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MOD chaplains could be “sacked for opposing gay marriage” says Tory MP

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  1. Another old Tory who should be put out to pasture with the rest of the old bulls!

    1. PantoHorse 15 Nov 2012, 3:53pm

      I know. What a fossil. I hate that people like him use their ‘influence’ to spout such baseless drivel. He likes to give the impression he ‘speaks for the forces’ when in fact he has no evidence to back up his claims at all.

  2. In 2009, just over half of the UK claimed to have no religion…

    This is an agnostic/atheist country, not Christian. You are entitled to your beliefs, but keep them to yourselves.

    1. Yes, and didn’t it make my stomach turn on Saturday night when the Remembrance concert at the Albert Hall turned entirely Christian halfway through!

      Talk about alienating the Muslims, the Hindus, the Sikhs, and, as you say, all of those who don’t believe in any form of mumbo-jumbo whatsoever.

      The whole evening ended up imparting the message that the British military is a Christian institution. Made me feel sick, and excluded, and I have relations who died serving this country during the WW2.

      1. Absolutely! The Indian Army in WW2 was the largest volunteer army in history, and we never hear about it.

    2. Midnighter 15 Nov 2012, 4:46pm

      While he’s under the illusion that we live in a Christian theocracy the old git clearly isn’t mentally fit for public office. His party should also recognise what a liability he is: his hateful messages of exclusion are entirely in line with the BNP, and old relics like him are a significant reason many voters would feel uncomfortable voting Tory.

  3. Jock S. Trap 15 Nov 2012, 2:40pm

    According to the Telegraph…. what a surprise being that the Telegraph strongly opposes the decency of marriage equality.

    As for Mr Howarth…. well yet another disgusting person who isn’t Gay yet seems to think he knows all when in fact he only knows hate and bigotry.

    This is absolute nonsense, yet another bigoted burden on society who can only make excuses for his bigotry. Facts for these people will never do.

    Why do these people really object…. nothing more than a control freak…. or another word for it… loser!

    1. Dave North 15 Nov 2012, 8:23pm

      The terrorgraph is owned by catholics.

      Who else would employ that catholic adulteress hypocrite Cristina Odone.

  4. As someone who lives in armed forces Married Quarters (unlike Sir Gerald) I have yet to meet anyone who is actually bothered about people in Civil Partnerships living in MQs.
    And padres -who are paid for by the state are here for all soldiers and should be respectful of all beliefs-inc those of us who are Christians and believe homosexuality is perfectly in line with God’s plan for the world!

  5. Kathryn Howie 15 Nov 2012, 2:48pm

    Conservative MP Sir Gerald Howarth, dear dear boy, Let me get this right, you have no problems with our military killing people and getting blessed by your church, but, but, you do have a problem two squadies getting married to each other because a military chaplin may have a problem with it so much he may want to commit career suicide, do I have that right?

  6. Sounds like a good idea to me.

    1. Precisely!

  7. And this would be a problem how, exactly?

  8. Yes but WHYis a homosexual relationship not the same as a heterosexual relationship?
    Cue lots of huffing and puffing about procreation. This argument is wiped out by the church agreeing to wed couples who can’t – or don’t want to – have children.
    There’s no way round it. Those who object to marriage equality are bigots.

    1. its just like the issue of fertility treatment – personally i have no problem . but why is human intervention tolerated at this scientific level just so that heterosexuals can have kids – especially given that lesbians needed to fight/fought for this – if things were arranged by god then surely people (and the church) would just have to accept what cards they are dealt. it seems that some like the cards stacked in their favor – jokers !

  9. Please have these people sacked before the law is changed.

    Here in the Netherlands after more than 10 years of equal marriage, there are more Marriage Officers of the State who refuse SSMs, than ever before.

    It has become a status symbol for christians to be able to do this.

    1. The chaplain’s employment contracts need to be looked at, reviewed and updated in light of any changes in the law, if the padre’s refuse to sign their updated contracts they will need to find alternative employment, religious persons cannot be above the law and changes made to it simply because they claim to hold arbitrary beliefs

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Nov 2012, 5:15pm

      I’m glad we in the UK and elswhere aren’t alone. Same in France, almost 3000 mayors said they’ll refuse to marry a same-sex couple. It’s happened in every country where equal marriage is legal or about to be. I have a feeling the Tory bigots know deep down the inevitable is coming and they just don’t like it. They saw France last week present a bill that was approved yet to be voted on, they also saw three American states win it by popular vote of all things, referenda fomented and pushed by their own right wing “christian” agenda. The Widdecombe’s, Howarths, Minichiello’s, Colin Hart’s of this world and their megaphones, the Daily Hate Mail and Telegraph are in for a rude awakening.

