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Anti-equal marriage protesters to hold Tory conference rally

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  1. Andrew Pierce should be ashamed of himself yet again.

    He really is a vile excuse for a gay man.

    1. He and Rupert Everett should start a club for gay homophobes.

    2. Derek McNeil 17 Sep 2012, 10:32pm

      ClearlyAndrew Pierce,Rupert Everett, Elton John,George Michael and many other gays cannot all be homophobic. It’s not anti gay because you don’t agree with same sex couples wanting a heterosexual union!

      1. Spanner1960 18 Sep 2012, 8:28am

        It’s standard socialist practice to hurl abusive epithets at people that don’t support their thinking by trying to impose a guilt trip on others in the attempt to gag open thinking and free speech, hence anybody that attacks immigration policy is automatically branded a racist.

        Personally, I fully support same-sex marriage and I think these people are wrong, but I don’t need to resort to calling them homophobic simply because they have a differing opinion from mine.

  2. Oh it must be the event of the year. NOT!

    When are these people going to understand that they are behind the social times. Imagine voting for those who are so out of touch with what the majority agree with!

    1. Derek McNeil 17 Sep 2012, 10:39pm

      ‘These people’,are all entitled to their opinion, and there is nothing out of touch about a belief in the definition of marriage as we know it.There opinion is just as important as yours!

      1. Cardinal Capone 18 Sep 2012, 3:16pm

        I’m sure you know very well that definition has nothing to do with it, and that’s just a smokescreen. What this is about is indignation that gay relationships may be thought to be just as valid, rich and loving as straight relationships. It’s about maintaining a level of rejection of gay relationships. The Vatican and its prelates are extremely clear about that in their pronouncements. They don’t want society as a whole to accept gay relationships, and marriage is a sign of that acceptance.

    2. Derek McNeil 17 Sep 2012, 11:00pm

      Nothing out of touch about believing in the tradition of Marriage as we know it!

  3. Sickening. I really can’t understand why these people want to restrict the rights of a minority. I’d find it offensive even if I wasn’t a lesbian.

    1. Iris: I don’t see what is sickening and I don’t believe minority rights are being restricted if you believe marriage by definition is in the main not to do with rights but what it has mostly been understood to be up to now – a union for life between one man and one woman.

      Our discussions in the past lead me to think you are a lovely person so the last thing I would want is to be offensive when I say given what is happening and the line being taken by the Tory leadership that is at odds with what many grass root Tories believe that putting on such an event is quite appropriate and I would suggest that a C4EM event and even a debate between them and C4M take place.

      1. Sister Mary Clarence 17 Sep 2012, 4:49pm

        Actually though John, the Tory leadership isn’t at odds with the views of a lot of grass roots supports. A lot of Tory grass roots supporters are pro-equal marriage. There is a vocal (churchie) minority who are against it, but same sex unions and marriages pre-date the Christian church and have taken place around the globe.

        That the church has hijacked marriage and tried to claim it for its own, does not necessarily make it so.

      2. Cardinal Capone 17 Sep 2012, 4:51pm

        It is well established that the right to marry is a fundamental human right. Only the really dense are fooled by this whole “definition” smokescreen.

      3. john b please try to educate yourself. marriage is a human right, if i could draw your attention to ARTICLE 16(1) of UNITED NATIONS’ UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

      4. Hi JohnB. I know I say this every time but I promise you I don’t say it to upset you or be rude. I say it because I’m trying to find something that’ll help you empathise – how would you feel if this was a discussion about restricting interracial marriage? And how would you, a Christian, feel if the Bible was used to try to justify doing so?

        The Government’s talking about CIVIL marriage.It won’t affect churches at all any more than the law allowing divorce means that churches have to marry divorcees.This is about CIVIL equality. No-one’s trying to force things on the church.But, on the other hand, churches that DO want to marry same sex couples should have their religious freedom respected.

        “a union for life between one man and one woman” ? Then where are all the conferences trying to ban divorce, John? By your logic, divorce shouldn’t be a matter of rights either.

        I respect your right to hold your beliefs – maybe you could respect my rights to have the same options as you.

      5. That’d be fair, wouldn’t it? Your rights aren’t restricted because you’re a Christian, so why should MY rights be restricted because I’m gay? It’s not only unjust, it’s inhumane.

        1. Thanks Iris. I know we have covered some of this ground before. I wouldn’t want to restrict anyone’s rights but marriage is what it is by definition and what is being proposed is to alter that definition which in all conscience I can’t do. You make the distinction between religious and civil marriage. I see civil marriage as being civil partnership and there may be room to strengthen this. I also understand why some folk prefer to marry outside churches but will often still regard that as marriage. As you know I am all for inter-racial marriage and feel the church has lost some authority by accepting re-marriage so freely after divorce but that doesn’t detract from my views based on Genesis 2v24 etc. I wish we could talk more but there we have to leave it. Despite what I say and my views, I wish you and other PN readers every happiness, fulfillment in their relationships and in every other area.

