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Bishop of Shrewsbury attacks equal marriage as being anti-family

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  1. What is the big problem??? Jesus wept!

    1. Another Hannah 5 Jun 2012, 1:10pm

      There is no problem – they are just making up rules to suit their own bigotry. You cannot take a body whose morality is based on what is convenient to them seriously. They have a problem with LGBT, and I mention transsexuals in particular since there is not one word in the bible against it, and the only thing against trans. is basically, you shouldn’t do it in one tiny forgotten bit in the old testiment. Yet the RC church tries to tell LGBT people we are worse than murderers, who they can forgive, but not minor things!!!. They can not only accept adulterers and money lenders, but they can actually give them high positions and regard. Anything the say they believe is just hypocracy and rubbish, they are nothing but liars. They should be ignored and looked down upon – they don’t even follow the bible.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2012, 1:46pm

      It’s their obsession with sex, the penis in the vagina nonsense, but then they’re obsessed with gay sex too since their cult dwells on it more than any other. We all know what that says about people who persistently rant against homosexuality don’t we, like some of the trolls in here?

    3. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:33am

      He doesn’t actually bother to tell us.

  2. Shake Spear 4 Jun 2012, 10:03pm

    Yes. Why is it so important to him to prevent other people from having better lives?

    1. Seems to have done society a whole load of good in countries that have implemented it

      1. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 12:55am

        We don’t reply or comment on TROLL posts…and we mark down those who do fraternise with them…

    2. GingerlyColors 5 Jun 2012, 4:20pm

      Taming of the Shrew – sbury bigot!

    3. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:34am

      Just orders from Rome I expect.

  3. More pointless bilge from a man who’s entire existence has been devoted to trying to discern the wishes of an unproven and entirely fictional bronze age hobgoblin.

    More claims without foundation. More blindness to two simple facts – Family is not a requirement of marriage. Even if it was, LGBT people can and do have families. So either way, he is just plain wrong.

    And as is often the case for organised religions with the sordid and blood-soaked past of the RCC – it seeks to enforce dominion over what is or is not “religious freedom.” Their religion is no more right, true or proper than the Quakers or the Reform Jewish groups who would embrace us and wish to perform out marriages. So he is STILL bloody wrong.

    I wish these sadistic and entirely mercenary men would get out of the way and just stop hurting people.

    1. Shake Spear 4 Jun 2012, 11:15pm

      He looks so benevolent in that photo. Like he loves the whole human race. Well… except for…

    2. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 2:40pm

      I totally agree with you. the more they fight against equal rights. the more I hate them. I think I would rather be an atheist than a christian,The only problem is I do believe in God, but my God is a kind loving god. One who loves us all just as he made us.
      If Christ was alive today, the christians would be the first to put him on a cross. because he keeps telling them not to judge and to love. Giving freedom and equality to all. Christians today are so full of themselves, they dont even know what it is to be christian. they do however know how to teach their mindless followers how to hate

  4. Dick! gay people adopt kids straight couples don’t want. marriage equals love, souls do not have a gender! love is all

    1. Ah, racist too!

      1. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 12:59am


    2. Er, who exactly is confused?

    3. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 2:44pm

      I think gay people can do a better job of helping their children grow, so we cannot make the children, so what, there are enough straight people who cannot look after their children. we can.
      My husband and I, would love to have children in our home, we would show them so much love and care, something straight people dont seem to know how to do.

  5. Someone obviously isnt getting any, and thinks in that case no one else should! ;-) Silly, narrow minded, biggoted man… in a frock no less! lol

  6. And still no clear reason as to why my marriage would affect any other marriage.

    1. That is if you think that same sex love is inferior to opposite sex love… oh wait, you do. But that is your problem, your MADE-UP problem.

      1. Please do not feed the trolls a troll ignored is an angry troll make a troll angry today, ignore it.

    2. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:38am

      They can’t get past their own circular arguments. But he doesnt actually answer his own point that he starts with at all. Because he can’t.

  7. Ed Johnson 4 Jun 2012, 10:55pm

    Someone in denial or simply ill-educated?

    1. Especially Catholics, it would seem.

      1. Thinking not being your strongest suit

      2. Please do not feed the trolls. Thanks.

    2. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:39am

      Just following orders. Surely he can’t believe that tripe.

  8. Warren Jamieson 4 Jun 2012, 10:56pm

    How on earth is acknowledging GLBT relationship weaken “straight” relationships? Answer that one for me please. You can’t because it does not effect you at all! denying us equality based on Leviticus which you don’t follow and in fact you would be imprisoned for following shows how bigoted this man is!

    1. Which, of course, include same-sex coupling in many, many species. It just natural.

      1. It’s you that can’t, it would seem.

    2. Too late – you hets have properly screwed it up already

    3. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:42am

      Obviously it doesn’t. But that wasn’t the point he started off dealing with, it’s just a smokescreen for the fact he didn’t answer Cleggs point.

  9. Basically- they are all”re-tweeting” the Pope. It’s just whatever he says – they support. To them- he’s God. If he said it was OK- so would they.

    1. I find it unbelievable that the child-rapist protecting Vatican try to provide us with moral guidance!

      1. Well said. Why would anyone want to pay any attention to what some old men (who think that being married to God or married to Jesus makes them hetero) has to say, especially when their morals are at best disgusting.

      2. DNFTT

    2. You’re right, John. I read an article in one of the Scottish papers in the last couple of months in which the writer claimed that the late Cardinal Winning once admitted to him that he just did as the Pope said and that if the Pope suddenly said that there should be woman priests then he (Cardinal Winning) would support it tomorrow. To be honest I was quite shocked when I read that, although I know I shouldn’t have been.

      1. Its a wonder they haven’t all joined the Hitler Youth in that case

    3. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 3:03pm

      they play “follow my leader” very well./ An old drama queen runs this church

    4. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:45am

      It may be the number 2, Bertone, a big homophobe, who’s calling the shots these days.

  10. I see that the disciples of Vaticanistan are at it again. How do these people get away with it? If Jesus came back from the dead, he’d be none too pleased with what has been said and done in His name.

    1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:48am

      Yes, he said the meek shall inherit the earth, not aggressive, scheming, rich homophobic cardinals.

    1. Neil. Please ignore the trolls. The more you engage with them the more they will keep coming back for more, Please do not feed the trolls.

      1. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 1:05am

        @Man X…
        ……just do what I do Man, I mark down the trolls and anyone who replies to or feeds them They all know we are trying to shun the Trolls but insist on interacting with them so down with them too….

        1. If you’re going to ignore them, why thumb them down? Inconsistent.

          1. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 1:12pm

            So that their homophobic comments are hidden and as a vote…..Better than interacting with them…

      2. I rather took Neil’s remark to be aimed at the Bishop of Shrewsbury….

  11. What would one expect from a man who represents a borough of shrews?

    1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:49am

      He dent represent anyone except the present regime in the Vatican.

  12. Why do we even give the RC Church air or print space when it is all but irrelevant in supposedly RC countries?
    Perhaps its because we need to disestablish the CoE and make our state secular.

