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Lynne Featherstone: Religious leaders shouldn’t try and stop others from holding same-sex marriages

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  1. Wow! Amazing. She pretty much sums it up.

  2. Thank you again, Lynne for your tireless efforts.
    In the interests of balance the BBC should publish this on their website alongside all the homophobic and anti-equality opinion they are giving a platform to.

    1. The bbc is institutionally homophobic and now renowned on the world media spectrum for it’s shoddy, bias, inaccurate, inferior brand of journalism. Channel 5 news is more reliable and less tainted.

      1. I have to agree. I cannot believe how many anti-equal marriage articles there are on There are several per week and never any articles positive about equal marriage. It’s insanely biased. That stereotype of BBC being liberal and “lefty” don’t seem to ring true here…

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Dec 2012, 7:59pm

          The BBC has never had a left wing or liberal reputation. Where did you get that from? It’s a;ways traditionally reflected conservative views and support for the Tory party, always has been always will be as long as religious nutters have any influence on it, some of them are their employees at the top of the ladder.

          1. Nonsense. There was a time when Tory MPs barred themselves from the Today Program because of alleged left wing bias. The BBC has been accused of being beards lefty liberals since the 1970s. I’m not saying they are always left wing and there is no point in anyone claiming they are always right wing.

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Dec 2012, 2:34pm

    A truly well written article by Lynne. My only disappointment is that she was removed from her previous position and replaced by Maria Miller who should make her own post Christmas statement to counter the outrageous statements from Archbigot Nichols and his equally bigoted friend, Bishop Davies.

    I’m surprised Rowan Williams didn’t have anything to say, but he’s probably in shock that the government have delivered them a gobsmacking air-tight list of protections that it will find difficult to distance itself from. It’s even dealt the Tory backbenchers a severe bollocking, hence their silence on the issue.

    Newly appointed Justin Welby is delusional if he thinks there is room for dialogue with LGBT people. What on earth could the CoE possibly offer while it remains in opposition? Makes no sense.

    Well done, Lynne, and thank you. You rock!

  4. Very rare that I’ve read such a well-written and confident statement from a politician – well done!!

  5. Profoundly sensible words.

  6. Of course, I agree with everything she says, but the Vincent Nichols does have a point that it should have been included in the Queen’s speech.

    1. The Queen doesn’t use the ‘G’ word

    2. It is wrong to vote the above down as this is how democracy works in the UK.

  7. Equality is very high up on Ms Featherstone’s agenda, but so is her career (more so, it appears) as she continues to serve on the frontbench of a Government that will BAN marriage equality in the state church.

    If full marriage equality was really that important to her, she would resign, but she won’t because she’s a Lib Dem.

    1. Hmm, currently my above post has minus 8! lol, oh well. I actually like Lynne Featherstone even tho’ she is LD. I just hope her blog message gets through to church leaders.

      However, the Government which she is part of has just given major concessions to the church (and still they aren’t happy), particularly the state church – to the point that they have actually BANNED any prospect of same-sex marriage in the Church of England.

      I personally feel that a Government which actually bans any prospect of same-sex couples having equality within the state church, does not have an understanding of the meaning of true equality.

      As Lynne Featherstone appears to be such an advocate for equality then I would have thought it quite right for her to resign from such a Government in protest of its cave in to the CoE. As she hasn’t I am guessing that her career is equally, if not more, important to her as true equality, not just partial equality.

      1. From over here in the States, it looks as though the government has put the CofE in a very bad position politically — probably as payback for being such a thorn in the side during the whole period of discussion. They got exactly what they demanded — airtight safeguards for their “religious freedom” — and it makes them look like bigots. If they want a change, they’re going to have to go to Parliament, as I understand it — perhaps a reminder of who’s actually holding the cards.

        Much more entertaining than our politics.

        1. I agree with what you’re saying Hunter. The voices in the CofE opposing same-sex marriage certainly have made themselves looked bigoted. My personal view about the Government actually banning same-sex marriage in the established state church is that it sends out a message that they are caving-in to those bigots and pandering to their demands.

          Gay Christians in the Anglican church who wish to marry their partners are in the situation where, not only does their church hierarchy oppose the idea of same-sex marriage in their churches, but their Government has also banned it. Any hope they had of marrying in their church appears to be twice as remote as it was before the ban. That’s why I’m so against the ban – I feel it is unnecessary and kicks the hopes of gay Anglicans further into the long grass.

          Without the ban surely it would be easier for the moderate Anglican voices to gain influence within the CofE. A ban seems to be a much more permanent situation.

          1. GulliverUK 27 Dec 2012, 7:08am

            The CofE can go back any time in the next few months, during the consultation, and say they don’t want the 4th lock, but will stick with 3 and take their chances. If there was a court case against them I’m confident they would win because they are protected by the European convention on human rights, which includes religious freedom. What will not stand, and cannot be legally defended, is denying the religious freedom of groups like the Quakers and Unitarians by continuing the ban on them offering same-sex marriage. Once the proposals were made, it was inevitable they had to be extended to religious marriages also, but the religious protections in ECHR law and the European declaration of human rights, means only those who do not want to offer same-sex marriages don’t have to. It was always common sense, since some churches won’t even marry divorced couples, and they have never been challenged in any court, anywhere.

            I hope the CofE will “ask” for the 4th lock to be abandoned.

