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Scotland: Catholic equal marriage referendum ‘a colossal waste of money’

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  1. Like he actually gives a tinker’s cuss about democracy. Lying swine.

    1. Jock S. Trap 16 Jul 2012, 12:59pm

      Indeed, especially coming from someone behaving like a dictator, who thinks all should follow him, his religious law etc…. nope, democracy and religion don’t really work.

      (Not all but most religions)

    2. If you can’t win the argument, maybe you can win with votes…

      1. Jock S. Trap 16 Jul 2012, 4:11pm

        Yep and just imagine if you though the Church was bad enough now… wait and see what lengths they would go to if they had a campaign for a referendum!

  2. So last week he’s pledged to spend £100-150,000 on a war against equal marriage then this week he wants a referendum on it. Clearly someone’s been speaking to their american counterparts and sees an opportunity to spend a lot of money on a media campaign full of, no doubt, scaremongering lies to manipulate a vote to get the result they want.

    Not as if they’ve been squeaky clean so far so what’s a bit more dirt on their hands eh?

    1. The battle of referenda to decide civil rights is immoral and history shows it usually fails.

      If the Cardinal had a modicum of intelligence then he would know this, perhaps he does, perhaps he is playing every delaying tactic in the book and using every form of grotesque subversion and incitement of hatred he can; so that there can be aqbsolutely no doubt what his legacy can be – one of hatred.

  3. The man needs to stop worrying about something the ultimately does not affect him. After all, he is not going to get married anyway so why does he continue to try deny the LGBT community that right?

    Move on Cardinal O’Brien you should concern yourself with things that you should, in reality, be concerned with!

  4. This man is so fired up with ‘belief’ that he wants to spend £100,000 on stopping people getting married. I’d say he’s a one-off but unfortunately this is now what the catholic church is about – anti gay, anti abortion. I don’t know why they still call themselves a religion as they’re much more like a facist regime. I’ve said it before, religions should focus on healing the sick and feeding the hungry rather than spending their parishoners money on ‘campaigns’.

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 16 Jul 2012, 1:29pm

      Wouldn’t his (although to be fair not actually ‘his’) money be better spent doing some good for the sick and needy maybe rather than throwing it at a political campaign?

      There are a great many people in this country and the world as a whole suffering hardship and I would have thought that this £100 000 would have been better spent helping to address their issues.

      1. exactly. I wish I could get on TV and discuss it with someone like this cardinal. That is one of the points I would press home.

  5. Jock S. Trap 16 Jul 2012, 12:58pm

    All Cardinal O’Brien is trying to do is stall any progress and delay the inevitable.

    This is why we need to see how it would happen not if to get past the bigots like this who really shouldn’t have any opposition since this is about civil marriage, not religious marriage.

    However what about those religion’s that do want to perform Marriage Cardinal O’Brien? What about their ‘Religious Freedoms’ or do they not have any rights?

    Basic Human Right’s should include marriage for any couple who love one another… regardless of sexuality!

    Proof religious arguments here are only about hate and stalling…. nothing more.

    1. It would be interesting if there was actually a referendum. Do you think, if there was and he lost, that he’d concede defeat and support the outcome? Somehow I think not. And I wonder what sort of campaign his £100,00 would buy? No doubt posters of gay people molesting children and the like….oh, the irony.

      1. Jock S. Trap 16 Jul 2012, 4:16pm

        Indeed but it would already be undemocractic because the Church would basically order it own out to vote to make sure the numbers were high.

        Most people think we should have the equal right to marriage but probably won’t turn out to vote.

        My worry then is the Church will then use any vote as a referendum on us as a community bypassing marriage as the original topic.

  6. And I still don’t understand really. I’m not catholic, never have been and never want to be, so why does what I do upset him so much? And why does he want his church’s rules and regulations to be imposed on those of us that are not members? This seems like an attempt to grab power over everyone, even those outside his church. The arrogance never ceases to amaze me.

    1. “What does what I do upset him so much”? If you need to ask that question, then maybe you should stop living in a bubble.

      If marriage is radically redefined, so that it no longer represents a biological reality, or the complimentary that exists between the sexes (male and female), then it’s not just about you and your rights, but about the whole of society and the rights of all married people – as well as the rights of those, gay or straight, who are concerned that the west is fast becoming bonkers and prone to emotional hysteria at the expense of rational debate. ideally, marriage should be between a man and a woman for several reasons; none of them happen to be ‘homophobic’ and most are based in the natural law (NOT laws of nature, or the reality of base nature, before anyone starts pointing to penguins!) and human reason.

      The reality is that most gay men don’t want marriage anyway, as they know, like Peter Tatchell, that is is fundamentally a heterosexual institution…

      1. Dave North 16 Jul 2012, 1:48pm

        “The reality is that most gay men don’t want marriage anyway”

        Empirical evidence please.

      2. The reality is that the vast majority of LGBT people want the right to decide whether they do wish to marry their commited, loving partner. Whether they choose to exercise that right is another matter – but the evidence is many will.

