Marriage

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  1. Fabulous, Thank You Mr Swayne.

    Another Tory, Another Christian – showing that equality matters and the message of society and of the Christian faith should be incusive, fair and focus on love.

    What an honourable, honourable member!

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2012, 5:00pm

    Fantastic to see another Tory MP on board. Well done and thank you so very much, Mr. Swayne.

    He brings dignity to the issue and is the epitomy of what a conservative Christian really is or should be. He’s a credit to his party.

  3. Excellent news.

  4. Wonderful

  5. That’s great to see! :)

  6. A great argument for equality. Good to see another Tory Out4Marriage!

  7. GingerlyColors 23 May 2012, 6:25pm

    This is how Christians should be. Jesus was not a homophobe – he believed that his faith should be all inclusive. Anybody who lives by the Old Testament cannot call himself a Christian – the Old Testament was written before Jesus came along. Maybe we should come up with a name for those religious zealots who seem to disregard Jesus and live by the old rules. Perhaps Leviticusians after the Book of Leviticus may be appropriate. I don’t agree with cherry-picking certain bits of the Bible in order to oppress people, on the other hand has anyone come across a Christian who lives strictly by the Bible? I believe that rules are for the guidance of men and the obidience of fools.

  8. This is brilliant! Desmond Swayne, along with Callmedave, Francis Maude, Margot James and others, is showing the way forward for the Tories. Carry on like this and I might start voting for them again (which I used to before Section 28)!!

    Thank you for speaking up Mr Swayne.

  9. The timing of this is v. interesting – certainly a poke in the eye for Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Bigotry!

  10. Desmond Swayne has had a miraculous conversion to gay equality in the last year or so- take a look at his previous voting record on gay issues as listed by the Christian Institute website!

    But a very welcome conversion nevertheless!

    Welcome aboard the equality train Mr Swayne!


    – excellent article on this :-) Apparently Cameron wants a Bartlett moment, now that would be good!

  12. Fabulous commentary by Desmond Swayne on his website:

    “The concept of gay marriage is not new. 10 countries already allow it including Canada and parts of the USA. In 342 AD the Theodocian penal code banned the practice on pain of death – clearly there must have been a sufficient number of gay weddings to merit a ban with such a draconian penalty. Certainly, we know of at least two Roman emperors who married other men.

    On an entirely practical approach I believe that marriage gives rise to greater social stability and all the statistics show that children of married parents fare best. Given that we allow gay couples to adopt, and such is science and ingenuity that they can also procreate, why on earth should we deny them the benefit of marriage?

    In the New Testament it is the teaching of St Paul which is used to condemn homosexuality, just as his teaching was once perversely used to justify slavery and then the

    1. subjugation of women. If you look carefully at the context and sensitively translate the original Greek, then condemnation of gays just isn’t there. What St Paul was rightly against was the inordinate pursuit of pleasure and self indulgence, including the temple cults of fertility which included orgies, prostitutes of both sexes, straight and gay.

      For millennia Christians have taken too great an interest in what other people get up to in bed, it is an unhealthy fascination. My starting point is that marriage is a blessing, and therefore I have no business denying that blessing to someone because they happen to be gay. I will go further than the Prime Minister: I am in favour of gay marriage because I am a Christian.”

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2012, 9:28pm

        Fantastic commentary, by far the best case and example to extend civil marriage to us. What an amazing man given his past history on gay issues. A true evolution. One of the brighter stars in the Tory party undoubtedly.

  13. The politician spoke about a number of issues, including Conservative plans for economic growth, his opinion on the war in Iraq and how he mysteriously changed his viewpoint on gay rights claiming that, ‘Politicians have the right to change their minds.’

  14. This is a welcome surprise from someone who until now has voted against every single piece of LGBT legislation (except the SOR legislation), in the last 20 years. We are entitled to ask, what what made him change his mind.

    1. Sure we are entitled to ask.

      He apologises in his website for his previous behaviour.

      I think we have to see him as a supporter and thank him for that. Unless anyone has any reason to cast doubt on this.

      He is a welcome ally – particularly so, given his a) level of influence and b) change is opinion.

    2. Sister Mary Clarence 23 May 2012, 9:40pm

      Possibly he actually read the Bible properly, but whatever the it is a bit of a result

  15. The commendable Mr Swayne MP – good man.

  16. Highonhope 24 May 2012, 4:56am

    What a change of heart for the Tories under Cameron to come out4Marriage. Impressed would be an understatement. And I am a Labour supporter.

  17. Thank-you Mr Swayne…

    It’s a bit surprising though that churches aren’t packed to the gunnels on Sundays with the amnout of devout Christians there are around suddenly, especially in Parliament.

  18. Just found yet another gem on Des Swaynes website:

    Extra-ordinarily I have had very little correspondence indeed regarding Leveson/ Jeremy Hunt/ Murdoch, despite the wall to wall media coverage. Strangely enough my most numerous correspondence over the last few weeks continues to be against gay marriage. I saw 3 opinion polls on the subject this week –each with a statistically significant sample, but each by a different pollster. They all yielded the same conclusion: there is a clear majority in favour of Gay Marriage in every age cohort except the over sixties. That majority builds as you move down the age range, and is more pronounced amongst women. I can only conclude that opponents are disproportionately located in the New Forest!