    1. Irrelevant or irreverent, not that it matters!

      1. Bless ’em, the trolls are becoming incoherent now that the alcohol’s kicking in (or the meds are wearing off, it’s hard to tell sometimes)!

    2. The RCC isn’t even relevant any more in supposedly Catholic countries !

      Cardinal Sean O’Brady has well and truly wrecked it in Ireland with all the child abuse scandals, Spain allows equal marriage, France is about to follow, Malta is allowing divorce.

      It’s a spent force everywhere.

    3. The man’s delusion is almost touching. Nurse!!!

    4. Why would the church have a problem with politicians and bankers?

    5. ‘spent force’ your arse — shurely !

    6. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 2:48pm

      And you, you deviant. where do you come in, what green tabaco are you smoking. If you are Christian, then I am the Queen of England

      1. Congratulations on the jubilee, Ma’am.

  13. James Park 4 Jun 2012, 11:28pm

    “Always has been” – you’re suggesting marriage has always existed? What’s worse, you’re suggesting marriage has always existed *in a Biblical sense*. Who married Adam and Eve? Perhaps I missed the part where Jesus, in forming a new covenant with God, re-purposed marriage to retrospectively include the polygamist tribes? Let’s talk about Onan – there’s a particularly exciting example of how marriage has always been about a life-long relationship between a man and a woman for the purposes of forming a family. Genesis 38 if you want to challenge your faith a little bit beyond re-spouting the Pope’s sickness.

    1. You try to reason with a troll, the troll wins. Please ignore the trolls.

  14. As someone who’s met Mark Davies I can tell you what a kind, caring, and happy man he is; and not some bigot.

    1. Such a shame then that he holds such neanderthal views

    2. Adam, I have no reason to doubt that Mark Davies is a kind and caring man.

      But as the physicist Steven Weinberg said, “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things; but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”

    3. Steven Weinberg went on to refer to the following, (vide his Wiki page):

      “Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham.

      Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God’s will.”

      Dogmatic religion is one of the greatest evils ever to visit humanity.

    4. “As someone who’s met Mark Davies I can tell you what a kind, caring, and happy man he is; and not some bigot.”

      I think you’ll find the dictionary definition of bigot disagrees with you. Time to up the education Adam, its severely lacking in its current state….

  15. A real Dodo comment if ever there was one. Off to extinction you go! Hahahahahahaha

    1. Fortunately that’s not quite how it works. To the dunce’s corner, thicko!

  16. These bigots are standing against the tide of human history. Thankfully in the West demographics are against them. In 20 years time their graveyards will be fuller and their churches empty. The game is almost over for them and they know it.

    1. Already happened. Move on.

    2. Coming from someone who is apparently not homosexual but is hanging around a homosexual news site? Surely you are on the wrong forum… supporting catholics and hidden sexuality, you want

    3. Actually y’know I’m a successful medic working in psychiatry with a wide circle of friends and a great partner of 12 years. I’m pretty certain that out of the two of us you are the one with issues my friend! And my name isnt Rob.

    4. For millions, that is in practice exactly what it will mean, since this is a corner that the God-botherers have been painting themselves into for generations. Get over it.

  17. Comments on the importance of Marriage and The Family from someone who has deliberately chosen to avoid both: remind me why anyone would bother to listen to this deluded nonsense?

    1. Mental illness, more like.

      1. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 1:22am

        Wingby, Mike and others…… Why are you feeding the troll ? We all had them on the run and now you decide to suck up to them. No wonder Gay people get it so hard to get rights when they can’t even agree on something as simple as not feeding the homophobic trolls….
        WE DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS …JUST MARK THEM DOWN AND MOVE ON. They eventually start talking to themselves and implode as we seen on other threads….

        1. To be fair Paddy, that moron Lumi already started on the Scottish homophobia thread, even after I had asked her not to. From now on I’m not going to post comment on PN until something proper is done about the comment facility. I’d encourage anyone who feels the same t d likewise and contact PN to make clear their feelings regarding this issue

        2. Kris

          Its a disappointment that you are not going to comment.

          I understand why. However, you make some very intelligent, thoughtful, informed and sometimes amusing comments. Don’t give in to the trolls. Keep commenting.

        3. Having slept on it, my bad mood has cleared and I’ve decided I’m not going anywhere. End of the day if people stop commenting then it’s a victory for them so stuff ’em :)

          1. Good to hear you are staying, Kris! ;-)

  18. The Bishop of Shrewsbury. Just have a look at him in this clip. How can you take anyone seriously who wears hats like that?

    1. Guglielmo Marinaro 5 Jun 2012, 10:20am

      “Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile?
      Isn’t it a nobby one, and just the proper style?”

    2. He looks like a right twat, facial gestures and all.

      And the two acolytes to his sides look shifty and embarrassed.

  19. What is more anti family… two men or two women marrying, or a life of celibacy, followed by disgracing yourself with a choir boy?

    1. Do I look like a priest? Your delusion is a cause of worry. Do the hospital know you have escaped, or do you live under a bridge and spend the day scaring children followed by the night denying your sexuality?

      1. Mike, don’t feed the trolls.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2012, 12:16pm

      Bloody idiot! Not all hetero men and women can procreate, some are infertile, so they should be banned from marriage too.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2012, 12:17pm

        The comment I just made was intended for Dodo the Dude, sorry Mike.

        1. Its ok… I gathered as much :-)

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2012, 12:20pm

      Mike, they also molest girls, not just boys. They play it down as if it never existed so they can scapegoat gay people as a means to enforce discrimination and homophobia. It’s not just the priests, but also the hierarchy indulging in it.

      1. true, as long as they are innocent and under-age they will abuse and molest anyone.

    4. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 2:56pm

      It was not only with the choir boy, but with us alter boys, Ask me, been there. This church does not admit any wrong doing. there are no cases from South Africa, they were all hidden by the Cardinal.

    5. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:55am

      It’s quite ironic really, this organisation where they are not allowed to marry, and fore people for getting married is actually a prime example of being anti marriage, but see how they get away with their doublespeak.

      1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:56am

        Oops , fire people for getting married.

  20. Oh, and by the way:


    Replying to trolls encourages their behaviour. Ignored trolls can become increasingly desperate and silly: see the effete and solipsistic “Inspector General” at . Perhaps it is also best for posters not to discuss among ourselves the behaviour of particular trolls. They crave attention.

    The trolls are damaged: by abusive parents, religiously-induced guilt, feelings of social inadequacy, loneliness, human neglect, sexual resentment, repressed homosexuality (just look at their phraseology and what they are obsessed about!), or who knows what. People normally don’t feel ok about others when they don’t feel ok about themselves.

    The trolls need to be away from their PC and whisky bottle, seeking out psychotherapy and the compassionate human contact of which they have been deprived.

    They should ask the Bishop if they can wear one of his magic yellow hats to make them happy.