        For the first six months after gay marriage was legalized in the Netherlands, same-sex marriages made up 3.6% of the total number of marriages. The numbers have steadily dropped since then to around 3%, with 2,500 gay couples marrying in 2001, 1,800 in 2002, 1,200 in 2004, and 1,100 in 2005.

        In the 2000 census it was found that there were 601,209 committed gay couples in America.

        I suspect many more will marry in the UK

      3. I’m in a bubble am I? Nice start to your post……..not.

        ‘most gay men don’t want marriage’. Hmm, I do. But what about lesbians and transgender people? Do they not figure on your radar regarding equal marriage? Have you conducted a survey on how many LGBT people want equal marriage? No? Oh well, so nice of you to speak for me anyway.

        What is this ‘natural law’ you refer to that doesn’t encompass nature? Bit of a contradiction there. And each human reasons things differently, so again this ‘human reason’ you mention is unqualified and vague.
        Maybe my friend it’s you that’s in the bubble?

      4. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2012, 2:13pm

        And you fail to mention that Peter Tatchell supports equal marriage even though he personalliy doesn’t want it. Unlike some gays who think CPs are enough. At least Peter undertands the meaning of full equality, some gays for selfish reasons do not. A poll conducted by Pink News revealed that 98% of respondents supported equal marriage. Provide the evidence to support your contention that most gay people don’t want marriage. You sound like a shilll for C4M/CI.

      5. Tim Hopkins 16 Jul 2012, 2:15pm

        John is wrong on every point. Mixed-sex marriage and the rights that come with it won’t change at all. John’s argument is like objecting to Barr’s starting to sell IrnBru in Germany, by claiming that it would change the right to drink IrnBru in Scotland. It wouldn’t, although it might upset the odd Germano-phobe. Same-sex marriage might upset the odd homophobe, but it won’t affect anyone else’s marriage rights.

        As for John claiming that LGBT people don’t want it, you might as well listen to the BNP saying black people don’t want equality. The Equality Network surveyed 100s of LGBT people in Scotland in 2009 – 85% wanted same-sex marriage and the same proportion wanted us to make it a priority campaign. It’s an even bigger percentage now.

      6. “The reality is that most gay men don’t want marriage anyway”

        Proof of this lie?

        Oh, sorry, bigots don’t do proof do they?

        1. Apparently Peter tatchell, Ben Bradshaw and Ben Summerskill are most gay men.

          Well I have news for John – there are more than 5 gay men (which would make these three a majority lol).

          And at least two of them have evolved their views on marriage.

          Also all of them support the right of gay people to choose to marry.

          So, if my guess as to what his evidence is regarding his rhetoric, is incorrect – I would love to see a citation to prove his claim (not that John will be able to provide a verifiable or accurate one, if at all).

          1. Would appear John is unwilling (or probably more likely unable) to offer evidence to support his contention.

  7. I know, let’s have a referendum and see if Catholics want the t0sspot in the stupid hat to blow a hundred grand on screaming at the tide when that money could save lives instead?

    If the RCC was a democracy all the stupid crusty celibate old fools would find themselves out of a bloody job.

    Catholics in Scotland, get off your backsides and tell this odious wretch to wind his neck in and stop misusing the charitable donations that you gave in good faith. Get up, act up, shout this old relic down.

  8. That There Other David 16 Jul 2012, 1:11pm

    Vatican Inc.™ will probably even try and write the £100k off as a tax dodge. Nasty nasty organisation only maintained so that old men can live in palaces funded by the poor.

    If Yeshua Ben Yosef had any clue what evils would arise from his preaching he would have never have left Nazareth. O’Brien should hang his head in shame.

    1. Are you sure you’re qualified to speak? Hang his head in shame for defending his teachings?

      “Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Mt 19)

      Rhetoric is simply that. Rhetoric.

      1. Christo-babbling nonsense. Here’s a stat – the hundred grand the t0sser in the hat wants to waste on hating LGBT people (something Jesus never would have endorsed, if he was anything other than a fiction) would buy more than a million vaccines for children in developing countries that would save lives.

        It would buy 120,000 pouches of emergency food ration that would save the life of a starving child.

        It would pay for clean water that would stop an infant dying of dysentery as her mother does her best with contaminated water – the alternative being that the infants blood thickens as she dehydrates and she dies in agony.

        Where’s your bloody Pharisee now, fool. Tell me who is more like your fiction? The man who rolls up his sleeves and saves the suffering, or the one in the finery who spends money on HATING people.

        This is exactly why I burn with contempt for people like you.

      2. You want to ban divorce then, John? After all, the vast numbers of straight people getting divorced has certainly damaged marriage.

      3. Tim Hopkins 16 Jul 2012, 2:23pm

        Aye right John. So why isn’t the Cardinal raising £100,000 to ban divorce, seeing as there are 10,000 divorces a year in Scotland and will be only about 500 same-sex marriages a year? Answer – because he knows it wouldn’t work. He sees LGBT people as a soft target and apparently doesn’t care about the hurt he causes us and our families. He’s wrong about the soft target as it happens, but it speaks volumes about his morality.

