Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

UK: Religious equal marriage opponents criticise Ed Miliband

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. “The evidence shows that marriage between one man and one woman is good for individuals, good for children and good for society”. So what is the evidence to which you refer Andrea Minichiello Williams.

    Yet again, more scaremongering for the religious bigots who cannot produce the evidence of which they speak!

    1. Agreed, and claiming the BIBLE defines marriage! Rubbish, it was defined by the council of trent in the 1500’s.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2012, 12:42pm

        Marriage was later redefined in the UK as recently as the 19th century when civil marriage was introduced to allow heterosexual adulterers and serial adulterers as well as divorced people to remarry, over and over eliminating any religious component or impediment. I don’t see any of the opponents bemoaning that and they wouldn’t dare because of a backlash from the public. Someone needs to spell it out loud and clear for the bigots.

    2. Gays are individuals, gays have children and gays are part of society, so why shouldn’t marriage for gays be good as well?

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2012, 12:40pm

      Exactly, but have you noticed that nobody has ever asked them to come forward with the factual evidence? Certainly none from any of the three parties. I think it’s about time someone did just that.

    4. “The evidence shows that marriage between one man and one woman is good for individuals, good for children and good for society”. Is a moot point because no-one is talking about taking marriage away from people who want to marry one man to one woman.

      Marriage between two men or two women is equally good for individuals, good for children and good for society. Not for the same individuals, nor the same children but likewise it only impacts those directly involved in the marriage.

      “Those churches which continue to practice biblical teaching on marriage will feel immense pressure to conform to the state’s new definition” – Considering how vehemently they’re fighting when they are NOT being asked to perform marriages against their “belief system” it is incredibly unlikely that any church will buckle under the pressure if the issue ever does come up.

      Finally, how can they argue that their religious freedom is at risk when they care so little for the religious freedom of others!?

    5. Spanner1960 28 Sep 2012, 5:34pm

      “The evidence shows that marriage between one man and one woman is good for individuals, good for children and good for society”.

      Yes. I totally agree.
      So what? Does that mean that alternatives cannot be equally viable?

  2. “When it comes to allowing churches to perform same-sex ‘marriages’, permission will become coercion. Those churches which continue to practice biblical teaching on marriage will feel immense pressure to conform to the state’s new definition.

    What… polygamy?

    1. I know.

      Its hysterical.

      These “christians”, ( note the quotes) have no idea about their own bible yet use it to bash us at every opportunity.

      Deluded lying fools.

    2. Cardinal Capone 28 Sep 2012, 5:44pm

      Yes I think the idea of one wife came from the pagan Romans, when Rome became Christian. Actually Paul said the Christian ideal is not to get married at all. Quick way for the human race to die out! He also said if bishops are burning with lust then they could marry but should preferably limit themselves to one wife.

  3. Thanks a lot, Miliband, you have the political acumen of a bag of bloody sprouts.

    Can we please establish the civil law, and get law-abiding tax-paying LGBT citizens equality and protection under the law of the land. And THEN blather on about people and the assumed wishes of their asinine sky daddy fiction

    All you have done is hurt us. The nature of the ceremony is only of relevance to the participants, is not required by law, and has no bearing on the PROTECTIONS we require.

    You injure us with your pandering to bloody fairy tales.

    1. As a matter of tactics, I disagree. Permitting only civil ceremonies is not going to help marriage to pass – most of the electorate don’t understand the different proposals, and the Scottish consultation report suggests that the people who do understand have the same views whether religious ceremonies are included or not.

      I also disagree on principle. This fight is not about legal protections. CPs give us extensive protections almost identical to marriage. We can’t point to endless US-style cases of civil partners being excluded from hospitals etc.

      This fight is about the other word you use – equality. You may not be interested in religious ceremonies,and you may take a dim view of people who are. But different-sex couples have the right, under civil law, to formalise their marriage through a church wedding, if that church is willing to marry them. Same-sex couples should have the same right – or we are not equal under the law of the land.

    2. Tim Hopkins 28 Sep 2012, 12:17pm

      From a Scottish perspective it is interesting to see this debate amongst LGBT people south of thr border. Here, we asked for full equality right from the start, including civil, humanist and religious – by those religious groups that want to do them – same-sex marriage ceremonies. That’s what the Scottish Govt have promised to deliver in their announced Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill.

      The principle of giving religious groups the choice seems to have wide support. Of course the likes of the Catholic Church are opposed, but they would just as strongly oppose civil-only same-sex marriage. It’s also quite likely that banning religious groups that want to do s-s marriage from doing so, would breach their article 9 human rights. No other country has such a ban – in all the countries that allow same-sex marriage, and have religious marriage, religious groups can do them if they want.