    1. i think this comment counts as feeding the troll

    2. GingerlyColors 5 Jun 2012, 4:00pm

      It concerns me that our troll has made over 300 rantings to this website under various personas during the past week. I hope the police are on his case and that he can be traced and brought to justice via the Crown Prosecution Service.

  21. Ach well.. I’d say I’m bothered, but people like this bishop are simply a dying minority of ignorant and bigoted fools. Marriage Equality is happening; and like years gone by their racist, sexist, bigoted views will be ignored all the more.

  22. > “Today we see a government, without mandate…”

    And how many millions voted for the Bishop of Shrewsbury, may I ask?

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 5 Jun 2012, 7:59pm

      Yeah, thought that was a tad rich too!!!

  23. How anyone can take the words of a probable child-rapist whom has never had a relationship with a woman or man let alone get married is totally beyond me

    1. Russ – that’s going too far. There were priests who were child abusers in the Catholic Church, but it’s very unfair to point the finger at someone randomly like that, Catholic Bishop or not.

      He *is* guilty, however, of wearing very silly hats, as can be seen in this YouTube clip:

      1. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 3:01pm

        While I dont fully agree with Russ, a large percentage of priests have molested children and their followers ignor that, they believe it does not happen, well it did and I am sure it still does. then Morons like this cardinal will hide it from their followers. I know what Im taking about.

  24. DJ Sheepiesheep 5 Jun 2012, 12:58am

    What he means is that his lady friend has a puncture.

  25. DJ Sheepiesheep 5 Jun 2012, 1:01am

    Didn’t we have a Reformation in order to rid us of this particular brand of stone age superstition?

    1. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 1:26am

      Please DO NOT feed the TROLLS…..

  26. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 1:30am

    Today we see a government, without mandate, disposing of any credible consultation, “seeking to impose one of the greatest acts of ‘social engineering’ in our history in uprooting the legal definition of marriage. Marriage lies at the very foundation of the family.” Word for word this is what the Catholic Church said when it castigated Wilberforce for his campaign to abolish slavery. They actually said it “would spell the end of civilisation as we know it”

    1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:59am

      And thankfully it did. But allowing us to marry won’t.

  27. what a twat

  28. The physicist Steven Weinberg said, “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things; but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”

    Weinberg went on to refer to the following, (vide his Wiki page):

    “Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham.

    Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God’s will.”

    Reposting these insightful quotes as they were replies to now voted-down posts. Dogmatic religion is one of humanity’s most evil curses.

    1. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 3:05pm

      hope you dont mind. Im going to share this

  29. Clutching at straws with this weak argument – this shall convince nobody.

  30. I think Rev. Mark Davies’ approach is both cowardly and unrealistic.

    Cowardly because it expresses fear about the changes in human morality and moral understanding already underway.

    And unrealistic because it appeals to old institutions and beliefs to solve new problems in new situations.

    More and more people will be appealing to their own inner moral compass – but when has development of a sense of moral autonomy been a bad thing?

    Hand-in-hand with universal human rights, human morality is evolving.

  31. “Anti-family” is another way of saying “I’m a fool”

    Its a tiresome line, and I’ve yet to see one shred of proof that it has any basis in reality..

    1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 1:02am

      It’s a propaganda lie to get a knee jerk reaction, invented by the religious right in America, and now taken on by the Vatican, perhaps because of their alliance with those people in the US.

  32. This is outrageous … How is this nasty sect allowed to peddle this poison?

    What we see is a rich and powerful foreign controlled organisation trying to stir up trouble for a small number of people who simply want to have a family life like everyone else

    Gay marriage should be brought in asap. The longer it is delayed just gives more opportunity for these horrible people who want to cause division in society.

    Mark Davies seems to think that there are two sorts of human being. The good ones who kneel down to him, and the evil ones who must be kept beyond the pale

  33. If it wasn’t for the Daily Telegraph we would never hear from these dinasours.

    I honestly thought this was an old story. I can’t be the only one who simply switches off as soon as they start spewing this nonsense.

    It seems to me they’re preaching to a select so calleed Christian group who know the drill while the rest of us (gay and straight) simply go on with our lives and try to ignore them.

    Luckily most of the MPs are ignoring them as well. The number of supporters on the C4EM website is now over 200 while the non supporters languish at around 53.

    I wish they would get a life and start doing something more positive rather than relentlessly persecute LGBT people. We’ve all moved on while the church remains in the stone age.

  34. Gay marriage = bad. Covering up child abuse and money laundering = good. Only in the warped and perverted minds of the religious is that statement true.
    @John. I agree. The Torygraph is a vile, homophobic, anti-egalitarian, catholic rag.
    Can’t something be done about the childish trolls – they are not even funny.

  35. Religious beliefs as weapons of hate.

  36. It’s loving gay couples and straight couples who will ensure that marriage and families survive, not allegedly celibate gay bashing jobsworths like Mark Davies who opposes those couples he has been ordered to attack by his intrinsically disordered boss Josef Ratzinger.

  37. Children of married gay parents benefit directly from knowing that their future holds the prospect of marriage. Children of married heterosexual parents benefit when they see marriage as the norm.

    As was recently said in the Fauri Memorial Lecture: “If a child sees that Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the neighbors to the left, are married, and that Mrs. and Mrs. Jones, the neighbors to the right, are married, and that the child’s own parents are married—that, I think, sends a positive and reassuring message to children, about both the importance of marriage and the stability of their community,”

    Also explained in the lecture was that LGBT people have been denied access to one of life’s important institutions.

    “Marriage makes people happier, healthier and financially more secure; and, even for those who do not choose marriage, the prospect of marriage shapes and guides life in stabilizing and maturing ways,”

    Marriages are more durable than cohabitations, and they create a stable and

    1. committed environment for children, he said. Also, marriage is likely to bring more social acceptance of gay couples.

      “That, too, would almost certainly be good for such couples’ children, It would give them a more supportive and less stressful environment.”

      “If same-sex marriage helps [children] find secure two-parent homes, that seems like a good thing,”

      Banning same-sex marriage ensures that all same-sex couples with children will raise their kids out of wedlock. This is not a way to reconnect marriage with childrearing.

      “How important can marriage be for children if some children’s parents are forbidden to marry?”

      1. GingerlyColors 5 Jun 2012, 4:02pm

        Thanks for that Stu. I hope you don’t let that disgusting troll who has used your name in a derogatory way put you off posting.

        1. Hi Gingerly

          I havent seen abuse of my name for a few days – but childish pranks like that are intended to rile me. I just laugh them off having already made a criminal allegation of harassment to the police.

          If I were to ever stop commenting on PN it would not be due to any childish antics of any of the trolls. It would be a choice I had myself made for entirely different reasons. I can not see any likely such reason happening soon!

          Always enjoy reading your comments – our politics are not always the same, but your comments are usually well thought out (whether I agree with you or not!).


  38. Hacker of the Yard 5 Jun 2012, 10:25am

    I believe it’s that nasty homophobic number 2 at the Vatican, Bertone, who’s trying to force all the clerics to fight his antigay crusade.