      4. “Rhetoric is simply that.”

        Just like your entire waffling and sanctimonious comment, eh, John?

        1. Will, its perfectly clear that John doesn’t understand facts or evidence – so all he has left is rhetoric or blind obedience to indoctrination.

          1. Quite right Stu. I loved his line earlier “the reality is that most gay men don’t want marriage anyway”

            A fool will chose what he wants to believe, despite evidence to the contrary.

      5. That There Other David 16 Jul 2012, 4:04pm

        That’s condemnation of DIVORCE son, not same-sex marriage.

        FFS, is a bit of honesty from the religious really too much to ask for?

        1. Yep. I’m afraid it is. Because if they open themselves to honesty they have to confront what they all know at heart – it’s no more the truth than tales of Ra or Zeus.

  9. Keith Farrell 16 Jul 2012, 1:15pm

    maybe he needs to hold a referendum in his church, see how many people will follow him

  10. davevauxhall 16 Jul 2012, 1:18pm

    Why have the supporting organisations not pointed out that it is unacceptable to have a referendum on the civil and human rights of unpopular minorities.

    1. This isn’t about just the supposed civil or human rights of a minority. The UN’s charter on human rights itself defines marriage as between a man and a woman, ideally for the procreation of children.

      No one will be tortured or be denied any fundamental right to life or free association or whatever just because society recognizes that marriage is something between a man and a woman for a reason. Reality can be tough, but laws cannot change biology – and nature in its perfect form cannot be unjust.

      This issue involves the whole of society, and all married couples, so is a much wider rights issue than a ‘gay rights’ one. CP give all the rights of marriage, and people who enter them often call themselves married. So why change heterosexual marriage to suit a minority? Where’s the democracy in that?

      1. Dave North 16 Jul 2012, 1:51pm

        “So why change heterosexual marriage to suit a minority?”

        And just how, pray tell, will heterosexual marriage be changed by this?

        1. Well, The Times is reporting today that divorce rates amongst straight couples fell after the introduction of same sex marriage in those countries that have it, Dave. So – equal marriage is good for everyone, it seems.

      2. John

        No the UN charter does not define marriage in this way. You have believed the indoctrinating groteque rhetoric of people like O’Brien too easily, without engaging your brain and checking it out.

        If you had applied your brain to enquire, rather than blindly follow, then you would have found what the UN charter actually says is:


        ” Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.”

        It states men and women are entitled to marriage – but it no where states that men can only marry women or that women can only marry men. In fact when it talks about couples it is very much non-gender specific.

        You might have either sort to spin this as meaning your own particular bias

        1. Oops, just beat me to it. :)

          1. Great minds think alike ;-)

            or, maybe some of us are more willing to explore the reality of facts and evidence, than some people – like John!

        2. regarding marriage, but the is a misrepresentation of what the UN charter says and the typical sort of snide, arrogant and groteque deceptions that O’Brien and some allied to him repeatedly pretend is the truth, when any reasoned examination demonstrates the lies within the deception.

          The Yogyakarta Principles of application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is a set of principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, intended to apply international human rights law standards to address the abuse of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and issues of intersexuality are those the UN strives to achieve. These principles state that wherever people are recognised as being born free and equal in dignity and rights, this should include LGBT people. They argue that human rights standards can be interpreted in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity when they touch on issues of

        3. torture and violence, extrajudicial execution, access to justice, privacy, freedom from discrimination, freedom of expression and assembly, access to employment, health-care, education, and immigration and refugee issues.

          There has been strong reasoned argument that demonstrates that the UN convention does not condemn same sex marriage.

      3. Dishonest.

        Article 16(1) of the UN Declaration on Human Rights states “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.”

        Ie, all men and all women have the right to marry. It does not state that they must only marry the opposite sex.

      4. A literal reading of article 16 does not indicate anything that would suggest it condemns same sex marriage. What article 16 does is recognize the right to marry. Arguably, especially taken in the context of the adoption in 1948, it was meant by the drafters to apply to couples of opposite sex.

        Eminent academics have reviewed all of the documents relating to the drafting of article 16, and do not think there is anything in that material to support the Cardinal’s interpretation.
        http://humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/gay-marriage-universal-declaration-and.html

        The only significant issue when article 16 was being drafted was clarifying the status of women as equal partners in marriage, and affirming their right to divorce on the same terms as men (“…at its dissolution”). Many suspect that the distinguished Cardinal doesn’t even agree with article 16’s recognition of such a right.

        It is a well-recognized principle of interpretation that international legal texts are to

        1. be construed in a dynamic manner, taking into account evolving values. Although article 2 does not specifically mention sexual orientation – the subject did not arise in 1948.

          Cardinal O’Brien is hoping to get some progressive buzz out of his invocation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This morning’s BBC interviewer challenged him very well on some points, but unfortunately did not take him up on this abusive and incorrect reference to the Declaration.
          The Cardinal is in over his head He doesn’t know what he is talking about here. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, taken as a whole and read in a contemporary context, provides support for legalization of same-sex marriage.