  8. She sums it up perfectly. End of debate thank you.

  9. John Jones 26 Dec 2012, 4:32pm

    “I profoundly believe and fight for freedom of speech and I defend their right to say what they have said.” — So, what’s your problem, then? They are merely speaking up — speech does not ‘force’ others to do anything. It is the government that has political power.

    “It is even more shameful when that argument is lost … that there is no mandate.” — But a mandate is given on published manifestos. That is how this country works. In the official one booklet manifestos, no party called for a change in marriage law.

    “And it is quite shameful to argue against equal marriage on the grounds that religions will be forced to conduct such marriages.” — You should note that non of the Catholic leaders have used this argument. In fact, their argument is nothing to do with religious freedom.

    “[My definition] is exactly what the Archbishop of Westminster decries in his statement.” — Then your definition is currently not the one held by the law and cultural tradition (involves children.)

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Dec 2012, 6:23pm

      Having children under the law does NOT mandate having children. You don’t need marriage to have children let alone raise them. There are plenty of single parent families doing a damned good job, both straight and gay. There are bad parents of course, even married heterosexual ones for that matter, single and married. If cultural tradition involves children, then infertile hetero couples should also be barred and those males with erectile dysfunction. Heterosexual paraplegics should also be barred for that matter for the sake of consistency since they can’t have vaginal intercourse or consummate a marriage either.

  10. Margaret Nelson 26 Dec 2012, 4:47pm

    With these latest amendments, UK marriage law has become unnecessarily complicated. It would be simpler and more sensible to scrap all the current arrangements and ban all but civil ceremonies from being legally recognised, for same-sex or opposite sex couples. Other European countries don’t recognise religious weddings, and neither should we.

    1. In Canada when you marry in a church or other religious institution, the priest/minister/rabbi/celebrant is a duly mandated representative of the government. In other words, the ceremony is all very nice, but until the celebrant, witnesses, and marrying couple actually SIGN the legal documents after the ceremony itself, there has not been a legally binding marriage.

      You pay a government-established fee, the same as you would if you had a civil wedding at city hall. You sign the same documents as you would at that civil wedding. The only difference is: instead of a government employee attending to the paperwork, a religious celebrant is mandated and licensed to act in the same capacity.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Dec 2012, 7:56pm

      Totally agree with that. The Tories wouldn’t go for it though!

  11. So Featherbrain is once again giving her bias opinion on matters that no longer concerns her. Lynne Featherstone, She is no longer the one-slided Equality Minister, they have made another title for her now ‘International Development Minister’.

    In her blog post: she goes on to say “It is very disappointing that religious leaders who object so forcefully to equal marriage seem to have so little faith in their own beliefs.”

    These ‘beliefs’ my dear are that marriage is between one man and one woman. What she doesn’t say is about that the Gay Agenda, are so forcefully trying to force people into accepting it, and demanding that they should accept it and conduct it. No they shouldn’t. They should resist and tell the political correct agenda where to go.

    If anyone is shameful she is and I hope she herself is banned from all churches along with that dopey idiot leader of hers Nick Clegg.

  12. George Broadhead 26 Dec 2012, 5:13pm

    At last a prominent politician has made a rational Humanist response to the bible-based blatherings of the bigoted Roman Catholic hierachy and put them in their place. Well done Lynne!

  13. Thanks Lynne

    Now when are the unelected Cult of England bishops going to be expelled from the House of Lords?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Dec 2012, 8:02pm

      Many Tories won’t support Lords reform so it looks like we’re stuck with them for now, especially the shrill back benchers representing the religious nutters.

      1. It was the Labour Party that scuppered the best chance for Lords reform we’re likely to have for a generation, just so that they could screw the libdems. Not that it helped that the latter announced in advance that they’d vote against the Tory-favouring boundary changes if the legislation didn’t pass…A shameful business leaving us with 800 unelected parasites including a bunch of barking bishops….

  14. Robert (Kettering) 26 Dec 2012, 7:36pm

    So WHY then hasn’t the BBC published or spoken about this important intervention?

    I’m apalled that they have spent Christmas giving a platform and mouthpiece to every low life bigot who is AGAINST equal rights to the LGBT community but has FAILED to balance this with supporters’ views such as Ms Featerstone’s?

    Just shows you whose side the BBC are on and it’s sure not for LGBT rights is it!

  15. Well put, Ms Featherstone! I couldn’t agree more.

    I also can’t see why anyone talks about redefining what marriage is about: a commitment and love between two people. Right now we are forcing a couple to divorce and enter into a civil partnership if one spouse is transgender. They are the exact same people! Love is love, commitment is commitment: marriage is what the couple feels it is!
    Everybody else who wants to “define” things for everyone else: get lost.

    But that’s not even what the anti-gays are actually concerned with: they just hit on their precious “definition” because it’s a convenient way of avoiding saying that they’re bigots who abhor that “other people” are getting equal rights.
    If they made up a club it’s one I do not want to belong to. Ever.

    1. marriage has historically been a legal arrangement about property rights,the notions of mariage being about love and commitment is a modern 1950,s phenomena.
      methinks far too many gays have fallen for this” mills and boon” notion of marriage
      marriage is about the oppression of women,institutional violence and child abuse and yet many on here want to join this club .
      be careful what you wish for

  16. I wish Lynne was sitting in Maria Miller;s seat.

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