          1. Best wishes to you too, JohnB, as always :) But – regarding those Genesis verses, you could equally quote them in favour of incest (god having just made Eve as a ‘companion’ for Adam and they’re about to become one flesh, so to speak) or indeed, some kind of cloning (Eve having been created from Adam’s rib). And what about that bit in the OT where we read that the Sun revolves around the Earth? Should we ban astronomy too? ;)

        2. “I wouldn’t want to restrict anyone’s rights but marriage is what it is by definition”

          Currently, yes. But that doesn’t mean the law can’t be changed. Slavery used to be permitted but we changed that law; married women used to count as property but we changed that; women used to be denied the vote but we changed that too.

          Human beings have the intelligence and compassion to move forward, I hope, and not cling to injustices simply because ‘it’s always been that way’.

      6. Derek McNeil 17 Sep 2012, 10:50pm

        I agree with you John B. SS couples are unable to fulfil the definition of Marriage, not because there is anything wrong with the relationship,but because it’s different. All loving relationships are special but different. We should celebrate our differences without having to redifine a union that has lasted for centuries. There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal!

        1. I agree that diversity is very good, but just because people are different it doesn’t mean that they can’t be treated equally. Women are very different from men, but it’d have been a poor excuse to deny them suffrage simply because of that difference. Where would it stop? Different shops for Catholics? Different buses for different races?

          Marriage has NOT stayed static. It has been redefined before and it will be redefined again. Women aren’t property now; divorce is permitted; divorcing women don’t now automatically lose custody of their children etc. There is no reason at all to restrict marriage. Every adult should be permitted the option to marry and their sexuality, race or religion shouldn’t come into it. The law should treate everyone equally EVEN THOUGH they are different. That’s the point you’re missing here.

        2. “SS couples are unable to fulfil the definition of Marriage, not because there is anything wrong with the relationship,but because it’s different.”

          SS couples may be different to heterosexuals, but perhaps what you are really saying tacitly is that . . .
          1. Heterosexuals have exclusive rights to marriage
          2. Marriage is a heterosexual institution
          3. Marriage should in no way be subject to revision or evolution

          I think that you will find that evolution is the only point we can be certain of.

          Why do you want to stifle nature?

  4. A rally to oppose equality, that’s something to be proud of isn’t it?

    No we don’t want you to have the same rights as for example serial adulterous divorcees as it would undermine marriage.

  5. ‘In February, Lord Carey described the coalition’s policy on equal marriage as amounting to “one of the greatest political power grabs in history”.’
    Sorry, my irony-meter just packed in again.
    A representative of the Christian church is attempting to guilt-trip the pro-marriage campaign by accusing it of political power grabs?!?
    Practically every major advancement of Christianity across the world could be construed as a political power grab in the secular arena, from Constantine onwards, via the Crusades and the Inquisition up to sending missionaries to Africa to convert the indiginous population which is still ongoing today, not to mention the dubious alliance between the Evangelicals and the GOP, and the Russian Orthodox church and Mr Putin.
    But theocratic power grabs are held to a different standard I take it?

  6. Also, Anne Widdecombe talking about the virtues of being married when she is still a spinster, is really quite laughable!

    1. Yes, the anti-gay, pro-theocracy Widders who “converted” to catholicism because her previous cult wasn’t extreme enough – rather like warmonger Blair.

    2. Derek McNeil 17 Sep 2012, 11:03pm

      Nothing laughable about it. You don’t have to be married to have a view on marriage!

  7. Andrew Pierce is unbelievable! His article actually seems to side with the campaign run by christians who have made it clear they are bigots and who clearly hate gay people – like him. It’s horrible. I don’t know why he hates us all so much and is determined to stop us achieving equality

    1. I agree. He even seems to be bothered by Cameron’s opinion that being gay should not be considered a sin. Talk about a self-loathing man.
      But I guess you have to be self-loathing if you work for the (“abortion hope for homosexuality”) Daily Mail as a gay man.

      1. Is he even gay? I mean has anyone on PN ever ACTUALLY had sex with him? I think we need an inquiry…

        1. Spanner1960 18 Sep 2012, 8:30am

          *Shudder*
          If anybody ever had, do you seriously think that they would admit to it?

  8. Only 900 people are attending?
    That’s all folks. We’ll suspend democracy for the selfish wants of 900 people.

    1. Cardinal Capone 17 Sep 2012, 4:23pm

      But it will be nice too see all the most homophobic Tories caged in one place.

    2. Cardinal Capone 17 Sep 2012, 4:24pm

      While they’re all in one place, can we ship them somewhere they will feel at home? Say, Uganda?