          Even if the Universal Declaration did not support the legalisation of gay marriage, the suggestion that a human rights instrument has any business prohibiting it would still – with respect – be faintly ludicrous. The fact that straight couples have the right to marry in no way entails that gay

        2. couples must not be given the same right.

    2. Tim Hopkins 16 Jul 2012, 2:26pm

      davevauxhall, we have! We’ve also asked whether, if the Cardinal thinks it’s OK for the majority to vote on the rights of a minorty, he’d agree to a referendum on whether there should continue to be state-funded Catholic schools in Scotland.

      1. if we proposed a referendum to abolish the Roman Catholic Church in the UK and to sequester all its assets, would Cardinal Biggles accept the democratic voice? Of courese not! so whty should the rights of gay people be put to vote.

  11. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2012, 1:24pm

    How would he like a referendum to banish catholicism from the UK altogether? After all, it’s a foreign import headed by a foreigner based in Rome. Since he is a Brit representing a foreign power meddling in the internal affairs of the UK, this is clearly tantamount to treason, sedition or both in trying to usurp the wlll of a legally elected government. Arrest the buggers and bring them before the World Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity.

    1. LOL – let the hate pour forth!

      If this man actually proposed a referendum banning all gay men from Britain, then he would be rightly maligned. But he isn’t, which makes your rather unjust or over the top response seem a bit odd.

      As you know, the English are a foreign import to the UK – they were here well after Catholicism, though accepted it soon after – via St Gergory the Great. Which other so-called foreign imports do you want to ban from the UK? As an ancient Briton, I think the Anglo-Saxons should be first ones out! LOL.

      Also, you may already be well aware of the fact that in current law and as historical fact, not other group has been more persecuted by the UK state than the Catholic Church. Catholics have far less rights than homosexuals – a gay man could be King, for example, a Catholic can’t.

      You sound like a member of the Chinese Communist party – your argument is exactly the same one that those totalitarian anti-democrats use against the Catholic Church.

      1. Dave North 16 Jul 2012, 1:52pm

        You really do talk sh!te.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2012, 2:09pm

        I wouldn’t expect anything from a catholic apologist like you who tries to rewrite history. I know a thing of two about my former faith which I long ago renounced. I could care less that Catholics allegedly have been on the receiving end of persecution. It pales compared to the injustices against Gays, Jews and indigenous tribes in Latin America throughout the history of western civilisation. The evil cult with its centuries old tradition of paedophilia, misogyny and other forms of abuse against humanity comes along and demonises, villifies, denigrates, scapegoats gay people with vicious, mendacious statements about our relationships and who we are as people, members of the human race. It deserves the vitriole, every bit of it. If anything, it should apologise to us, just as the last pope apologised to the Jewish people for the immense harm it caused them throughout two millenia.

      3. ‘Also, you may already be well aware of the fact that in current law and as historical fact, not other group has been more persecuted by the UK state than the Catholic Church. ‘

        Sounds like baloney to me, but if it is true then that paints the catholic church even worse than they currently are. If it is true, then simply they should know better than to dish out persecution themselves.

        1. Tim Hopkins 16 Jul 2012, 2:34pm

          The only heterosexual Catholics banned from marriage are those who have the misfortune to fall in love with the heir to the throne! Funny thing is, LGBT equality groups support repealing the rule that the monarch can’t marry, or be, a Catholic, because we support equality for Catholics and well as for LGBT people.

          The Catholic leadership rightly wants full equality for Catholics, but disgracefully wants to deny it to LGBT people. The good news is that the majority of Catholics disagree – 55% of Catholics in Scotland support same-sex marriage.

      4. What on earth are you babbling about John? Is a coherent and somewhat intelligent statement too much to demand in a bigot these days?

  12. chris casey 16 Jul 2012, 1:34pm

    One man’s democracy….we are all guilty of only calling for a referendum when we think we’ll win. Is democracy a sham?

  13. Garry Cassell 16 Jul 2012, 1:37pm

    The nasty brut is still at it…trying to get noticed at whatever cost..be it other people’s money..they need to be put out of their misery…

  14. The Scottish parliament should just get on with their plans for equal marriage and ignore this bigot. Then when the dust settles (and the sky hasn’t fallen in) these nasty people will be seen for the mean spirited bigots that they really are, increasingly isolated and irrelevant.

  15. This call is about having others who have accepted RIGHTS, voting to allow them to vote on the rights of others. No ones rights should be put to the vote of the whims of the majority, this happened recently in North Carolina USA. This silly man knows there is no mechanisim in Scottish law for this to happen other than through the referendum, the polls can say what they will however, put to a vote such as suggested is the route to ensuring equal rights will lose. I hope Salmond et al have the intestinal fortutude to resist this call.

  16. First, you don’t put the civil rights of a minority up to a vote of the majority.

    Secondly, a public referendum is by no means an expression of popular opinion. Those who peddle that spin are feeding you a heap of misleading bland nonsense.