  10. Another face and name for our Rogues Gallery!

    Shame them all, en masse, in public!

  11. Disagreeing with the policy isn’t grounds for a dismissal.
    However, playing pick’n’mix with the terms and conditions of your employment is valid reason for dismissal.
    We played the same game with that Lillian Ladele woman and the B&B owners. The result was that unilaterally “redefining” the terms of your own employment and/or business is against the law.

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Nov 2012, 3:29pm

    Yet again, another bigoted Tory. Maria Miller’s insertion of a clause in the equal marriage draft preventing lawsuits against denominations who don’t want to marry us isn’t going to convince any of them nor is it good enough for them. They just don’t like us, don’t want us to have full equality in marriage. Bottom line, homophobia. Many of them don’t even like CPs but will dishonestly say they support it to thwart any attempts to open civil marriage for gay couples. That alone is proof that CPs aren’t equal and will never be. How really stupid they are but I’m afraid that’s probably the opinion of the majority in the Tory party.

  13. Great. Get rid of the homophobic chaplains!

  14. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Nov 2012, 3:42pm

    I wonder how many Tories we’ll need to guarantee passage in Parliament? My understanding is we need at least 326 votes. I would imagine that would have to include Tories. Nobody seems to know how many in their party will vote yes aside from the obvious ones who’ve already made their decision known.

  15. “He described giving gay couples in the armed forces the right to have civil partnerships as “quite upsetting for families in the married quarters.””
    Great reason to deny equality. If you’re upset, that isn’t my problem. And why are you more upset about this than the fact that your job entails blowing people’s brains out. Killing=bring it on, marriage equality=boo-hoo. That makes you inhuman.

  16. Look at all these repulsive tories crawling out of the woodwork in the past few months!

  17. Oh, of course there will be no gay or bisexual people in the armed forces will there? Or we can pretend that there aren’t as in days of yore.

    Been there, got the T shirt, there are plenty and they deserve support and equality.

  18. I wonder how many marriages military chaplains conduct, and how many of these are they obliged to conduct by their terms of employment? I find it hard to imagine two members of the armed forces insisting on getting married by a military chaplain, even if the latter were legally bound to marry them. And if the latter obligation exists, then the government can surely change the law to remove it, as they are already proposing in the case civil marriages. This seems like more Tory homophobic bluster & bombast as usual….

    1. Dan Filson 15 Nov 2012, 4:21pm

      Many padres have the complete trust of servicemen and servicewomen and I can well see how such would ask their padre to conduct thir marriage service. The padre has, surely, a complete right to decline to conduct a marriage service, and this Tory MP is, surly, talking tosh. If a padre refused to give final unction to a dying soldier, conduct a funeral or gave homophobic advice to someone in the service he/she would deserve disciplinary action. But I cannot see a padre could be compelled to conduct a same-sex marriage given they have no power to conduct a civil partnership ceremony.

  19. darkmoonman 15 Nov 2012, 4:24pm

    If your religion interfers with you doing your job, then you need to be fired.

  20. He’s just scare-mongering. There’s no evidence that they’ll be sacked at all. And his comment about married quarters was just disgustingly stupid. Basically, he seems to be making things up as he goes along – all to justify his own personal prejudices against LGBT people. Sad.

    1. Military chaplains are civil servants – they are paid for by the taxpayer.

      A military chaplain who refuses to perform a same sex marriage should be treated the same way as a registrar who refuses to perform a CP.

      Unless they are willing to forego their entirel salary of course.