      1. It is being done region by region, Midlands, North West, North East etc and so on, so there will be more of these to come. And why not, homosexuals have Pride to advertise that they are gay and all their other special meetings and rules. So C4M is having one, and the homosexuals cannot stand people having a say against them.

        1. LGBT communities are not seeking to deny minorities of access to goods and/or services available to the rest of society. While C4M is lobbying the government for exactly that purpose.
          The C4Mmers cannot stand people having the same rights and privileges as themselves.

        2. When I organise meetings to try and deny you rights, Matthew, please feel free to do the same to me. In other words, NEVER. I wouldn’r deny you rights so maybe you’d like to return the favour? Sadly, I doubt it. So why do you insist on trying to discriminate against a group of human beings? Does it make you feel better?

          1. It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest.
            I have what I am given, I am happy, I do not bully for more.

  9. Paddyswurds 17 Sep 2012, 11:56am

    What these people don’t seem to be getting into their heads is that we WILL have Marriage Equality whether the bigots like it or not It simply is not a matter of if, but when.. Frankly I will be a small bit pleased when the Law and Justice Tories finally show their colours and they end up shelving the motion.
    That way when Labour returns triumphant in 2015 and immediately brings in Marriage Equality, the Homophobic Tories will be wrong footed and find themselves once again on the wrong side of history but then I guess that is their natural habitat given their reticence toward human rights and indeed the modern world….

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Sep 2012, 12:18pm

      Even if Labour won a mandate in 2015, it would still need sufficient votes from the Tories to make it happen. I doubt if 100% of Labour would vote for it, maybe 90-95%.

      1. Paddyswurds 17 Sep 2012, 3:29pm

        This crowd have made such a phuc up that Labour will get such a landslide the Tory votes won’t be needed…..

        1. Sister Mary Clarence 17 Sep 2012, 4:51pm

          Deluded

  10. I’m guessing there’ll be lots of talks about why equal marriage is a ‘bad idea’. I’d love to hear the reasons they give as I’ve yet to hear one sensible reason against it. It’s all lies, mis-information and cr*p, as far as I can see. I’d also love to hear Carey explain why CIVIL marriage is any of his damn business.

    1. … naturally Carey poking his nose into civil marriage is not a ‘power grab’ and there is no way it could ever be construed as such, cause the church doesn’t do ‘power grabs’.

    2. Sky-Daddy said so.
      And in Sky-Daddy’s story book, it says Sky-Daddy has veto power over every single deomocratic institution on the planet.

      1. But only when it suits them, it seems. Hypocrites, the lot of them. Using the bible to pretend there’s any justification for their own nasty prejudices.

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Sep 2012, 12:25pm

      Religion and procreation are in the mix. It’s the same nonsensical reason given by opponents in every country where equal marriage is legal.

      As for that pathetic old twat Widdecombe, 900 plus overspill is really NOTHING to be concerned about. They’ll get coverage for sure, the Daily Mail, Telegraph, but soon, they’ll be running out of excuses or reasons to justify their opposition. People are going to grow tired of the same old nonsense. Expect the vitriole to get worse once a first draft is presented. They know it’s inevitable, hence their resistance.

      Widdecombe’s gang of hate mongers read religion into everything. What we need now is a strong barrage of condemnation by MPs in support, but I suspect there won’t be much of that for fear of upsetting the religious nutters. Just look at Clegg’s recent apology for something he had no reason to apologise for.

    4. I can just hear the nonsense in regard to hetero couples who can’t procreate. They’ll come up with the lamest of excuses to dismiss any challenge to their non-factual statements. That’s the problem with these idiots. None of them can produce compelling factual evidence to substantiate any of their claims. Surely there would be sufficient time for them to do just that now that eleven countries have equal marriage and more to follow? The Netherlands became the first country on April 1, 2001. That is more than enough time for religious nutters to provide the evidence. So come on Colin Hart, Lord Carey, Anne Widdecombe, show us what you have.

  11. Oh dear- the ‘nasty party’ tag just won’t go away will it? As for Andrew Pierce-well-I’ve said it before- just you watch-when equal civil marriage is a reality-Andrew and his civil partner will be in the que to get married!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Sep 2012, 12:26pm

      Well, we’ll just have to remind him of his hypocrisy won’t we, ditto Ben Bradshaw.

    2. Paddyswurds 17 Sep 2012, 3:37pm

      I wonder how long it takes a half dozen eggs to rot. I have a feeling we might need some instead of confetti at Pierces wedding.. Oh the irony….

      1. Cardinal Capone 17 Sep 2012, 4:28pm

        You just made me think of that scene on the stage in Carrie.

    3. Is he in a civil partnership?

  12. “”the rally is being staged at Birmingham City Hall, which has a capacity for 900 people and has already been described as a “sellout” event with “hundreds more on the waiting list”.”