  39. MV Lee Badgett Director of the UCLA Williams Institute was involved in reviewing the impact of same sex marriage (for over a decade) in the Netherlands has said:

    “The right to marry even changed people who chose not to marry. Everyone I interviewed noted that they were glad the law had changed — they felt “invited to the party” in the words of one person — and they said that they felt more a part of society as a result. The long-standing anger and resignation that many lesbians and gay men felt as the result of being excluded from such an important institution as marriage is not healthy, psychologically or physically. I believe that the sense of increased social inclusion that I saw in the Netherlands has the potential to profoundly change all lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in positive ways in other countries which introduce equal marriage.”

    “I looked hard for evidence of changes in the cultural idea of marriage and for evidence that heterosexuals and gay and lesbian couples have

    1. different ideas and behavior related to marriage — but I couldn’t find any. The trends in marriage and divorce didn’t change. The ideas about marriage expressed by lesbian and gay couples lined up with the ideas of their heterosexual peers: marriage is about the love and commitment of two people who work together as equals to weather life’s ups and downs, become members of each other’s extended families, and often (but not always) raise children together. Couples who formalize their relationships — gay or straight — are more likely to choose marriage than a civil union.”

      “Dutch heterosexuals appear to have adapted to the legal change by changing how they see same-sex couples, not how they see marriage. Now they see gay couples as people who should get married, and they are happy to remind their gay and lesbian family members of that fact!

      We also see why the word “marriage” matters. The Dutch same-sex couples I interviewed saw their civil union-like status as “a bit of nothing,” as

      1. one person called it, or as a political compromise that an accountant might invent. Only marriage has the social understanding to back up the legal status, and the social meaning is as important as the legal rights. Civil unions just don’t have that social meaning. One woman I interviewed put it this way: “Two-year-olds understand marriage. It’s a context, and everyone knows what it means.””

        Why should the experience of the Netherlands of a positive impact for LGBT and wider society as a result of the introduction of equal marriage be any different in the UK?

  40. Marriage equality is a controversial issue with opponents of reform predicting dire consequences. But when social scientists look closely at those societies where reform has occurred, what we see is very different.

    First of all, the impact on same-sex couples and their families has been positive and profound.

    A range of studies have shown that marriage leads to improved mental and physical health, findings cited the American Psychological Association when it endorsed marriage equality in August last year.

    Allowing same-sex couples to marry has also produced similar positive effects in Massachusetts and the Netherlands, according to studies conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA.

    The study found that over 70 per cent of married same-sex couples felt marriage had increased the level of commitment in their relationship.

    The same percentage of same-sex partners felt more accepted and legitimised within their broader families and communities, with a common response being that

    1. married made it easier for other people to understand and affirm their relationship.

      Children, in particular, benefit from marriage equality. More than one quarter of the same-sex couples surveyed were raising children and almost all of these couples said their children were happier and better off as a result of their marriage.

      Many parents reported that their children felt more secure and protected. Others noted that their children gained a sense of stability. A third common response was that marriage allowed children to see their families as being validated or legitimated by society or the Government.

      It was also clear from the research that lesbian and gay people see alternative ways of granting legal status, such as civil unions or registered partnerships, as inferior social and legal statuses.

      Same-sex couples believe civil unions make a statement about the inferiority of gay people generally. They react with disdain to such unions as “a bit of nothing” and reject the dry

    2. accounting-like connotation of “registered partnership”.

      This disdain for civil unions is reflected in take-up rates. In those US states that have allowed same-sex marriages, 30 per cent of same-sex couples marry in the first year. In states with civil unions, only 18 per cent take up the option.

      The research also looked at whether the dire predictions of the opponents of same-sex marriage have come to pass.

      Take the fear that marriage as an institution will somehow be demeaned or degraded by same-sex marriages.

      The research found that in those places with marriage equality heterosexual couples continue to marry at the same rate as before. Indeed, overall marriage rates have actually increased in some places.

      Opponents of marriage equality also predict an increase in children born outside wedlock and divorce. But the research found that where these trends can be seen, they existed long before same-sex couples could marry.

      Finally, there is the economic impact of marriage

    3. equality, or what can be called the icing on the wedding cake. The research shows that same-sex weddings injected significant spending into local economies. For example, the wedding spend of same-sex couples in Massachusetts, which includes a large number of out-of-state couples, was $111 million from 2004 to 2009.

      Overall, the experiences of marriage equality in the US and Europe suggest that when same-sex marriages are allowed same-sex couples and their families are strengthened, marriage is not weakened, and the economy benefits.

      It is highly likely that the UK would benefit from a revitalisation of marriage, economic benefits, increased family stability and more valuing of LGBT people as a result of equal marriage – lets make it happen soon.

  41. Spanner1960 5 Jun 2012, 10:42am

    Please explain how it can possibly harm society?
    If anybody has done that it is the religionists – The Christians, the Muslims, the Jews and numerous other cults that have not only brainwashed, but hacked, shot, blown up and destroyed millions of people’s lives in the name of a fictitious individual. If that isn’t damaging families I really don’t know what is.

    “My God is the only god, the god of love and forgiveness, and if you don’t believe in him, we will kill you.”

    Fcking hypocrites

    1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 1:15am

      What they actually seem to be saying is that if we are allowed to officially call our unions marriage, that will interfere with their religious freedom to disapprove of our relationships. I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

  42. Its worth considering what has happened in Spain.

    The Spanish state relies on the family as a social and economic
    institution in which the social, economic and legal protection of
    families is fixed. But the Constitution does not define family in terms
    of marriage; instead family is vaguely defined (Art. 39), and it is
    broader than heterosexual marriage (Art. 32). According to the
    Centre for Sociological Research (C.I.S.) survey of 2004, ‘family’ is
    the institution that Spanish citizens value the most, over others like
    employment, politics, leisure, friends, money or religion. Therefore,
    it is not surprising that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
    (L.G.B.T.) rights are constructed by activists and policymakers
    within this framework. The struggle is not to promote individual civil
    rights but, rather, to obtain recognition of L.G.B.T. families and
    relationships by the state. Most of the debates about marriage and
    partnerships have been linked to adoption and the ‘capabilities’ of

    1. LGBT people as parents. Against this, the Catholic Church and
      the Conservative Party (P.P.) have promoted the idea of traditional
      family as the true source of citizenship, portraying L.G.B.T. rights –
      along with divorce and feminist struggles – as a source of instability, an attempt to break Spanish society.

      Recent achievements regarding lesbian and gay rights in Spain are
      linked with a shift in the public perception of lesbians and gay men,
      and also to new roles played by women in relation to family structures. The democratic transition after the Franco dictatorship was the starting point for the battles for gay rights, from the removal of legal obstacles that punished homosexuality, such as the ‘‘L.R.P.S. law’’ and the abolition of the Public Scandal article in 1988, to the enactment of anti-discrimination measures in 1995, to the later struggle for kinship recognition for gays and lesbians against trenchant opposition and protests from conservative sectors of society. The demand

    2. for same-sex relationship recognition was initially constructed
      as a demand for same-sex partnership laws, resulting in 12
      partnerships laws in 12 out of 19 regions over the period 1998 to
      2005, before the final achievement of a national law on same-sex
      Same-sex marriage did not emerge ‘out of the blue’: it was the
      culmination of a series of demands based on a long struggle for
      partnership rights from social movements on the left (including
      political parties and policymakers) who perceived a window of
      political opportunity. Left wing parties are constructing a vision of citizenship that requires a greater commitment to social movements.