    Human rights should not be subjected to a popular vote via a referendum. Human rights should not be held hostage by a majority.

    One of the primary functions of government should be to protect the natural rights of a minority from the oppression of a majority.

    Legislating a restriction on the state’s ability to recognize a same sex relationship doesn’t do a damn thing to support families in reality. A law doesn’t make people stop being gay. It just oppresses them; it stops them from obtaining all of the rights to which heterosexuals have access.

  17. de Villiers 16 Jul 2012, 2:07pm

    Rights in a democracy do not work in the way that the Cardinal has suggested – not that it is for the Cardinal to become involved in political issues.

    That at which one looks is not just the numbers of people claiming the right but the weight of those demands and in comparison with the fairness and the rights of others.

    There may be a large number of people who are opposed to gay marriage but:

    i. It might properly be said that they have no right that gay people not be able to marry;

    ii.There could be no such right as it involves interfering with the lives of others rather than claiming a right over one’s own behaviour;

    iii. If there were such a right, its weight would not be great as the effect upon each individual holding it is less than the benefit of the right of marriage upon a person who is gay and to those seeking gay marriage as a form of ending discrimination and promoting a tolerant society.

    The referendum shows no proper weight to the right as opposed to mere numbers.

    1. de Villiers 16 Jul 2012, 2:09pm

      There should be a comma after the word great in paragraph (iii):

      iii. If there were such a right its weight would not be great, as the effect upon each individual holding it is less than the benefit of the right of marriage upon a person who is gay and to those seeking gay marriage as a form of ending discrimination and promoting a tolerant society.

  18. essexgirlbecky 16 Jul 2012, 2:13pm

    … And if a referendum failed to establish sufficient public support in favour of gay marriage, what exactly would it prove? Weight of numbers does not make a bigoted argument any more appealing. If we permit a majoritarian viewpoint to determine access to inalienable human rights, all we achieve is the continued oppression of minority populations. And if Cardinal O’Brien spent more time reading the book he is thumping, he would surely realise that the equal treatment of others is not a matter of legal argument, but a Christian obligation. Or did you forget about the woman at the well Your Eminence?

  19. Delaying tactics. First it’ll be a referendum; then another one (the first could give the ‘wrong’ answer); then an enquiry; then a lengthy appeal to a Court, etc etc. All because some people can’t BEAR having no-one to pick on and deem inferior.

    I’m sure he knows full well that equal marriage won’t affect him or straight married couples one jot – after all, there are already married same sex couples in the UK (albeit ones that have had their foreign marriages ‘downgraded’ to a CP), so what harm have these couples done? Do straight couples lie awake agonising over them? No, most don’t care a d*mn.

    O’Brien is just furious because he doesn’t want LGBT people to be recognised and valued as equals by government and our society.

  20. Sorry it’s a bit off topic, but the priest who showed gay porn at a parent’s meeting has been apologising again…

    and… we now know what happened to that memory stick.

    http://www.tyronetimes.co.uk/news/local/parents-reject-cardinal-s-investigation-and-new-claims-of-innocence-by-parish-priest-1-4039329

    His pathetic explanation is like something from Father Ted.

    1. Wasn’t it Jimmy Swaggart, the televengelist caught with a prostitute who said:” The Devil made me do it.” That’s a more believable excuse than this priest’s explanation.

      1. I believe so. I’m sure Ted Haggard also used that line. The Catholic Church has used the devil, liberalism, the gays of course, to try and excuse their child abuse problems. Anything but themselves.

  21. I wonder how much money the Catholic Churchhas paid out to defend pedophile priests and compensate victims? I can’t even imagine donating to such a corrupt bunch of scoundrels.

  22. Piper Peter 16 Jul 2012, 3:11pm

    Spend this money on the poor as Jesus commanded not on campaigning against gay marriage- How unChristian!

  23. Irrespective of the outcome of referenda, however, referenda on minority issues can be quite harmful to disenfranchised groups. In 1999 the Hungarian President Rudolf Schuster decided not to call a referendum on the official use of minority languages following the nationalist-minded opposition’s to the recently adopted minority language law. In 2002 in British Columbia, Canada, a referendum on aboriginal land rights did take place despite great opposition. Christian leaders in British Columbia – including the bishops – urged parishioners to vote against or protest the referendum because they objected to the very concept of the referendum. Archbishop Crawley noted that: “It is wrong for the rights of a minority to be decided by a vote of the majority. We do not use referenda to test the wide range of human rights, religious, free speech and other legislation which implements constitutional rights. We do not impose referenda on other minority groups who seek to exercise their