    3. Craig Nelson 28 Sep 2012, 12:55pm

      I also disagree. I think that preventing religions from marrying where they want to do so is a state intervention in religious freedom and is discriminatory against same sex couples. Also I saw no evidence of any church accepting this division or softening their opposition – actually the opposite seems the case with the C of E. Avoiding discrimination against LGBT people and preserving religious freedom are both important tenets not lightly to be cast aside.

  4. Not remotely surprising.

    By even referencing these insane cults Miliband was inviiting a typically hate-filled response from the cults. The cults do not seem to realise that civil marriage equality is the goal, and that this has nothing to do with them.

    1. And by doing so, Millipede has given them ammunition against us in their ludicrous claim that this is what we wanted all along which was never the case.

    2. Tim Hopkins 28 Sep 2012, 4:26pm

      In Scotland, full marriage equality was always the goal, including humanist and religious same-sex marriages done by those groups that want to do them. We made that clear all along, and it’s what the Scottish Govt have promised to deliver in their Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill this session.

      Conceding civil-only same-sex marriage was never, we thought, going to mollify the religious opponents of same-sex marriage – and it hasn’t in England and Wales. And of course, it satisfies neither equality nor religious freedom, and leaves LGBT people of faith in the lurch, as well as religious bodies like the Quakers etc.

    3. Spanner1960 28 Sep 2012, 5:37pm

      Oooh. Cult.

  5. I thought these people were in favour of religious freedom? Another group that believes only in freedom that coincides with their own views.

  6. These anti-gay rights religious groups obviously are also against religious freedom of groups other than themselves.
    With the likes of Andrea Minichiello Williams It’s all about anti-gay bigotry, scaremongering and the self-interested scramble to gain privileges for themselves at the expense of others rights.

    1. Indeed.

      This is nothing to do with religion.

      It is only about bigots hiding behind their bibles.

      If they actually took time out to read the bl@@dy thing they would find that their acts are in no way “christian”.

    2. And that “biblical teaching on marriage” includes polygamy, rapists marrying their victim, the stoning to death of non-virgin brides on their father’s doorstep as just a few examples…

  7. Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “Mr Miliband’s comments contain well-worn phrases which hide the reality…..”

    Funny the same could be said for the churches opposition of gay marriage. This is a case of kettle calling the frying pan! Please change the record I’m sick of hearing this rubbish over and over again, you really aren’t helping your position.

  8. “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.”
    (Richard Reeves)

  9. ‘the evidence shows…..’ well yes, but it also shows that other things are ALSO good for children and society.
    The catholic church has never been forced, coerced or pilloried into marrying divorcees, so why do they think that this would be any different?
    Empty arguements once again.

  10. Why does religion keep getting mentioned in the context of marriage. Most heterosexuals no longer get married in church now anyway?
    This just encourages them in the lie that they somehow own marriage. All they need to know is that they will not be compelled to participate against their wishes.

  11. Is it just me that noticed in your news story yesterday the government said it would announce the result of its consultation by “the end of September”- but today it is quoted as saying “by the end of the year”

    WHEN are the contents of the Queens Speech for the forthcoming parliamentary session announced? If its before the end of the year- we could be in a back-tracking excercise -maybe courtesy of Maria Miller????

    1. I read only this,
      “The government will issue its official response to this year’s equal marriage public consultation before Christmas.”

      I don’t know where you thought you saw it would be the end of September which is just about now really isn’t it, like any new information is going to come in from the consultation anyway.

      1. Maybe I was getting confused with the Scottish position. But just when do they announce the contents of the Queens Speech?

  12. “Those churches which continue to practice biblical teaching on marriage will feel immense pressure to conform to the state’s new definition.”

    The church’s definition of marriage isn’t necessarily the same as the state’s defintion at the moment. Divorce isn’t recognised by some etc and presumbably they don’t recognise divorcees who get remarried. At the moment a church already has all sorts of opt outs. It doesn’t even have to employ gays or women bishops and as far as I know they’ve never been taken to Europe over these issues.

    At the moment I find the whole issue of religious marriage totally acedemic since no bill has been produced and no-one has the foggiest notion of what or if a bill will be produced.!

  13. Question – What is the difference between Andrea Minichiello Williams and The Phantom of the Opera?
    Answer – A wig.

  14. Can we start putting Christian in quotes please (ie several “Christian” organisations)? I’m no theologian but I’m fairly sure that the bible has no reference to Jesus saying anything on the subject, and it’s hardly fitting with the “treat others the way you’d want to be treated” teachings. Just think it’s a bit harsh grouping actual Christians with the bigoted nut jobs.