      Spain formally became a secular state through the Spanish Constitution of 27 December 1978. It brought about a degree of formal equality, eliminating the unequal status of women within marriage as well as children born outside marriage. The Constitution stated that men and women had the right to marry with full legal equality, without

    3. explicitly stating that marriages had to be between men and
      women. The provision was interpreted as providing for heterosexual marriage only. Divorce was finally permitted in 1981 against huge opposition from the Catholic Church. Since then, the secular status of the Spanish State was undermined by numerous agreements with the Catholic Church, perpetuating the strong role of the Catholic Church in marriage. Against this background, Law 13/2005 brought about changes in the Civil Code and heterosexuality is no longer the exclusive norm for marriage.

      The National Statistics Institute (I.N.E.) published data in January 2007 on same-sex marriage for the period between July and December 2005, showing that 1,275 same-sex couples got married, comprising only 1.8% of total marriages in Spain for that
      period. Two thirds of same-sex marriages were between gay men (923 marriages), as against 352 marriages between women. There were twice as many same-sex as different-sex marriages with a foreign

    4. spouse. Some authors and activists claim that during the first months, getting married was not easy due to the resistance of conservative judges and city halls, but also that the institution of marriage has not been as attractive to gays in general and to lesbians in particular, unless you can benefit from obtaining residence or protecting your children or wealth. It is no surprise that gay marriages were more likely to take place in large cities, such as Madrid (20.2%), Barcelona (17.2%) and Valencia (10.7%). The partial data published on June 27th 2007 by the Justice Ministry presented similar results: lesbian marriages summed the 29% vs. 71% gay marriages, taking place mostly in Madrid (32%), Catalonia (26%), Andalusia (12%) and Valencia (8%).

      It is clear that partnership rights and same-sex marriage have dominated the political arena on LGBT issues in Spain over the past decade.

      In Spain it has been seen that Same-sex marriage has a number of potentially positive effects for

    5. lesbians and gay men; the legal and social recognition of their relationships, economic protection for partners and children, as well as a chance for non-residents or undocumented residents to get access to Spanish citizenship.

      In Spain we have found that marriage is not a neutral institution
      when it is so underpinned with structural inequalities of race, gender, class and ethnicity. When family and marriage institutions are reinforced as natural and ideal same-sex marriage does not lead to radical social change but merely to the inclusion of lesbians and gay men as valued members of society. Marriage benefits those couples with most property and wealth, which contributes to a model of privatised responsibility of care within the ‘traditional’ family structure, resulting in an explicit class and gender bias, among others.

      Spain has experienced a transition from a dictatorship that criminalised homosexuality to a democracy that specifically legislates for same-sex marriage. Same-sex

    6. marriage.

      Same-sex marriage continues to be controversial in Spain. It is
      perceived as a threat to the traditional family by the Conservative
      Party and the Catholic Church, it is perceived as an obsolete or even damaging institution for some lesbian feminists and queer activists, and it is celebrated by L.G.B.T. organisations and left wing parties as an advance towards (formal) equality. The debate has been sensationalised and polarised with arguments over the suitability of L.G.B.T. individuals as parents and the appropriateness of the term ‘‘marriage’’ for same-sex couples, amongst others.

      It is clear that the entrance of gays and lesbians into the institution of marriage does not imply the transformation of dominant values;
      heterosexual (and, sometimes, gay male) values prevail. Same-sex marriage shares with traditional marriage a number of constraints that benefit LGBT people and wider society. There is no evidence within Spain of fragmentation or damage to marriage.

  43. And yet divorce and annulments don’t weaken marriage? Think the bishop has intrinsically disordered thoughts on what marriage is. If the Catholic Church spent more time sorting out the abuse scandals it would suit them better! Thousands of people’s lives have been destroyed by this so-called “Christian” organisation.

  44. Gay marriage has clear and tangible positive effects on societies where it is permitted. There are now ten countries that allow gay marriage, with no obvious or noticeable detriment to society at large. In Massachusetts, one of few US states to grant gay marriage rights, ‘predictably, the sky hasn’t fallen…ensuring equality doesn’t mean there’s less to go around for everyone else’. Further to that, gay marriage encourages gay adoption, granting a home and a loving environment for an increasing number of orphaned or unwanted children worldwide. The evidence also suggests that gay parenting is ‘at least as favourable’ as those in heterosexual families, eroding fears that the adopted children will be worse with gay parents. The economist Thomas Kostigen also argues gay marriage is a boost for the economy, ‘weddings create revenue of all sorts…even if a marriage doesn’t work out that helps the economy too. Divorces cost money’. Societies benefit from the net utility of their citizens

    1. to allow and even encourage gay marriage ensures that those gay citizens wishing to celebrate their love are able to do so, in an environment conducive to their mutual happiness.

  45. It is inaccurate to perceive marriage merely as an institution for child-raising purposes. There are many married couples in society today who do not have children of their own, often by choice. They marry because marriage symbolizes a long-term commitment to one another, not a pledge to reproduce for the state or humanity as a whole. In any case, gay couples may adopt children in countries where they are permitted to do so, revealing society’s view at large that homosexual couples can readily act as capable parents and provide loving home environments. Furthermore, the advance of medical science has also enabled same-sex couples to have children of their own through surrogate mothers and sperm donors. It can no longer be said that homosexual couples should not be granted the right to marriage because, either, they cannot have children, or that they cannot raise children adequately. Both claims are evidently false.

  46. The argument that gay marriage, or even the discussion of it, leads to a decline in the institution of marriage does not match with the figures. Far from leading to an increase in divorce rates, marriage in the last decade is only growing stronger.

    In the United States, roughly 75% per cent of those who have married since 1990 reported they had reached their 10-year anniversary. That’s up about three percentage points for those who had married a decade earlier in the 1980s’. Though this is not proof that marriage equality has strengthened the bonds of marriage, it is proof that marriage equality is not undermining them. Further to that, ‘it was heterosexuals who in the 1970s changed marriage into something more like a partnership between equals…with gender roles less rigid than in the past’. In contrast, there are good arguments to suggest gay marriage could re-affirm pre-70s notions of marriage for it would initially be more likely to attract older, long-term gay couples whose

    1. stability would thereafter ripple through society.

  47. Marriage is not a religious institution, but an institution that has been co-opted by religion as the means by which couples declare themselves to each other for an indefinite period. As such, marriage has always complimented contemporary attitudes and institutions. Traditional beliefs regarding the ‘sanctity’ of marriage are now out of touch both with contemporary opinion on the matter and concurrent advances in human rights elsewhere. In Australia a recent poll found that 75% of the population felt gay marriage was inevitable, leading marriage equality advocates to claim ‘the tide of history is running toward equality and nothing can turn it back’. Furthermore, the fact that heterosexual atheists and agnostics are free to get married, but homosexuals are not undermines claims that marriage is a derivative organ of religion.