    1. who seek to exercise their constitutional rights.”
      However when legal decisions are made about opposite values such as gay rights and abortion rights, the same religious groups explicitly call for referenda. In 2002 a referendum concerning a law that protects people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation was held in Miami-Dade County in the US. Religious groups had forced the referendum vote with a petition. In November 1998 something similar had happened in Hawaii. A referendum about a constitutional amendment that gave the state legislature the power to reserve marriage for opposite sex couples was called for by religious pro-family groups that claimed to vote against the amendment was to vote for homosexual marriage. These groups had access to a large amount of financial and in-kind donations and unfortunately voters passed the amendment by a 2-1 margin.
      Clearly the position of religious groups on the acceptability of a referendum depends the way it can advance

    2. their agenda. Usually it is those who oppose the minority rights that call for a referendum to block the laws taking effect that would protect minority rights.
      Human rights issues like freedom of religion or speech can never be the subject of a referendum as they are designed to protect the right of minorities. Referenda are seemingly democratic but fundamentally unjust where it imposes the majority opinion on a minority and violate the rights of this minority.

  24. but said the cardinals argument was “not the way Scottish democracy works”.

    Oh, sorry, you prefer the day when the pillars of a democratic society are fearfully second to the will of the church? Silly me. Maybe 1475 might be a better year for you, Cardinal O’Brien?

    Typical bigot:- a compete idiot.

  25. Pavlos Prince of Greece 16 Jul 2012, 3:32pm

    What about referendum on Catholic priests celibacy, women priests or nomination of bishops not from Vatican but from Catholic communities itself? Well, it will be very fascinating campaign, Eminence… And incredible consequences for all too.

  26. If the cardinal really believed that there was a religious principle at stake he would be against ‘gay marriage’ independently of the result of a referendum. His preference for letting the people decide is comparable to the two women who ask King Solomon to rule on which of them is the real mother of a baby.

  27. Anyone who is proposing that the majority in a referendum should decide whether a minority are entitled to civil rights or not need to examine their own heart and conscience (if they have one).

    If a politician were to support this they would be promoting a democratic deficit and would be shirking their political responsibilities. It is their duty, as elected politicians, to ensure that this country enjoys laws that place everyone on an equal footing. Their responsibility as taken by oath is to prompt serious, public discussions after which they determine laws which, in reality, reflect social justice for all. If they’re going to run to the people petrified of every hurdle and quandary they face then they might as well scrap elections altogether.

    Minority rights are never for sale and those politicians who “burn” these rights on the altar of populism should all hang their heads in shame!

  28. Rather than reframing the debate away from moral values, we must embrace them. Or more precisely, the utter immorality of the escalating attacks against LGBT people. And, equally, the utter immorality in the failure of so many people of good will to stand with us. It is time for us to seize the moral high ground and state unambiguously that anti-gay discrimination in any form is immoral.

    By any measure, LGBT people are targets of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. FBI statistics show that more people are being murdered because of their sexual orientation than for any other bias reason. Our young people are still routinely bullied in schools. The examples of injustices in the area of partner and family recognition are too many to list.

    there is no justification for anti-gay prejudice; the “justifications” for it are as unfounded as those used to support the second-class treatment of other minorities in past generations.

    So, what needs to be done?

    1. First, everyone must realize that when straight people say gay people should not have the freedom to marry, they are saying we are not as good or deserving as they are. It’s that simple, no matter how one attempts to sugarcoat it.

      This is unacceptable – and it is immoral.

      Second, while we should talk to straight people honestly about our lives, we must flatly reject the notion that we are somehow to blame for all of this because we have not effectively communicated our “stories” to others. Fundamentally, it is not our job to prove to others that we can be good neighbors, good parents, and that gee whiz, we’re actually people too.

      As the cascade of lies pours forth from the Anti-Gay Industry, morality demands that non-gay people speak out with the same vehemence as they would if it was another minority under attack. Ministers and rabbis must be challenged with the question, “Where is your voice?” Elected officials who meet with and attend events of the Anti-Gay Industry, must be

    2. met with the challenge, “How can you do that!? How is that public service?”

      This is another ugly chapter in its struggle with the forces of bigotry. People of good will can either rise up to speak for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people, or look back upon themselves 20 years from now with deserved shame.

  29. Cardinal O’Brien calls equal marriage a radical redefinition of marriage, and of course he is entitled to his opinion – he is entitled to be wrong.

    Of course, many people — most likely a majority — believed 50 years ago that ending racial segregation in the United States constituted a “radical redefinition” of American society. The races were meant to be separate, they said; it wasn’t natural for blacks and whites to drink from the same fountains, and they certainly should never be allowed to marry each other. They were wrong. They were entitled to their views, but they were wrong.

    Also along the rocky road of history, some described Catholics as “papists” and Catholics for many years were seen, along with blacks and Jews, as threats to the dominant, white Protestant culture, presenting a “radical redefinition” of the way the American way. Similar comparisons of Catholicism and the British way of life can be made.

    But, of course, we got over it, for the most part.

    In the USA, it

    1. took a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It took unyielding belief in the “self evident” truth the founders declared in 1776, that “all men are created equal.” It took leadership: white Protestant preachers and politicians who emerged from the majority to protect minorities. They helped smash Jim Crow and wrote new laws. These were Americans who believed there should be only one form of citizenship in the United States: first-class citizenship for all. This is of course, what we should seek to attain (and in many other areas of life have done so successfully) in the UK.