  21. That There Other David 15 Nov 2012, 4:57pm

    This guy isn’t just against marriage equality, he doesn’t want same-sex relationships to be given any legal recognition or protecitons whatsoever. He’s a dinosaur from an anti-gay generation that is thankfully passing. Cameron can safely ignore his opinion IMO.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Nov 2012, 6:22pm

      Yes, David, you’re right. Most of them don’t even want CPs for gay couples which in a way proves just how dishonest they really are. As I said in a previous post, now that equal marriage is on the horizon, they’ve now started using CPs as a justification to oppose equal marriage. If Cameron included CP access to heterosexuals in the equal marriage bill as an amendment, you would hear them roar even louder. They’re all a bunch of liars. This is nothing more than pure old classic homophobia of the Tory variety but they’ll deny it of course with the usual nonsense about having gay friends or relatives and some of them will even disingenuously say they support CPs just to avoid accusations of homophobia. Howarth is a classic example. They must think we’re stupid to think we’ll believe them. Notice how defensive they get when you make the case.

  22. These anti-gay Tory MPs may be doing themselves no favours at all by speaking out in this way.

    Those Conservative constituents of his who strongly oppose equal marriage (mostly dogmatic religionists, I’m sure), will I think still not vote Conservative, as they know a vote for the Conservative Party is a vote to keep David Cameron in power, who they cannot forgive for championing LGBT rights when they thought they were in charge of the Tory Party.

    And now a proportion of LGBT and pro-LGBT constituents will hopefully decide to cast their votes elsewhere. I hope the local media and political activists give this individual’s opposition to LGBT rights a lot of publicity.

  23. I find it “quite upsetting” that this man is an MP

  24. Military chaplains are paid by the taxpayer.

    Any chaplain that refuses to perform same sex marriages absolutely should be fired.

    I’m sure that disgusting Tory bigot disagrees.

    Howarth should join the BNP.

  25. Gerald Howarth has been spouting homophobic stuff for years and years and years. He’s an obsessive homophobe in my opinion-and as you say-a liability to a modern Conservative party.

  26. Military chaplins being paid for by the taxpayer should abide by equality laws or leave the forces. Hospital chaplins are also paid for by us, the taxpayer, not as you’d expect by the churches. Nurses are being sacked but chaplins are secure in their jobs to dispense mumbo-jumbo laden platitudes.

    1. Dave North 15 Nov 2012, 8:38pm

      And there lies the rub.

      These religious types need to be removed from every discourse when tax payers money is involved.

      They can preach whatever drivel they wish in their tax free churches but the second they whine “religious freedom” on the tax payers ticket they can forget it.

      1. John Jones 16 Nov 2012, 2:21am

        Who are these ‘tax payers’? I didn’t realise that only extremist secularists or atheists paid tax.

        By ‘removed from every discourse’, are you suggesting some form of immoral and horrific dictatorship?

        Is what you’re saying: ‘Only taxpayers that agree with me, because I am above the rest of humanity, are real taxpayers and have any say in the democratic process?’


  27. I’m totally confused. We’ve been promised equal CIVIL marriage not religious marriages, I didn’t think civil marriages are allowed to be done by clergy. Civil marriages are totally non religious. Chaplains aren’t involved with civil marriages surely?????

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Nov 2012, 8:37pm

      Corrrect, john. That arse hole doesn’t even realise what he’s saying.

    2. John Jones 16 Nov 2012, 2:28am

      There is no such thing as ‘civil’ and ‘religious’ marriage. In fact, marriage is marriage. There is a bizarre myth that there are two distinct types of marriage in England and Wales, whereas in fact there is only one legal form of marriage, despite the different ways of contracting one (in a register office or during an approved religious ceremony.)

      Being the state Church, the Church of England must marry anyone that presents themselves at the vicarage — as long as they meet the necessary conditions under canon and state law (which are both approved and passed by Parliament.) Chaplains in the services operate in a similar way: they are expected, due to the extreme nature of military life, marry and bury — within reason — all those soldiers, sailors and airmen who are in need (esp Church of England padres.) All padres are also expected to offer counselling to any one within the armed services.

      1. Patrick Lyster-Todd 16 Nov 2012, 1:31pm

        You are not correct, as far as the institution of marriage is currently enacted in this country – namely either within a religious ceremony or in a civil ceremony. Your interpretation rather dances on a pinhead.

        However, the key issue with this topic relates to the comments made by the homophobic and invariably ignorant MP, Gerald Howarth, who serves his military constituents in the Aldershot area – especially those who are gay – exceedingly poorly. There is no current ‘requirement’ placed upon military chaplains to support ‘gay marriage’ (even if it becomes law) per se, nor will there be. They are not required to conduct civil partnership ceremonies at the moment and, as for all priests, will not be able to conduct gay marriages when they become legal. They are, however, required to treat all serving personnel and their families equally in the provision of the services they do provide, welcoming them into any rservices they conduct and in terms of pastoral care including counselling.