  48. 2011 marked the sixth anniversary of same-sex marriage becoming legal in Canada.

    Six years isn’t typically a milestone anniversary; those things tend to be divisible by five. However, it is still worth considering.

    In the run-up to Bill C-38 being passed, the naysayers darkly predicted the seismic crumbling of Canadian society as we know it; they said the “gay agenda” would undermine heterosexual marriage and families.

    They predicted that in this new anything-goes Canada which would be created if Paul Martin’s government sanctioned gay marriage, people would be marrying their cats, pedophiles would be marrying children, priests would be forced against their religious beliefs to officiate at gay marriages, and on and on. Each imagined scenario was more dire and ridiculous than the last.

    Oh, and polygamy would be the next step down the proverbial slippery slope to that inky abyss of promiscuity and immorality where everyone would be frolicking.

    None of it has happened. Even polygamy

    1. is still in the same dreary holding pattern in Bountiful, B.C.

      Earlier this week when I opened my front door in Calgary, to get the newspaper, I found the neighbour’s tabby cat sitting on my porch, looking up at me and meowing. I don’t think it was a marriage proposal.

      But maybe that kitty is already to married to some other human. I mean, it’s quite possible that Canada fell apart while none of us was watching. So let’s look at the statistics, courtesy of the Ottawa-based Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, which updated them as of 15 Nov 2010, and see if we have indeed gone to hell in a handbasket.

      “While divorce rates have increased greatly since the introduction of Divorce Laws in 1968, actual divorce rates have been decreasing in Canada since the 1990s. The 50 per cent (failure rate) fallacy is false . . . In Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, the Yukon and Nunavut, the total number of new divorce cases has declined six per cent over the four-year period ending in

    2. 2008/2009,” says an IMF news release.

      Indeed, while divorces per 100,000 population reached 362.3 in 1987, they were down to 220.7 per 100,000 in 2005, the year same-sex marriage became law. So much for the myth that same-sex marriage would aid the dissolution of straight marriages. They dissolve quite nicely on their own, thanks to their internal dynamics, such as domestic violence, alcoholism, gambling and infidelity. These figures, by the way, come from such eminent sources as the Vanier Institute of the Family and Statistics Canada.

      And, according to Statistics Canada, “the number of marriages in the country was 149,236 in 2006, down nearly 2,000 from the previous year, but up from 148,585 in 2004.” Looks like some sort of minor demographic blip occurred there in 2006, but that figure is still up from 2004, when much of the silly fearmongering was taking place prior to Bill C-38 being passed.

      Indeed, a November 2009 report entitled Divorce: Facts, Causes and Consequences, by

    3. Anne-Marie Ambert of York University in Toronto, found that “divorce rates have gone down substantially during the 1990s and have remained at a lower level since 1997, with minor yearly fluctuations.”

      A year after Bill C-38 became law, when Parliament was gearing up to hold a free vote on whether to revisit the same-sex marriage issue, Charles McVety, president of the Family Action Coalition, complained to CBC that the bill had passed without proper study. “Why don’t we simply study the impact of this on the age-old institution of marriage?” he asked.

      Study completed, Mr. McVety. It hasn’t had any impact at all. Nobody talks about it anymore. I haven’t even heard that odious phrase “gay agenda” in years. I guess there wasn’t one.

      Nor has gay marriage undermined straight marriage, though how that undermining was supposed to play out is still unclear.

      If the opponents of gay marriage have finally, thankfully, piped down across the land, one person’s words still deserve to be

    4. remembered. “We are a nation of minorities,” Paul Martin said, on passage of the law. “And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don’t cherry-pick rights.”

      So despite the passage of Bill C-38, the sun has continued to come up each morning. Nobody has married their cat, their tree or their favourite living room chair. No priest has been forced to marry same-sex couples. No pedophiles have married children. I’ve long been a supporter of same-sex marriage, and I got married, too, just last fall — to a man.

  49. The great sissy.

  50. Equal marriage isn’t anti-family, it’s anti-prejudice.

    LGBT people are part of families and have their own families too, so the idea that we’re anti-family is a stupid and obvious lie. It’s rather like saying that giving women the vote was anti-human beings.

    But then, logic and truth are conspicuous in their absence in all the anti-equality arguments.

  51. Catholic Church urges nuns to bash gays more

    A GROUP of Catholic nuns has been reprimanded by the Vatican for focusing too much on poverty and not enough on fighting gay marriage and abortion.

    A male bishop has been appointed to bring to heel the US’ most influential group of Catholic Nuns, The Leadership Conference of Women religious, after the Vatican announced it would be completely overhauling the group, reported The New York Times.

    The Vatican has been secretly investigating the group since 2008 because of its support for health care reform and after it questioned the Church’s position on homosexuality.

    The report also zeroed in on a social justice sub-group started by the sisters called NETWORK, finding that it and the Leadership group focused too much on poverty and economic injustice while keeping silent on abortion and same sex marriage.

    1. The sisters were reprimanded for making public statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals,” reported The New York Times.
      (Herald Sun, Aus)

  52. Paddyswurds 5 Jun 2012, 1:07pm

    A bit rich that a celibate cleric from a cult based on imaginary deities, should presume to lecture on marriage and the Family. I suppose he does have an interest in families because that is where the children the paedophilic clerics of his cult find the fodder for their sick and perverted activities……

  53. Another Hannah 5 Jun 2012, 1:07pm

    You cannot take a body whose morality is based on what is convenient to them seriously. They have a problem with LGBT, and I mention transsexuals in particular since there is not one word in the bible against it, and the only thing against trans. is basically, you shouldn’t do it in one tiny forgotten but in the old testiment. Yet the RC church tries to tell LGBT people we are worse than murderers, who they can forgive. They can not only accept adulterers and money lenders, but they can actually give them high positions. Anything the say they beleive is just hypocracy and rubbish, they are nothing but liars.

    1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 1:09am

      I’d forgotten about usury. But then so have they if they own a bank.

  54. The Catholic church is playing out its last death throws, spouting irrelevance and hatred to a world that is wakening to true compassion for everyone and the dignity of both the individual and difference.

  55. If a contest had been staged in the UK to find the most offensive Easter 2012 sermon, Mark Davies – the RC Bishop of Shrewsbury would have been prime candidate to sashay off with the prize!

    Davies apparently sought to warn British people that if they persisted in undermining Christianity that the country would fall victim to “the most sinister of ideologies” – such as those espoused by Neo-Nazzis.

    Rich, considering it was German Catholics and the RC church who put total power within the reach of similar forces in the early to mid 20th Century!