    For a group with over “600,000 signatories” I’d say booking a 900 capacity venue seems to show a total lack of ambition or belief on their part. But they wouldn’t lie about these things in the name of their own bigotry would they?

    1. Well, we have to wonder if the remaining 599,000 turn up as a show of support if they are that concerned. Widdecombe should have at least booked the Olympic Stadium and Wembley for the inundation”.

      1. It is being done region by region of where signatories are based, Midlands First, North West, North East, etc and so on, so there will be many many more of these. And I’m proud to be going to one.

    2. Yes they might have thought of the Olympic Stadium now that it’s empty.

  13. Dangermouse 17 Sep 2012, 12:28pm

    The “darling” of Strickly Comes Dancing is out in her true colours again.

    1. Yes- proof indeed that she’s not the “cuddly national treasure” she tries to portray herself as.

      1. Cardinal Capone 17 Sep 2012, 4:30pm

        Desperate for the limelight maybe.

  14. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Sep 2012, 12:38pm

    How would idiot Widdecombe take to a referendum on banning religion from politics entirely and removal of public funding of faith based schools? Why should our taxes support hatred, inequality and discrimination? One day, the tables will be turned on her gang of hatemongers. This from a woman who supports a cult where paedophilia has been covered up and clergy protected for more than decades.

  15. Might have guessed that the sexually oppressed poisonous old toad widdebeast would be involved in something like this.

  16. Katie Kool-eyes 17 Sep 2012, 12:54pm

    Whenever I see her wrinkled old face, I dont want to talk about same sex rights. Instead, I have the sudden urge to give just £5 a month to abused pitbulls…..

    ….can’t imagine why

    1. I always think of cat’s dirt boxes when I see her face, I seem to recall she said she was fond of reading a book while stroking her pussy cat of an evening by the fire.

  17. If you’ve heard of a new organisation called Conservative Voice (been getting lots of air time on BBC) you might want to know where they stand on marriage equality. I made this enquiry:-

    I gather from your website that Conservative Voice advocates equality of opportunity, and reducing the role of the state by encouraging freedoms for individuals, families and communities.

    Please could you advise whether the freedoms you promote would extend to the rights of same-sex couples, especially the right to marry in civil ceremonies as well as in religious institutions which are happy and willing to participate?

    Reply follows …

    1. Reply from founder of Conservative Voice –

      My apologies for the delay in getting back to you.Since the launch on Tuesday we have been inundated with support and offers of help.

      Regarding your question.Our in tension in the early days is to provide a voice for people around the Country to express THEIR views on issues.Something which I believe has been lacking in recent tomes.We will in due course express policy ideas on a range of issues in fluxing the ones you mention.

      I look forward to keeping in touch.

      1. This from an idiot who thinks that 900+ supporters or 0.000015%out of rougly 60 million is going to have any significant impact on the equal marriage debate. It’s beyond laughable.

        Whoever wrote that piece is in dire need of remedial English.

        1. Andrew Pierce?

      2. Their idea of freedom involves restoring the right to hunt with dogs and to rip off employees whenever possible.
        PS. IS that spelling really the spelling that was in the reply? Wow.

    2. Cardinal Capone 18 Sep 2012, 3:07pm

      Is it by chance related to or inspired by the new spin doctors of the Vatican, “Catholic Voices?”

  18. Mumbo Jumbo 17 Sep 2012, 1:05pm

    Rupert Everett yesterday, Andrew Pierce today.

    Is it “Pull a Self-Loather Out of Your Ass Week”?

    1. Cardinal Capone 17 Sep 2012, 4:35pm

      No, leave them to it.

  19. Here we go again, more gay bashing

  20. I expect to see LGBTory condemn this conference and call for the expulsion of the bigot attendees (all of them).

    If they do not, then LGBTory are proving that they are worthless uncle Toms.

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 17 Sep 2012, 4:54pm

      Or maybe they don’t answer to your bidding ….

  21. PN – “He said that he had damaged his own career prospects by coming out, and that he had been treated differently after doing so.”

    Sir Ian McKellen is in huge demand as an actor even though everyone knows he’s gay.

    1. Sorry – that post was about the Rupert Everett story

    2. Paddyswurds 17 Sep 2012, 3:42pm

      I always had an uneasy feeling about Rupert Everett, and now I know what it was about. My sixth sense was right…just another assh0le pretending to be important. Who cares what Everett thinks; he is a nobody frankly…….

    3. Dave North 17 Sep 2012, 4:51pm

      That is because Sir Ian, is

      1) Likeable
      2) Talented
      3) Not up his own @rse.

  22. If I was to ask for a dignosis on my health from someone with no medical experience people would think I’m mad.

    Yet the C4M drag out Anne widdecombe out as an expert on marriage despite never been married, had a relationship or even had sex it seems.Indeed as far as I know she may never even have genitalia since there is no evidence as such that any one has ever seen them.

