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Registrars should not have to marry gay couples says Tory MP David Burrowes

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  1. Well, of course the little prat says that. And he’d look aghast if Atheist registrars asked not to have to marry religious chumps like him.

    Ben Cohen is clearly more polite than I am: you’re a bigot Burrowes!

    1. I totally agree, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck…

  2. It’s a registrar’s job to marry any couple who are legally eligible to get married. If they have a problem with that they need to get a new job. If they want to marry people according to the rules of a religion, they should become religious officials, not state officials.

    1. Exactly. As registrats, they represent the government, not whatever religious leader they chose to follow.

    2. Absolutely my sentiment. You could just as well say I believe it’s morally wrong for people of different races to be allowed to have a civil marriage. Such a view would not be acceptable so why should the one towards same sex couples be permitted.

    3. Absolutely right. Next up it’s midwives not attending to black mothers and gravediggers refusing to bury muslims.

      Be off with you all you god bothering registrars. You’re not welcome in our registry offices.

      1. That was the ruling in the case of a Saskatchewan marriage commisioner who refused to marry a gay couple because of his religious convictions. I believe the case went ot the Court of Appeals where the ruling was up held. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

        Registrars are employees of the government and have a duty to follow the appropriate law. Case closed.

  3. Robert (Kettering) 20 Feb 2013, 1:14pm

    God doesn’t this nasty little homophobic bigot ever give up!

    Not being a violent man myself I could cheerfully punch him right in the mouth the little prig.

    1. He is eminently smackable.

      1. Yes, and I suspect that little David didn’t get dealt with appropriately when he was a little boy. Something went horribly wrong somewhere along the line in his psychological development!

        I think there could be a niche market for gay counsellors: running classes titled “How to Be a Happy and a Healthy Heterosexual!”

    2. I share your fury about Mr Burrowes’ latest proposal for ensuring our continued second-class status.

      And I know you’re not threatening him with violence.

      But this is a man who has already criticised gay people in general, and PN specifically, over the violent language used about him by commenters here, and who has stated that his life has been threatened.

      I have posted several times before that I haven’t read anything on PN which could be construed as an actual threat against Mr Burrowes. I have noted that he has not been to the police about the “death threats” he has received. I consider his comments about PN to be deliberate and unwarranted mud-slinging.

      But I have no desire for the next PN headline about this man to be “MP David Burrowes receives further threats from gay activists”.

      Expressing an interest in harming the man, however unseriously, is just giving him ammunition.

  4. Does this fool Burrowes propose a similar amendment for those registrars who have a ‘conscientious objection’ to interracial marriage as well, and if not, why not?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Feb 2013, 1:51pm

      Quite and what about divorced heterosexuals? Divorce is arguably the primary cause of a breakdown in marriage caused by hetero infideltiy, uniquely so in the UK. Sir Roger Gale knows a thing or two about that. Burrowes’ church bans divorced people from a religious marriage so his amendment is deeply flawed and should be dismissed as frivolous. There has also not been one case of a divorced couple suing the CoE either.

    2. Or how about non-virgin brides? Maybe he’d like a gynaecologist at each registry office to check that the prospective bride’s a virgin? They could keep a nice pile of rocks there especially for such women – and all the re-marrying divorcees, aka adulterers, according to the bible.

      It makes as much sense as Burrowes’ silly little amendment. I do wish someone would stand up to people like him and tell them to keep their religion out of civil matters.

  5. I hope the government concentrates on the main issue of marriage, and throws out rediculous amendments like this that try to unwrite the bill and make it worthless, or turn the public against it.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Feb 2013, 1:46pm

    The problem is, nobody in committee spells it out for him that this is a purely civil matter and civil (public) servants have a duty to perform and that religious beliefs have NO place in a government facility. Registrars are not church employees but paid by the tax payers. What next, allow them to refuse to marry a divorced hetero couple? I’m surrpised that hasn’t been raised. Burrowes is delusional if he thinks his amendment is going to be taken seriously. Just watch and wait for more hateful rhetoric as the bill progresses. He IS a homophobe and a bigot. Why does he think he can impose religious beliefs on what is a purely civil matter? It beggars belief.

    1. Yet, he’s so young and well-educated. Which reminds me, it’s now about 7 days since I wrote an email to our young and well-educated lawyer! Why has it not received the reply or at least acknowledgement that it deserves? We believe that this woman is a devout Xian. The last contact I had was about two years ago when I needed something witnessing. She produced a Bible. I very politely told her I did not believe in the beliefs of Xianity and she looked out of the window with a look of exasperation and annoyance on her face for a good ten seconds before proceeding via a non-religious method. So now we’re wondering whether it’s homophobia, her Xianity, or even both!

      They’re everywhere, these Xian loons.

  7. This is just stupid bigoted mischief-making in exactly the same mould as Theresa May’s criticism of immigration judges for correctly declining to take account of ministerial guidance which has no statutory force. When they’re at their worst politicians demonstrate their utter contempt for us by telling us things that they know to be untrue. In Burrowes’ case it might just be a case of crass stupidity.