  15. Andrea Minichiello Williams is a barrister, co-founder of Christian Concern For Our Nation, and, through her role in the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship and Christian Legal Centre, the public face of Britain’s loonier religious elements and their quixotic attempts to use the legal system to provide religious exemptions to laws on equality.[1] Despite having enough education to be allowed into Britain’s ancient legal professions, she is firmly in the young earth creationist camp, even though she’s clever enough to know that admitting as much on camera makes you sound like a complete loon. She was featured in a Dispatches documentary which showed the close links she has with various members of the Conservative Party, especially Nadine Dorries.[2][3] In the programme, Williams is seen to make a number of controversial statements, including claims, the Human Fertilisation bill was ‘the work of the devil’, abortion should be illegal, homosexuality is sinful, the world is just 4,000 yrs old.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2012, 12:50pm

      Interesting company she keeps in the form of Nadine Dorries, the adulteress and hetero marriage wrecker. I’ve noticed that the bigots haven’t called for a ban on divorce or condemned her “sinful” behaviour having sex with another woman’s husband that didn’t lead to procreation. Bloody hypocrites and bigots all.

      I wonder why nobody is mentioning Dorries’ adultery in the equal marriage debate?

      1. That’s easy. Apparently, what’s good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Equal marriage opponents are free to practice serial monogamy, and even unofficial bigamy or polygamy, and we are not allowed to say anything. After all, it isn’t their relationships that are in question, just ours.

  16. (Cont’d)
    Andrea Minichiello Williams
    “Williams’ Christian Concern group has also organised events under the name “Wilberforce Academy”, which has courted controversy as it has used the premises of Oxford University to preach against the “militant homosexual lobby”.[6]
    Williams’ actions, along with those of Stephen Green, prompted Joel Edwards of the Evangelical Alliance to criticise the “eccentric fringe” of British evangelical Christianity when he left the organisation in 2008.[7]
    In 2010, she was elected to the General Synod of the Church of England for five years.[8] The elevation from ‘eccentric fringe’ to mainstream Anglicanism is complete.”

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Andrea_Minichiello_Williams

  17. ‘When it comes to allowing churches to perform same-sex ‘marriages’, permission will become coercion. Those churches which continue to practice biblical teaching on marriage will feel immense pressure to conform to the state’s new definition.’

    What a shame. Change is coming, get used to it. Hetero couples have had more than their fair share of the cake. Its about time the cake was divvied up a little more fairly.

    Biblical teachings indeed. ::)

    This ancient document needs some serious updating.

    1. A picky point but the cake argument is the same egregious idea that the bigots use. That is that equality is finite like a cake and therefore that by giving us some you have to take it away from someone else. This is of course nonsense as there’s plenty of equality to go around.

      1. Ye just cut the cake equally! We’re not taking it away from anyone else, rather, we’re having less cake between us, but equal to everyone else who wants. Isn’t sharing a wonderful thing?

        The ‘church is just being boring, selfish and downright annoying.

  18. Would it be possible to take a constituency (preferably the most christian religious one in the country), and pilot a scheme that holds the ‘definition of marriage’ strictly true to the bible, rule for rule, word for word, and all the nasty bits bar capital and corporal punishment included.
    Lets see how much truly biblical marriage they can take before cracking and wanting a “redefinition”?

  19. The Daily Mail also claimed the majority of gay people don’t want equal marriage, even though the Pink News poll found 98% do.
    They make this crap up to fuel their agenda

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Sep 2012, 3:24pm

      The Daily Hate Mail and Telegraph combined need to come up with the evidence. Why would the majority of British gays not want access to marriage while in other countries they do? Makes NO sense. I think it’s about time StonewallUK took a stand for a change and challenge them on it. CPs will never be treated as marriages anywhere in the EU, Canada or any other country where equal marriage is legal. They in fact would still be second class citizens in spite of the rights they’d enjoy living in the UK. If the Daily Mail doesn ‘t understand that, then it proves their polls are deeply flawed and meaningless. I wonder why nobody with any clout hasn’t challenged them or debunked their mythical information?

  20. Religious cults are always free to discriminate against who they like.

    Try getting re-married in a catholic church if you are a divorced catholic, for example.

    Miliband and the rest of the politicians need to shut up about religious cults,

    We demand equal access to the contract of civil marriage.

    It has NOTHING to do with the religious cults.

    1. Spanner1960 28 Sep 2012, 5:38pm

      He’s on a ‘cult’ roll today.