      So the Westminster and Scottish governments have raised proposals that seek to bring forward legislation to enable marriage equality ensuring civil marriages for gay people. This would bestow full first-class citizenship on men and women who are homosexual and who wish to be legally married.

      Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Those who oppose the extension of this right to homosexuals are going to spend time

    2. and money on a drive to get same-sex marriage on a referendum during a “declaration of war” on “gay marriage”.

      Their opposition to same-sex marriage as a state-granted right is based wholly in the religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. It is an irrational argument, not a legal one — much like the arguments that were used to maintain racial segregation years ago.

      Some of these ministers are offended at the suggestion that they are on the wrong side; they are outraged at the comparison between the fight for marriage equality and the fight for civil rights. So, in this matter, they are eager to subject a question of rights for a minority to a referendum vote. They are blind to same-sex marriage as a question of human justice.

      Imagine what would have happened in the USA if Jim Crow laws been put to referendum in each state of the former Confederacy. Imagine what would have happened had the Civil Rights Act been put to a national referendum instead of a vote of Congress in 1965.

    3. A majority of voters probably would have extended the life of Jim Crow in the South and de facto segregation in the North. The majority would have crushed the minority’s plea for equality.

      Now in 2012, in the USA, UK and in other jurisdictions LGBT people are a minority but seekign equal rights and making progress.

      Any suggestion that rights of minorities (in this case gay people) should be subjected to a vote by the majority is a cop out. In matters of civil rights — of human justice — progress has been won not by plebiscite but by political leaders and elected representatives showing civil courage, writing and amending laws that extend equality, and by courts ruling on their constitutionality.

  30. douglas in canada 16 Jul 2012, 4:18pm

    Denying the referendum will be the greatest blow to this idiot. He lives in a previous century in his mind, where people will believe anything he says, and jump when he tells them to. Those days are gone.
    By not allowing the referendum, it becomes clear to all that he has neither the power to make it happen, nor the credibility to encourage others to make it happen.
    Suck it up, Cardinal, your ship is sinking, and no one will believe otherwise.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Jul 2012, 5:04pm

      Thankfully, it won’t happen because it’s too politically charged and could harm all three parties who have a stake in getting equal marriage passed. It would open up a can of worms because there would be nothing to stop the bigots, particularly in the roman cult to have a referendum on womens reproductive rights including abortion. Not going to happen.

  31. Great programme from the BBC this morning (for once) that discusses whether a referendum should occur re equal marriage – and some of it gives the Cardinal some stick!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01kjkrd/Call_Kaye_16_07_2012/

    1. It does seem to be the case when these programmes come along, and I think of Question Time as well, when the public are involved that the views put across seem to go against the general direction the BBC has been going in. Strange that isn’t it? Almost as if those in charge might have their own agenda :P

    2. Thanks for that Stu, very interesting.

  32. All that money he is spending fighting gay legislation could be spent on those hundreds of men who were abused by his priests. He is a vile ugly human being. Not unlike the other Scottish homophobe Brian Sutter or whatever he is called who spent nearly a million trying to maintain section 28 north of the border.

  33. Jim Fields Nashville tn 16 Jul 2012, 5:51pm

    the catholic church is not our friend … exactly they are only the friends of those they can control . once they lose that control they dont give a witch’s tit about anyone .. if you differ with them you are a sodomite or worse and we do know they know sodomites
    spending money GOD will get em for it .. think how much good that money could do for the elderly and the young who are in need .. or to feed the hungry in africa or one of the many 3rd world countries where they protest against and preach against birth control

  34. Cardinal Obrien you are making a fool of our church…. stop embarrassing us…we go to your church and you know we are Gay…its all face and you know it …when your reading this message….

    1. Robin Evans 16 Jul 2012, 11:12pm

      You go to his Church????? You deserve everything you get then, idiot!!!!!

  35. GulliverUK 16 Jul 2012, 7:12pm

    Can we;

    1. Get them to pay for the full cost of the referendum.
    2. Donate £150,000 to a developing country vaccination programme. £150k = 450,000 vaccinations.
    3. Add an extra question on whether people think churches, which are really just social clubs for the religious, should continue to be regarded as charities. Fitness First isn’t a charity, so I’m unclear on why churches are getting away with it.

  36. Jolly good idea. Let’s always just do what majorities want. But while we’re at it, let’s have referenda on the civil and human rights of Catholics –
    in Northern Ireland
    Nigeria
    the American Bible Belt
    Iran
    Scottish islands (the ones dominated by the Wee Frees, that is)
    Russia (specially conducted by the Orthodox Church).
    Let’s start a mob-rule trend!

    1. Jock S. Trap 17 Jul 2012, 8:33am

      Or even just a referenda on Religion being relevant in the UK!

      (Paid for by religion, of course!)

  37. He’d be better spending the money on the street people living rough literally on his doorstep, for a start. They should be his priority, not same-sex marriage.