    I doubt whether the C4M will restrict themselves to marriage only and will throw out the usual homophobic arguments about gays being a heath risk, bad for children, the detruction of the family and the whole human race and so on and so on….

    1. Dave North 17 Sep 2012, 4:53pm

      ” I know she may never even have genitalia since there is no evidence as such that any one has ever seen them.”

      I have.

      They are placed atop her neck.

    2. They are mad.

  23. from the last paragraph of the article “several delegates were seen to leave their seats in disgust.”

    that should have read
    “several disgusting delegates were seen to leave their seats.”

  24. At the risk of upsetting some PN readers (not my intention) I would suggest that most supporters of C4M happen to believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that it has nothing to do with antipathy toward gay folks and that in a democracy we should be able to invite both C4M and C4EM to present their points of view and for there to be a civilized debate so people can decide for themselves.

    1. Cardinal Capone 17 Sep 2012, 4:39pm

      You mean like the BBC Africa debate on whether homosexuals should be executed or not?

    2. Dave North 17 Sep 2012, 4:50pm

      “I would suggest that most supporters of C4M happen to believe marriage is between a man and a woman”

      They can “BELIEVE” al they like.

      Why should that then prevent others from the CIVIL state of marriage.

      It affects them not one jot. Unless they see us as somehow “dirtying” the concept.

      Then the truth comes out.

    3. But the govt has decided, it’s going to do equal civil marriage and exclude religious marriages with all the necessary protections for religious organisations. What is there to debate apart from the details of how to achieve that. Most supporters of C4M are from relgiious organisations/churches and what the govt is proposing doesn’t affect them.

    4. Anglican Mainstream prominently features resource materials (anti-gay propaganda) provided by listed hate group Family Research Council, “Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality”
      This should tell you all you need to know about C4M and who they are aligned with.

    5. Manuel Fernandes 17 Sep 2012, 7:46pm

      “We have no antipathy towards gay folk but we wish to exclude you from being allowed to hold a marriage certificate because you are gay” ? Err right. That makes sense. From what I have experienced most C4M supporters seem to be religious nuts.

    6. JohnB that’s unfair because whether one’s motivated by antipathy or not the end result is still the same. Unless you want all civil rights to be up for discussion, then why should OURS be? I’m sure I could find people in the UK who’d like to vote on all kinds of things that, I hope, you’d be strongly against. The Government should do what’s right and just – especially when it won’t impinge on anyone else’s rights at all, as equal marriage won’t.

  25. Dex (@MrDexB) 17 Sep 2012, 4:27pm

    Well, Ann Widdecombe has lost my respect! Not that I had any when she did Strictly!

    1. Sister Mary Clarence 17 Sep 2012, 4:52pm

      Oh yes, she had my utmost respect as she got kicked round the dance floor week after week like a sack of wet coal

  26. Michael lowe 17 Sep 2012, 4:57pm

    Get ANGRY>and Complain.

    feedback@thsh.co.uk

    1. Michael lowe 17 Sep 2012, 5:04pm

      Dear Sir/Madam, I wish to lodge a formal complaint.
      As a resident of Birmingham and long time attendee and performer with Choirs at both THSH venues, I am disgusted that you have allowed a private function to go ahead on the 8th October 2012 with Homphobic organisations seeking to undermine the heart of Equalities for all LGBT people in the UK.
      Does your Equal Opportunities policy operate in any of the THSH venues? I will be looking for a reply as to whom to officially lodge a complaint, as a Birmingham Citizen, an NHS Equalities organisation employee and as a Birmingham City Council Equalities Consultant Trainer in Personal Relationships and Sexual Health and HIV awareness with the Learning and Development Directorate.I would suggest reviewing the Equal Opportunities Policy of THSH and look at the funders of THSH Equal Opportunities Policies also to ensure no event of this nature will ever go ahead.
      Would you allow an Anti Islamist, Age Discrimination or Gender segregation event.

      1. They’d allow a gay only event to bash religion, so they have to allow this.

  27. I think we should hold a counter-rally in support of gay marriage to counter-act this. can build huge numbers of people so we’ll out-number them! can bring in different parts of the comunity as well as the gay community.

  28. Let’s all turn up and turn it into a gay pride :-)

  29. Oh dear, here we go again. This is a tiresome whinge from the old reactionary right who don’t have a foothold over social policy like they used to.

    As I’ve said on here before, this was never about morality from their perspective; it was about power. The established vested interests are terrified of losing influence in society, yet it’s falling through their fingers. The Conservative Party are a bubble that live by the politics of the pecking order and by the politics of having someone to look down on. When will they finally wake up and realise that those days died in the 1960s?