    Davies said “It has, indeed, been the experience of this past century, as both Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have observed, how the most poisonous ideologies have arisen within the Christian nations of Europe.”. He then went on to relate this to Communism and Nazzism by saying that they “attempted to discard the Christian inheritance of faith and morality as if it had never existed. They sought either to return to the pagan

    1. past or to ‘re-create’ and ‘redeem’ humanity by political will and ideology with terrible consequences.”

      Now, spouting rubbish like this makes one unsurprised to hear the garbage and rhetoric he spouts here (with no evidence to substantiate his claims).

      The man is an ignorant relic.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jun 2012, 2:59pm

      Let’s not forget that Hitler was a catholic too!

    3. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 1:06am

      The fascists in Spain were hand in hand with the Church. And in Italy.

  56. The catholic church will one day try to pretend they weren’t anti gay, just like they now pretend they weren’t once pro german fascism, or pro slavery. But by then, there will only be a few people who believe in the catholic church, so it won’t matter.

  57. Keith Farrell 5 Jun 2012, 2:31pm

    Does he know how to spell “Moron” This idiot believes he is abouve the goverment and can control the laws of this country. I think we need to start a moment baning any tax payer monies going to any church, als it needs to be clear that if the church wants to attack LGBT rights issues, then the need to loose their tax free status and be taxed just like every business.
    I am sick and tired of the church trying to control us. I stopped believing in imaginary friends when I was molested by one of their people.

  58. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that people who marry tend to be better off financially, emotionally, psychologically, and even medically. Marriage is not universally an improvement (women, for example, can actually be worse off in some ways), but it generally is. Because of this, it stands to reason that legalized gay marriage will ultimately prove beneficial for gay individuals. This, in turn, will be better for gay couples, the families of gays, and communities where gays live.

  59. Perhaps the most important aspect of marriage is that it establishes a legal and social relationship which makes it easier for people to “be there” for each other — economically, emotionally, and psychologically. Most of the rights and privileges that go with marriage are, in fact, ways to help spouses support each other. Married couples are thus much better off than unmarried couples, giving relationships the ability to grow stronger and deeper.

  60. Because gays can’t marry, it’s very difficult for partners to help each other in difficult situations like medical crises. The burden of support and decision-making typically falls in the laps of other family members when it should fall to one’s chosen life partner. If people know that they can rely upon their relative’s spouse, they can be far less anxious about what will happen to their loved one — not just in the context of a crisis, but in general, too.

  61. The Christian Right would deny gays the ability to adopt or raise children, but that’s an impossible goal. Children are already being born to, adopted by, and raised by gay couples in increasing numbers. Children in stable, married households can be better off than those who aren’t because both parents can handle decision-making and parenting without worry. Opponents of divorce often cite the negative effects on children; the same can be said against bans on gay marriages.

  62. Married couples can help and support each other in a variety of ways because laws and regulations are written to help that happen — for example, people are able to take time off to help their hospitalized spouse. Gay couples who cannot marry don’t receive the same help, so much of what gay partners would do for each other must be shouldered by the community at large, unnecessarily draining resources. By solidifying relationships, gay marriage can help stabilize a community overall.

    Conservatives who usually oppose gay marriage argue, correctly, that stable families are a cornerstone to a stable society. Families are the smallest social unit in society and trends in the family inevitably affect trends in society as a whole — and vice-versa, of course. Allowing gays to marry will help better integrate them and their relationships into society. Ensuring that gay relationships are stable and receive support will benefit the stability of society overall.

  63. Opponents of gay marriage argue that it would undermine the institution of marriage, but it’s hard to see how more marriages would be bad for marriage. If anything harms marriage, it is bad marriages where people don’t take marriage seriously — and that’s already too common with heterosexuals. If gay couples in committed relationships are able to formalize their unions as marriages, that can only serve to improve marriage overall by providing more positive role models.

  64. There is a definition of marriage that it is “an elusive enterprise”. Some say that rven the married find it so. For me the definition of marriage is of an unconditional, life-long commitment between two persons who promise to share all of life and love, home and hearth, body and soul; marriage necessarily involves both the fullest of communication, the deepest of understanding, and the strongest of personal loyalty and trust between two people.

    In this definition, the unconditional element is most striking. Marriage is unconditional in two senses: first, the commitment is not conditioned by other commitments, no matter what they may be. Such commitments include parents, friends, one’s psychological needs, career goals, spiritual interests, sexual drives, addictions of any sort, and the like. Second, in the marriage relationship, both partners confront the unconditional dimension of life and find it deeply and profoundly personal. This means that in and through one another, each

    1. partner confronts the ultimate meaning of his/her life precisely by sharing life unconditionally with another person; some may put this differently by believing husband and wife discover the presence of God in the sharing of daily life with another.

      Marriage is exclusive in so far as everyone else is excluded from the innermost circle of intimacy, both sexual and personal, shared between the two partners—no one else has access to the inner heart and mind, as well as the body, of the partner in exactly the same way. For this same reason, marriage is also inclusive because all of one’s life—one’s finances, career, leisure time, friendships, relationship to family friends, even one’s other so-called soul-mates—must be understood from the stand-point of, and in light of, the marriage commitment. Put differently, the whole of one’s life, history, successes, failures, hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows, are included in the relationship between two people.

      The Catholic view of marriage

    2. involves the modelling of a relationship on that perceived of Christ and his church. In this unconditional relationship, the quality of relation is unexceptional—the good husband and father will also be the good friend, son, or daughter; the mediocre man or woman will be mediocre in all of his/her relations. This is just as true if the person is gay, lesbian, or straight. Being a person means understanding that he or she is only one individual among others and not the center of the universe, that his/her will can not always be satisfied but must often be subjected to the will of others for the common good. Without this awareness of self, the individual will never be able to come out of his/her inflated self-importance and share his/her life with another. Marriage offers us the ideal human setting for us to surrender our own self-importance and discover, through intimacy with another, the real heart and center of the universe in God—whether one uses the word God or not. This

    3. unconditional giving of one’s self is at the core of a sacramental marriage in the Catholic tradition.

      In what some regards as the ideal order, what would prevent this sacramental understanding of marriage from being applied to two persons of the same sex in the same way these words can be spoken about a man and woman? Whether one uses the word “marriage,” or not the reality is the same. A gay or lesbian orientation is not a matter of choice but simply the way an individual is. A person is born gay and lesbian and grows up this way; it is not a matter of decision, one possibility among others for the mature individual. The Pastoral letters of the Catholic bishops realize this fact.

      While it is not likely that official Roman Catholic theology will sanction same sex relationships in the near future, two significant changes have taken place in the last half century in our understanding of marriage. First, the concept of marriage has moved from a legal contract to a personal covenant

    4. between two people in the pres-ence of God. Marriage is rooted, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, in “the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent.” Second, the act of procreation within a marriage (until recently seen as a duty so the race may survive) is no longer the only purpose of marriage. In marriage, the partners, as the Council says, also “render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and their actions.” Since not all marriages between a man and a woman end in offspring due to physical problems or personal choice, it is clear that the concept of procreation as essential to the marriage bond should be explored in a wider sense and include the creative spheres of the spiritual, moral, and cultural. Likewise, our understanding of family has broadened. In a 1980 statement, the Catholic bishops of Western Washington suggest that “whenever a relationship is formed based on mutual caring and interdependency, family is not

    5. the blood relationship, but the fact that it is a community, a group of people sharing their lives.”