    2. floridahank 28 Sep 2012, 6:40pm

      david, you said, “We demand equal access to the contract of civil marriage”

      I see some of the controversy centered around the question of “marriage” rather than your getting civil relationship equality. Does the homosexual agenda demand/need to have the ceremony/title, etc. of having the marriage label attached to your equality status for getting the same rights as heterosexuals have with their “marriage” label?

      How many homosexuals would get “married” if most of the regulations changed and that equal benefits were granted by the government? Would most homosexuals be satisfied with getting equal benefits with a “civil ceremony” that simply showed a legal contract of a certain relationship that placed them on equal position with heteroseuxual marrriage relationships?

      What I’m asking is the actual label of marriage foremost, or is it foremost that you get equal benefits as do heterosexuals receive?

      1. Spanner1960 28 Sep 2012, 9:25pm

        The way I see it is the difference between civil partnerships and marriage are negligible, but it is the labelling that makes all the difference. Homosexuals cannot marry. Equally heterosexuals cannot have CP’s. Viz á viz, if I say I am in a CP, that immediately states categorically that I am homosexual: This is something requested in everything from job résumés to applications for a bank account. I might as well just write “FAGGOT” across the top.

        What I want to see is if somebody states they are married, it simply means they are in a legally recognised partnership. It does not state if they are gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, Evangelical, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, Secular, Atheist, Agnostic, Seven-Day Wonder or anything else whatsoever.

      2. All we need, Hank, is to be treated the same as anyone else. Separate isn’t equal. I

  21. White noise. Tune it out.

  22. I think Ed Miliband probably came out for marriage equality before the Labour party conference to avoid mentioning it in his conference speech. Hope I’m mistaken though,

  23. Ironic that Christian Concern have a booklet entitled ‘Religious Freedom’ yet they’re so arrogant that they refuse to grant it to others.

    1. Cardinal Capone 28 Sep 2012, 5:57pm

      It’s positively Orwellian, isn’t it. Is it called doublespeak?

      Also note their only objection to some groups having the freedom to carry out religious marriages, is that others might feel “pressured” to do the same. It’s rubbish of course, as they are in control of their own denominations, but it’s hardly a devastating argument to put forward.

      1. Indeed, and the real worry is that some people actually believe their drivel.

  24. George Broadhead 28 Sep 2012, 5:27pm

    Joe Lynch writes: “but I’m fairly sure that the bible has no reference to Jesus saying anything on the subject,”

    Quite right, but one can’t conclude from this he would have taken a different stance than his contemporaries. He was certainly very strict on other matters involving sexual relationships – divorce for instance.

    1. Cardinal Capone 28 Sep 2012, 5:51pm

      Tosh. What about his cuddle with “the beloved disciple” at the last supper, and introducing him to his mother as her son. Such relationships were not uncommon in 1st century Rome. Indeed he cured the Centurion’s male lover with no hint of disapproval.

    2. bobbleobble 28 Sep 2012, 6:34pm

      I think it’s safe to conclude that if Jesus intended to condemn gay people he would have done so and the fact that he didn’t speaks volumes. You cannot assume a condemnation is implied simply because back then people weren’t so keen on the gays.

    3. Spanner1960 28 Sep 2012, 9:26pm

      Are you attempting to speak for God here?
      That’s a bit forthright, isn’t it?

  25. You can’t take Andrea Michelangelo Williams seriously. The Court don’t. And neither does her coiffure.

  26. He must be saying something right then.

  27. The Churches are stirring up an argument for their own propaganda purposes. There is no problem here. Heterosexual (divorced) members of my family seeking to re-marry have been turned away by some churches. They have no complaint about this, they simply find a church (sometimes of another denomination) that will accept them.
    This has been the status quo for decades, and the public accept it. No Government could, or would coerce churches into marrying gay couples, as this would breach the Equality Act 2010, giving LGBT couples more rights than divorced heteros.

  28. Ray Crossman 2 Oct 2012, 1:13pm

    Milliband is a “muggle”. He does not understand God’s ways, his laws or his spirit. That’s the problem the “world” cannot understand the opposition against queers marrying. As for churches, if they are ever forced to allow queer marriage there will be violence .. it’s tantamount to church abuse.

  29. The problem for me is that marriage and gay union are not equivalent. Marriage is a social construct that existed from time immemorial in order to ensure stable homes for children to be born and raised in. Gay union can never be equivalent to that. My suggestion is that Civil Partnership be opened up for the hetero community in which case we will have achieved equality without upsetting the legal definition and biological basis of marriage.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all