  30. Every society has its Lord Haw Haw and Andrew Pierce is the LBGTs one. Equal marriage is inevitable but mutton headed people like the RCC, this Coalition for Marriage lot and the Church of England and of course Islam are slow to learn and prefer going backwards. This is the 21st century and things and life are different now. This is getting tedious. I wonder when they are going to wake up if ever.

  31. For a split second i thought the Widdecombe witch was sitting in front of a sign ‘The Hung Foundation’ but back to the main topic,she and carey are becoming a boring joke. Organising an event to vocally deny the equal rights of marriage to all. Homophobia and inequality all gathering in one sickening hot spot. They are the real blight on british equality values.

  32. The woman failed as a politician.

    Nobody could stomach her.

    The TORY party kicked her out.

    Why is she getting air time.

    Cause she is a toon loon christian.

    THey get it all..

    Could someone tell this bitch that it is her type that has cause EVERY war on this planet.

    1. ridiculous

      1. I agree . . .

        Religion can be ridiculous . . .

        Ann Widdicombe certianly appears to be a glowing testimony to this fact

  33. These people have irrational anti-gay beliefs formed by a selective reading of Bible scripture, they want to impose their irrational anti-gay beliefs upon everyone else.

    1. Cardinal Capone 18 Sep 2012, 2:59pm

      Yes we know. Your point is?

  34. Spanner1960 18 Sep 2012, 8:35am

    If this so-called gay community” had any balls whatsoever, they would organise a counter-demonstration.

    If we can muster 20,000 people for a Pride march just to blow a few silly whistles, one could imagine LGBT people could actually gang up to do something worthwhile.

    Unfortunately gay people couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery and no doubt everyone will be washing their hair that day…

  35. Yes you hold your rally against Equality ,whilst at the same time ,people on other parts of the glode dying ,which you are suppose to comfort .

    But ofcourse targeting LGBT community is far more important .

    This is why the younger generation are starting to wake up and know what religion is really like .

    Just think what we could of had now If we all worked together .

  36. Ann Widdecombe is a vile, bigoted woman.

    1. Cardinal Capone 18 Sep 2012, 2:56pm

      And your point is?

    2. I love the lady :-)

  37. Cardinal Capone 18 Sep 2012, 2:55pm

    How about a referendum on whether Catholic priests should be allowed to marry in England?

    None of our business?

    So how is it their business if we have the right to marry?

    So my proposal is in any referendum, the 2 questions should be put together.

    I believe the population would give the priests the right to marry.

  38. Iris, Sister Mary Clarence, Cardinal Capone, kane, Derek McKeil, Dave North, john, Pavlos … thank you for your response to my earlier comments.

    My apologies if I have got back further and this was expected – time as much as anything – but your comments are noted.

    I wanted to also say that in the main this has been done fairly and respectively and thank you for it.

    Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, people with different views trying to understand the others position and seeking common ground (which I feel may be more than may be realised) is imho the right way forward.

    1. Equality is the best and fairest way to find common ground don’t you think?

      1. Pavlos, this may surprise you but I am a member of the Equalities Board of our Local Strategic Partnership and am only too aware where there is inequality and of the damage this can cause. However, I have to say my driving force as a Christian is truth and righteousness which is often linked with justice which in turn relates to equality. Sometimes I am mindful of some of the tensions, expressed for example in these forums. For me it is a journey and while I have come a long way it is not over yet.

        1. “I am a member of the Equalities Board of our Local Strategic Partnership”

          Is the board aware of your beliefs about homosexuality being sinful and an abomination?

          1. Hi JohnK – how are you? hope you are doing well :-)

            After you had raised something similar before I reported back to one of the key board members the discourse that had taken place and the context. He was perfectly ok with my position.

            I would be happy to give his name and contact but for safe guarding reasons it would not be appropriate in this forum.

            As for whether or not homosexuality is sinful, it is important to realise we are all sinners and heterosexual sin is more rife than homosexual. What doesn’t change is God’s standards and our need to abide by these,

          2. “He was perfectly ok with my position.”

            I believe you, JohnB, but I do wonder whether he would have been so understanding if he had someone espousing racist beliefs. I ponder that because it seems to me that homophobia is often not taken as seriously as racism, for example.

            Do you know how disturbing it is to suspect that some people (not the man you’re referring to – I have no idea about him) think that dislike of LGBT people is somehow understandable and permissable?

            (sorry to butt in on this, JohnK)

          3. Iris: It is difficult having these discussions in a forum as this but rest assured my EB colleague is NOT homophobic and has done a lot in our town to secure LBGT rights and educate folk on the issues.

            I don’t know his position on issues like gay marriage even and that is a good thing imo – he takes his job (as do I) seriously to ensure that LBGT rights just as ethnic and any other minority group rights are upheld and the public duty obligation toward these groups under the 2010 Equality Act is carried out. Btw I don’t think you meant it to come over like it seemed but there is no issue for him (or me) of disliking LBGT folk and probably I like you more than some of the Christians I know :-)

          4. JohnB, I’m sorry if what I was saying came across too personally. My comment about homophobia not being taken as seriously as racism was a general one – not aimed at you or the man you mentioned. I’ve often found *in general* that people are all too ready to excuse homophobia in a way that they’re not regarding racism or sexism and that society, in general, can see homophobia as a more ‘acceptable’ prejudice.