    1. Gemma Gillon 17 Jul 2012, 3:46pm

      As a gay catholic. I agree with you. Nice point.

  38. I thought Churches /or even the Religious people are not suppose to have Money ,as don’t they believe that it is the root of all evil ,or something like that ?

    So how come they are Rich then ?

  39. As this seems to be an episcopally themed page, I pass on Fr. Stubbs’s general invitation. [I am NOT Fr Ian Stubbs]

    “Anyone living in or not too far from Glossop you are warmly invited to join us at 7.30pm at Glossop Parish Church on Sunday 22nd July for a showing of the film

    LOVE FREE OR DIE

    “It’s about the experience of Bishop Gene Robinson, a man whose two defining passions are in direct conflict: his love for God and for his partner Mark.
    Gene Robinson is the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom.
    His consecration in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir, and he has lived with death threats every day since.

    There’s information at
    http://www.lovefreeordiemovie.com/about.html
    a film trailer at
    http://www.lovefreeordiemovie.com/video.html
    and about the grassroots campaign here
    http://groundswellas.nonprofitsoapbox.com/each-one-move-one-pledge

    With every blessing.

    Ian Stubbs

    1. Its not Catholic….c.of E are more liberal than Catholics

      1. Not all of the CofE!!!

        Some Catholics are more liberal that Sentamu and the Bishop of Chichester

  40. Patrick Welsh 16 Jul 2012, 11:24pm

    In 2010 in Costa Rica a call for a national referendum on same sex civil partnerships was thrown out by the “Constitutional Court”, arguing that it was anti constitutional and that such a referendum is a legislative issue and not one to be decided by the electorate. It also pointed out that “majorities” should not be entrusted with making decisions on the rights of “minorities”. The opinion of many people is formed more by cultural norms, religious prejudices (and often ignorance and fear) than by international and national legal mandates and human rights’ codes and treaties. The Scottish bishop’s sudden interest in promoting democratic participation is suspicious at the least. They’d be better off spending those Catholic Community’s thousands of pounds holding an internal referendum on the structure and governance of the Catholic Church, starting with the right for Catholics to choose their own priests and bishops.

  41. Great comments by Patrick Harvie MSP today:

    “So just days after declaring war on same-sex marriage, Cardinal O’Brien says he wants a referendum on the issue.

    What a dangerous precedent it would be for the Government to cave in to religious demands of this kind. What would it say about the kind of society Scotland is becoming if a Church – any church – was handed an effective veto over the parliamentary process whenever an issue was raised that didn’t comply with their own absurd doctrines.

    We’ve seen the way such processes are used in the US to promote the agenda of whichever religious groups can spend the most money, and I’d hate to think of Scotland going the same way.

    Same-sex marriage was raised in most party manifestos at the 2011 election, it has broad public support, and it’s entirely reasonable to go ahead with the normal legislative process on this just as we do with any other proposal to change the law. Marriage has changed fundamentally for the better over the years,

    1. and is now a relationship between equals instead of a means by which men own and control women. Opening it to same-sex couples on equal terms is a minor change by comparison.

      The campaign against equal marriage has been misleading and selfish from the word go, and merely represents a continued refusal to accept lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people’s equal status and basic human rights. Let’s remember that the Catholic Church in particular has opposed every step forward, from an equal age of consent to the repeal of Section 2A and the outlawing of discrimination in employment and services.

      However it clearly doesn’t represent mainstream opinion, which has transformed dramatically for the better over recent decades.”

  42. Hardly as if he or his hateful organisation are going to accept a referendum and shut up, is it.

    Just more wicked hypocrisy, bullying, and playing to the haters in other countries.

  43. The stench of Catholicism must be eliminated! Fortunately they are doing it themselves!

    1. Gemma Gillon 17 Jul 2012, 3:44pm

      Replace that sentace with Judisem of Islam and see what kind of person that shows you up to be

  44. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the meeting at 2pm today at Bute House is!

  45. Techiechick 17 Jul 2012, 12:16pm

    £100-150,000? I thought the bible says something about money being the root of all evil?

  46. Gemma Gillon 17 Jul 2012, 3:43pm

    I am sorry but the Cardinal has the LGBT & SNP over a big barrel. Even if you disagree with him and question his motives, even if we can see its obviously to spite the equal marriage cause, he still has it over a barrel. The SNP insist that a 26,000 response consolation justifies a matter (independence) that will effect Scottish society, being put to a referendum and that this is democracy. The logically it must follow that a consultation that will change Scottish society and effect the life’s of people intimately, that attracts over 80,000 responses, must have more of a democratic justification for a referendum. If the SNP & LGBT it looks, very damaging to the vote wilding democratic freedom fighting Scot. I am gay but if I was them I would ask the most devastating question. Which would be: What is the matter LGBT+SNP, if you think the Scots will back you then why don’t you let them do it in the arena of direct democratic vote.

    1. The SG have categorically stated today that no referendum will be held on equal marriage.

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