  28. Give the man a Union Jack and a cross, and drop him somewhere deep in Afghanistan

    We all know there are no gays there

  29. When my partner, David, and I marry on Saturday 17th, we will be extremely well aware of the fact that marriage between two men will not be able to create natural children. As David is 60 and I am 67, the liklihood of that happening had we been heterosexual, would have been remarkabl remote! Marriage may be an institution into which children can be born and nurtured,,,,,pity that hasn’t been made clear to the thousands of divorced men and women annually, who break up such marriages. Elsewhere the traditional marriage service calls for the companionship and mutual aid of one party for another. Please tell me how this would exclude the so-called “Gay” marriages? When two people care for one another sufficiently for that care to be called “Love”, does it matter what sex they are? They might even be in the armed forces!!!!!

    1. Dave North 15 Nov 2012, 8:33pm

      We were all born onto this big ball of rock we call earth.

      It really is a shame that some people have nothing better to do than belittle, discriminate and spew venom whilst hiding behind made up fairy stories to justify said hatred.

      The one life we have that our parents honored us with to me is justification enough to spit that venom right back at these people.

      My mother did not go through labor to bring me into this world simply for these “BIGOTS” to put me down for being the way nature made me.

      Good luck and best wishes on your day.

    2. That There Other David 15 Nov 2012, 8:34pm

      Congratulations Alan. I wish you many happy years together :-)

  30. Part of the problem is that for heterosexual men and women “getting married” is such a challenge, such an accomplishment. When they actually pull it off (as if it were a difficult thing to do!) they breathe the most extraordinary sigh of relief and believe they have accomplished something remarkable. The only thing left them then, in the personal sphere, is getting the female pregnant and producing the first child.

    So, having jumped these hurdles and won these “medals”, these heterosexuals don’t see why on earth we homosexuals should get the same medal . . . when we have failed to win ourselves a member of the opposite sex!

    One guy I knew had such a job of it, I remember him literally begging me to attend his funeral. He was so fearful there wouldn’t be a big enough crowd there for “the big achievement”.

    1. not his funeral! his wedding! (my brain said “type wedding”, but my fingers typed “funeral”!)

      1. Well, Eddy, maybe your subconscious mind was sending you a message there. For so many people, long-term relationships with the wrong person can feel more like a funeral than a marriage.

  31. Why do we have chaplains in the military again? Or, indeed, anywhere?

    The military doesn’t employ official pub quiz setters with our tax money for servicemen whose hobby is quizzing, or golf coaches for those whose hobby is golf, or crime novelists for those who adore detective fiction. So why should it cater to servicemen whose hobby is bigoted bronze-age let’s-pretend?

    1. Patrick Lyster-Todd 16 Nov 2012, 1:37pm

      Just because you are anti-religious does not mean that every gay person is. They same applies for those who exercise their right in this country to join the Armed Forces. Whatever the right or wrong of it – from our different perspectives – just who would you have comfort and bury the dead and dying in wartime? Professional counsellors in uniform? I think you’ll find that those serving within the Armed Forces have a deep respect for serving chaplains regardless of whether they themselves believe in a life after death or not.

  32. It could happen in the U.S. in a few years (not right now, I don’t think). A military chaplain probably could refuse to do same-sex marriages himself, but if he is outspoken on the subject or doesn’t respect existing marriages or refuses to respect LGBT personnel, he would not be able to function.

  33. I imagine chaplains will be expected to adhere to the values and standards of the British Army. End of.

  34. This man is nothing but homophobic, he spouts anti-gay diatribe whenever he can. I had the good fortune to meet his mother many years ago and she was a lovely lady (she may well still be alive), how she managed to produce such a homphobic bigoted idiot I will not know.

  35. There is no warrant for the provision of ‘chaplains’ in the armed services of a secular and pluralistic state. Soldiers with a given supernatural belief who wish to be sustained in it should form voluntary groups to that end and, if they so wish, finance professional ministers out of their own pockets. The attitudes of such to the legal rights of members of the armed forces, or to those of anyone else, should be for official purposes entirely disregarded.

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