    More recently my correspondents have been quite disciplined : they do not refer to homosexuality at all, merely pointing out that the definition of marriage is exclusively between a man and

    1. a woman. I did however, receive a letter from a non-conformist clergyman telling me that the real issue was that homosexual practice was an ‘abomination’ because it says so in the Bible. My reply was restrained, but here is the letter I really ought to have sent him:

      Dear Mr X
      Thank you for pointing out God’s law to me as set out in Leviticus 18:22. You are clearly an expert in biblical exegesis. Perhaps you can be of further assistance to me: Leviticus 25:44 states that it is permissible to have slaves so long as you buy them in a foreign market, do you think that this now includes the EU?
      Exodus 21:7 states that it is lawful for me to sell my daughters into slavery, but what would be a fair price in to-day’s money?
      Leviticus 15: 19-24 says that we can have no contact whatever with a woman during her period, but how on earth do you tell?
      After all, it would be considered rude to ask – and even asking would constitute contact.
      I have many colleagues who work on the Sabbath.

    2. Exodus 35:2 tells me they should be put to death, but by whom, should I do it myself?
      On a similar subject, what is the proper penalty for those who commit the‘abomination’ of eating shell fish (Leviticus 11:10)?
      My wife does it all the time.
      How should I punish her?
      Is the abomination of eating shell fish, as abominable as the abomination homosexuality?
      Leviticus 21:20 says that I may not approach God’s altar if I have a sight impediment. I’ve recently started using reading glasses. Am I still able to receive communion?
      I’ve just had a haircut, expressly forbidden in Leviticus 19:27, It says I should die, really, is there no way out?
      Leviticus 11: 6-8 says you mustn’t touch the skin of a dead pig. Not good for football, but is it ok if the players wear synthetic gloves and boots?
      Why is the penalty so severe for wearing a polyester/cotton shirt –mixing threads in a garment- similarly punished is planting different crops in the same field (Leviticus 19:19)?
      Is it really

    3. necessary to turn out the whole village to stone the offenders (Leviticus 24: 10-16)?
      Wouldn’t it be simpler to just burn then in the same way as we do anyone who has sex with their in-laws (Leviticus 20:14)?
      I really hope you can help. There are still plenty more questions where these came from.

      The man is not just a gem, and had a Damascus road experience on the entire LGBT issue – he has solid humour too.

  19. Sister Mary Clarence 24 May 2012, 8:32am

    Hot on the heals of this very good news story comes the BBC’s coverage of the issue.


    Having read it, I have made a complaint of bias to the BBC. The report only gives negative comment to Cameron’s proposals from other ministers, and completely ignores the fact that a significant majority on MPs and Ministers who have comments on the subject support equal marriage.

    It would appear to be in breach of the Press Complaints Commissions Editor’s Code of Practice:


    i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

    1. I agree its a distorted and unfair story by the BBC (one of many).

      I would encourage people to make complaints to the BBC Trust and also via their own MP (who will be used to liaising with the BBC and who should be aware of constituent feeling):

  20. And more from Mr Swayne:

    “‘it’s always been like that’ is never a strong argument, on the contrary, it is a refusal to argue, it is a mindless put-down, an unwillingness to engage in the debate for and against a particular proposition”

    “the Cardinal referring us to the teachings of Jesus on the subject is particularly revealing because -as anyone who has read the Gospels will know- Jesus had nothing to say about the issue whatsoever. It is extraordinary that the Church has made so much of something on which Jesus remained absolutely silent”

    “anyone who prays in their aid the International Declaration of Human Rights is clearly on a losing wicket”

    “The point is that the Church is entirely entitled to believe whatever it chooses to about marriage and is at liberty to adhere to those beliefs without interference. Marriage is not owned by the Church however, and is an institution that Parliament is at liberty to alter in

    1. line with the changing needs of society. Marriage is an institution that is entered into by people with different beliefs and none. The government, which acts on behalf of the whole nation, can change the definition of marriage for the benefit of gay couples without in any way interfering with what the Church continues to choose to believe about it. This is essentially a question of Liberty.”

      “When I was recently challenged on this subject at a village meeting in the [New] Forest, I did not expect my reply to make me popular given the relatively elderly audience. I said that the Church needs to end its obsession with what other people get up to in bed, the fascination with which borders on fetish. I expected to be roundly booed but was astounded instead to receive vigorous applause.”

      1. I think I might love him.

        If you drill down into the verses of the Bible you can show that, actually, the 6 verses about gay people…aren’t actually about gay people

        To summarise, the Bible is basically talking about HETEROSEXUAL men having gay sex because they were overlusting. It never once discusses love between men or between women and never acknowledges the concept of a loving gay relationship.

        Therefore, it says nothing about gay people and certainly nothing about gay marriage.

        1. I think he is fabulous and one of the best orators of support we have politically – and he has influence.

          He totally and utterly gets it – its a dramatic Damascus Road conversion to understand what equality is about.

          He deserves a lot of credit!

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