            I’d like to be seen as just another human being with the same rights as everyone else. I long for the day when the focus isn’t on anyone’s sexuality. For me, equal civil marriage is crucial – not as a campaigning issue but just so that I can get on with my life in the same way as I would have had I been born straight. We should all have the same options in life.

            Apologies again if what I said came across badly.

          5. I’d also add that in some ways I see equality regarding sexuality as similar to equality regarding gender. It horrifies me to think that many years ago, I wouldn’t have been allowed to vote simply because I’m a woman and that my life chances in the past would have been far worse, again, because of my gender. In some ways, I see my sexuality as the same thing.

            I don’t like injustice – both personally and in general.

          6. No I didn’t take it personally Iris. You make a fair point although I see prejudice against and injustice toward all the equality strands not least the elderly.

            I do not look on you as lesbian but rather as a human being and that goes to everyone irrespective of what they might be classed as. I think if we all were to adopt that approach it could help break down barriers.

            My liking / preferring or not of a person has little to do with these age, sex, race, religion, disability, sexuality etc. but rather depends more on factors like personality and I would like to think content of character.

          7. Oh, yes, JohnB, there are certainly a lot of prejudices and misconceptions about other groups too, the elderly being a good example, and the disabled too. Sometimes the care that’s provided isn’t as good as it could be and that’s tolerated maybe because we don’t always value older people. That’s wrong – and upsetting too. Again, that’s a lack of empathy., and not seeing the ‘real person’ under the outer appearance.

            “My liking / preferring or not of a person has little to do with these age, sex, race, religion, disability, sexuality etc. but rather depends more on factors like personality and I would like to think content of character.”

            Which is absolutely as it should be, JohnB. And that idea is very close to what we teach in PSHE – that one’s race, sexuality, etc etc is no indicator of what you’re like as a person, and that no-one should be assessed on something as ‘trivial’ as that.

            Thank you for your comment – I appreciate it. :)

          8. Iris: just to say thanks for your comments and understanding. I respect your views even when they differ radically from my own but also am heartened that we have significant common ground.

            I mentioned a while back that I have written a book that in part relates to our discussions and focuses on my work and perspective as a community activist.

            You and Stu especially have unknowingly contributed to some of the content and I would like to think there is a lot you will agree with.

            I am down to send a free copy to Stu and would like to send to you too. Unfortunately, PN is not the place to give out contacts but if there were a way I can get to you I would like to. You can contact me via my under development website: http://www.jrbpublications.com.

            PS PSHE – some interesting discussions with my 14yo as a result and while I have concerns over indoctrination I teach him to question everything and listen to all – for him it turns out to be quite a bit on the lines you mention.

          9. I’d be very interested to read your book, JohnB, as I think I’ve mentioned before :D For a number of reasons really – to see where you’re coming from, to see how your religious views shape your life and the way you live it and do your community work. I don’t know if you plan to sell it through Christian bookshops? There are a couple nearish to me so I’ll look out for it.

            Please don’t take offence, but I don’t give out personal details. Not that I think you’re anything but a decent, genuine person, nor do I question your intentions in any way whatsoever. I’d do the same whoever you were, so it’s in no way personal – just a rule I have.

            Having said that, if I ever see you in person, I will introduce myself – and get a copy of your book from you direct :D

            (that’s a promise not a threat :D )

          10. I understand Iris.

            Incidentally, it is not meant as merely a Christian book but rather attract all folk interested in serving their community and/or explore ways disparate groups can work together for the common good.

            Unfortunately, besides some local outlets (Southend) the only way to get the book is from me either direct or via my website listed earlier, which currently only has contact and rudimentary details.

            I am working on a second edition and one the ideas it to make it available as an ebook.

            As I say, I really do appreciate our exchanges and hope that one day I can meet you in person.

          11. Thank you :) I appreciate your understanding, and the fact that you’re always courteous and give considered answers in a calm way and never just post and disappear when you’re questioned like some people do.

            Best Wishes to you.

            Iris

          12. Thanks Iris for those kind remarks.

            While I do try to respond to points even if they conflict with my own views, it is not always easy because often people are disingenuous, acrimonious, confrontational and irrelevant.

            But I am please to say that does not apply to you for which you have my gratitude and admiration even when we don’t agree on some important issues

            Take care :-).

    2. Indeed – understanding and empathy are crucial. We all have to live on the same planet so it’s mad not to try to get along as much as possible, and there are enough enmities without creating more. Live and let live (within reason, of course).