      In this context, then, the possibility exists for a broader and more inclusive understanding of marriage and family. Such an understanding may ultimately include same sex relationships. The norm ought not to be gender but the quality or unconditional love and commitment that exists between two people.

      I know not everyone will share my faith but I cannot imagine a God who would not be pleased by deep and intense love and commitment in any of its forms. For Jesus reveals a God who wants more than obedience to the law but a God who wants nothing less than our whole hearts and minds and souls. All that matters to God is what is in the hearts and souls that God has given to us and that we seek to give to one another.

      If you share my faith, I hope you will understand where I am coming from – if not, I hope you will see that I am fighting for LGBT rights from within and out.

      1. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:32am

        Sorry, I didn’t read this, it was way too long for a comment.

  65. Look at his photo, with hands pressed together in hole-y piety – Secret homooosexuaaal…

  66. GingerlyColors 5 Jun 2012, 3:42pm

    Funnily enough I was around Shrewsbury yesterday. I could have done some bishop bashing! Since when did the Roman Catholic Church have any jurisdiction in British politics anyway? When the Rt Rev Mark Davies kicks the bucket I hope that they bury him in Shrewsbury – judging by the name of that town it is where they bury small rodents!

  67. Ed Steward 5 Jun 2012, 6:21pm

    Fr Peter Hooper of the bishop’s diocese has just pleaded guilty to sex with a child. I think the bishop ought to best spend his energy in clearing up his own house, before attacking others/

  68. Oh please get a life my Lord bishop Mark Davies – no wonder when he was a priest in salford diocese his fellow clergy called him Dark Mavis!

  69. Archbishop Cranberry 6 Jun 2012, 12:29am

    If that’s the full quote from His Loveliness, he doesnt actually answer the question he posits to start with, about the supposed threat to religious liberty, he goes off on a complete tangent dreamt up by the “religious right” in America.

  70. Cardinal Capone 6 Jun 2012, 1:52am

    Here’s the thing. They KNOW that equal marriage doesn’t weaken or affect the marriage of heterosexuals, or lead them to think less of their own unions. It’s been proven to them in Court. Their own experts admitted it. They also KNOW that gay people have and are a part of families and want the solid foundation of marriage for those families. Also proven to them in court. The also KNOW that marriage, legally is not for life, and that it has evolved in many different forms, and that here have been same sex marriages between Saints in the past.

    They know all this but throw it at us to hide the fact that some top people in the Vatican cannot stand for gay relationships, which they see as sinful, to be accepted as respectable by society, and are willing to fight a nasty homophobic battle to try and force their beliefs on everyone.

    It was proven beyond doubt in Court in California, that those trying to ban equal marriage were driven by animosity to gays. The same is true here.

  71. Ahhh that feels better 6 Jun 2012, 9:40am

    Yet again, children being used as excuses for homophobia. Really getting sick of it actually. I am gay, I am a Mum – GET OVER IT!

  72. Thank You Pink News for doing the right thing in removing the very offensive troll posts on here.

    Thank You for blocking the IP addresses of those trolls who have been harassing users of PN.

    Please can you write a public editorial to explain how PN is responding to this attack on your service and your customers.

  73. B L Z bub 6 Jun 2012, 1:04pm

    The sanctimonious pious smug look of the man really peeved me off, so I watched the Father Ted episode.

    “Kicking Bishop Brennan up the @rs3”

    Cheered me up no end. Thoroughly recommended.

  74. B L Z bub 6 Jun 2012, 1:05pm

    The sanctimonious pious look of the man really peeved me off, so I watched the Father Ted episode.

    “Kicking Bishop Brennan up the @r-se”

    Cheered me up no end. Thoroughly recommended.

    1. B L Z Bub 6 Jun 2012, 2:26pm

      And even mistakenly posted twice……. OOpps

  75. And the trolls have now gone …..

    1. PN have sorted it for now and for that I am grateful – they need to do more to prevent a recurrance though.

      The thing that hurts the most is that PN don’t front up with an article or account on the site to explain how this has impacted on the PN team, readers etc and what they have done, will do and can’t do about it. It makes the team seem distant and uninterested in the homophobia affecting this organisation.

      1. Thanks PN – I can now see you have installed more methods such as verification of emails and the report function.

        It is appreciated. It would be beneficial to see a public statement – but it is clear to those who are looking that you are doing things.

  76. Gay Kernow 6 Jun 2012, 2:34pm

    What does he know of love, priests are to busy shagging choir boys and dont know what real love is.

  77. Gay Kernow 6 Jun 2012, 2:36pm

    He dosen’t know what love is. His kind are too busy doing choir boys to know what real love is.

  78. The Roman Catholic bishop of Shrewsbury. Marriage and family are so important. That’s why he’s not married, and has no children. All the moral weight of a stale fart in a locked room.

  79. “The Government is seeking to do this at the very moment when marriage as an institution has been more weakened than ever before” yes he is right with this quote but it is straight people marrying multiple times that is weakening the institution of marriage! Case in point, Drew Barrymore has just married for the third time in as many years

  80. Sorry bishop but it is none of your business.

    Gay marriages are civil secular arrangements and not beholden to your religion or church.

    By all means, refuse access for these arrangements in your churches, however keep your nose out of secular legal activities.

  81. Unlike the Bishop, I don’t see anything intrinsically wrong with seismic shifts in the basis of our society. They’ve happened many times in the past – the introduction of universal suffrage, the abolition of slavery, the legal rights endowed by Magna Carta, freedom of (and from) religion. These were always opposed by reactionary elements, but progress won out in the end.

    The Bishop is of course entitled to his opinion, but it needs to be pointed out that marriage predates the Judeo-Chritian mythology; it did not arise from it. His opinion should carry no more weight than anyone else’s, even if the media feel them worthy of comment or reporting.

  82. The Bishop has no problem with discriminating against gay people. Does that make it all right for me to discriminate against Roman Catholics?

  83. the RC church continues to disgrace itself. They recently censored nuns in the US because they were concentrating too much on issues of social injustice, such as poverty, instead of supporting the battle against marriage equalty, and women’s access to contraception.
    Just this week they forbade Catholics to read a book wriiten by a nun and academic theologian about sexual ethics… because she affirmed the goodness of loving homsexual relationships.
    Gays need to recognize that the struggle for equality is closely related to the struggle for women’s rights.

    It’s a case of Got your back Jack … please guys give a little thought to your sisters gay and straight.

  84. Hi Guys, I despair that bishops have such hang-ups. What is their problem???? I think they are just screwed up or accept everything the vatican says as the word of God. I have always supported equal marriage as a priest. Gay marriage should at least be allowed in register offices and the church should stop interfering with that. If I was in a different job I would want to marry the man I fell in love with. Not all clergy are homophobic bigots.

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