      1. I might be wrong Iris but some of my main community issues are around homelessness and asylum seeking and the related issues of poverty and social justice. I have sometimes found this has interested some gay folk more than some Christians I know, which is regrettable to me as a Christian since the Bible seems so clear on these matters.

        I wonder if one of the reasons for the “gay” interest is because gay folk know all too well the rejection and oppression from first hand experience and can thus empathise with others. My entering the debate on issues that arise in PN etc. is in part to establish some understanding and common ground, fearing that polarisation of positions means we don’t get to join forces on some of those things that matter. Not easy territory but potentially rewarding. I wonder what your thoughts are on what I have just said!?

        1. Certainly it’s easier to have empathy if you’ve experienced something yourself, John. Growing up and realising you are ‘different’ in some way makes you think about others. Also, experiencing discrimination yourself, which you know to be wrong and unfair, makes it much easier to imagine how another ‘different’ person might actually be as a person, and not to fall victim to stereotypes or misinformation about that person.

          I’d also politely suggest another idea: maybe many Christians lead more sheltered lives (no offence meant) and move in small circles amongst people just like them and don’t so often come across people who challenge their ideas? I don’t know if that’s true, but I say it thinking of Christians I know.

          But on the other hand, ALL people should feel empathy and sympathy. Developing that is part of PSHE in schools, and I think it’s extremely important. Perhaps (some) Christians who rely on dogma too much see things as too black and white and don’t use their empathy.

        2. What I mean by that is that some religious people may inadvertently be blinded to the realities of other human beings simply because they think they already ‘know’ those people are bad/wrong/inferior/sinners so they don’t think about them as individuals enough and don’t use their own judgement, instead relying on what they’re told or what their holy book says. I’ve found some Christians can be very dogmatic, and I often suspect this isn’t even all intentional – it’s just like they’re blinkered and can’t see past their belief/scripture. I don’t mean that they’re arrogant on purpose, but sometimes it comes across like that. If one believes that they are ‘special’ (having accepted god, etc) then it’s very easy to fall into the trap of having little time for others and dismissing them.

          1. Iris: a lot of what you say I agree with and it resonates with my own observations and experiences.

            I’ve come a long way – while I don’t believe I am homophobic I have no doubt homophobia was rife in some of the Christian circles I moved in in my younger years.

            I am open to being challenged and you yourself have challenged me and I have modified my position as a result, for which I am grateful.

            Now comes the big but – the question of Bible interpretation is a complex one and even in Christian circles on a whole raft of subjects there is often disagreement, sometimes irreconcilably.

            But that does not mean we should abandon scripture or change our views according to align with popular opinion. We must find out what it is God says and wants and then believe and do it.

            A proper biblical perspective should make us very humble and not see ourselves superior or fail to follow the great command of loving our neighbour with all that entails.

          2. “I’ve come a long way – while I don’t believe I am homophobic I have no doubt homophobia was rife in some of the Christian circles I moved in in my younger years. ”

            ………………………………………………………

            You have mentioned on this site for the last few years, that homosexulaity is a sin

            You cannot have you cake and eat.

            Your views are homophobic

            The only person you appear to be lying to is yourself.

          3. JohnK – I think we will need to agree to differ.

            You make think I want my cake and eat it – I don’t think so even though perhaps it seems I am walking a tight rope at times.

            You may think I am homophobic but since I neither fear or hate homosexuals I don’t think that is the case.

            My rationale can be found in my other replies, particularly to Iris.

            As for being sinners – that we all are … and I don’t make the rules.

    3. Same sex couples may be different to heterosexuals, but perhaps what you have been trying to say tacitly is . . .

      1. Heterosexuals have exclusive rights to marriage
      2. Marriage is a heterosexual institution
      3. Marriage should in no way be subject to revision or evolution

      I think that you will find that evolution is the only point we can be certain of.

      Perhaps you want to stifle what happens naturally?

      1. JohnK – I suspect more than tacitly!

        I am by no means certain about evolution – at best I’m agnostic!

        I wouldn’t insult you or other gay folk by saying what you do does not come naturally. I have no desire to stifle anything but every desire to encourage all people including myself to live as God wants us and if that is not so to respect those who differ from me.

  39. Paul Coleman 18 Sep 2012, 8:47pm

    This is not a huge surprise, is it? The Tory party will battle this out until the end. Cameron is trying to give the impression the party is modernising, whilst mainly turning the clock back to Thatcherite policies. Remember w hen he used to be green? Hopefully we won’t be looking back to remember when he used to be for gay rights!

  40. Bigots Conference.

    ““In the end, the only reason to deny a gay couple the right to marry is a belief that their relationship is in some way inferior to a heterosexual one. That’s bigotry.””

    Quite right Richard Reeves, thank you for having the backbone to point this out so clearly and emphatically.

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