  8. bobbleobble 20 Feb 2013, 1:53pm

    Clearly if their Christianity meant that much to them these people couldn’t possibly be working as registrars anyway. Marrying couples out of the sight of God, marrying divorcees, marrying atheists and non-Christians, those are things they do every day and which as far as I can tell are no less ‘wrong’ than marrying two people of the same gender.

    They should do their jobs or ship out.

  9. ...Paddyswurds 20 Feb 2013, 2:03pm

    If there could possibly be any good to come from this idiots illiterate and ignorant remarks it is that they spell the end of his sorry political career come the next general elections, of that we can be assured. No matter how homophobic the Tory blue rinse brigade are, they do have a standard and this numbskull comes nowhere near that, as has been clear form his work so far and these outbursts only serve to remind his voters and supporters that that support and vote is now best laid elsewhere. This is surely another Tory Sarah Palinesque idiot who has no place in government….

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Feb 2013, 2:18pm

      Many of those Tories opposed to equal marriage live in ‘safe’ constituencies, so voting no doesn’t affect their chances of re-election one iota, and they know it. I agree though, people like that have no place in government. They’re supposed to work for the people not their churches.

      1. Yes, it’s the ones who feel their seats are as safe as gold ingots who “know” they literally have nothing to lose and, with their belief that they have “God” on their side, they have decided to do a Vincent Nicholls and go all-out, all guns blazing, to defeat this humane Bill.

  10. Spiritbody 20 Feb 2013, 2:09pm

    Im totally behind religious officials right to opt out, but not registrars! People who work in any of the public sectors, need to accept that their job description may change, as the needs of the public which they’re serving change. If any of those changes go against a persons moral grain, then its up to them to go and find a job that does not impinge on their ethics. Living in accordance with our ethics is OUR responsibility. You cant expect anyone else to ensure that for you.

  11. bigot to the rescue of poor little cherry picking pseudo christians

  12. Apartheid by any other name. What else will the seek to be excused from? What about doctors and nurses being excused from treating gay patients, or housing, or the local green grocers? What about different sides of the pavement, banks, hotels…? What about being ecused from working with a gay collegue at work? What about the right to wave a bible at anybody and everybody you work beside. What about reserving the right to make everyone else lives a misery and saying it is my religious right because the law says so? Where will it end? Pogroms? Demanding that everyone declares his her sexuality by law?

    1. The slippery slope! :-)

      Nice to wave it back at them

  13. If a registrar does not want to fulfil the duties and expectations of his or her office, then he or she should find other employment.

    Simple like that. (and totally black and white too)

  14. Craig Denney 20 Feb 2013, 2:17pm

    In the 1850’s more gay people were being hanged for homosexuality in the name of the church, than Murderers.

    If you think your County/Parish/Town/Borough Council is supporting the CoE more than they should be, ask the council to carry out an ‘Equality Impact Assessment’ and say the councils biased support of the CoE is discriminating against the LGBT community. Since the 1850’s the Law has changed and the Councils will be forced to drop the majority of their biased funding of Church Projects.

    So here is some ‘lawful’ hostility Mr Burrowes.

  15. So he wants some professions to have the right to deny gay clients and customers? Tax payer supported professions at that!

    Where does it end? If registrars why not wedding suppliers – florists and caterers and suit rentals and bridal shops and photographers and location managers? Why not hotels and holidays for the honeymoon? Why not lawyers for the divorce? Or court staff for that matter?

    At which point is it NOT ok in this bigot’s book for gay people to be denied goods and services? When do we just scrap the anti-discrimination laws entirely?

  16. Aiden Russell 20 Feb 2013, 2:20pm

    Registrars should not have to perform Gay Marriage if they choose not to, that is there right.

    The homosexual agenda has as its primary aim to “trump” the rights of all other groups and individuals so that everyone conforms to them.

    Well sorry it is not going to happen, I don’t work with gay people, I don’t employ gay people, I don’t serve gay people, and this is going to get greater, if they continually bully people to accept their differences.

    1. If a registrar said you and your wife were ugly and as such were making the choice not to marry you what would you do?

      1. Dave North 20 Feb 2013, 3:34pm

        He would probably agree….;-)

    2. No, it’s not their right, Aiden, any more than it’s their right to refuse to marry interracial couples, Muslims or atheists.

      (And, by the way, most people don’t need to be ‘bullied’ to work with or serve people who are different from them. They do it without a problem. It’s only those like you, who feel insecure about yourself, who seek to discriminate.)

    3. That There Other David 20 Feb 2013, 2:32pm

      Whilst registrars have every right to refuse their employers (i.e. the government) have every right to sack them for refusing.

      Registrars are just a tool of government bureaucracy, they act according to the laws set by Parliament and don’t get to decide or set policy. Any registrar that doesn’t understand that needs to go find an alternative career.

    4. You have lied when you said that gay and lesbian people have as their “primary aim” to “trump the rights of all other groups and individuals so that everyone conforms to them”.

      And if you say you have not lied, then you, Mr. Russell, are suffering from mental illness, you are delusional, you accept that every negative or bad thought you have is true.

      Your final paragraph in which you proclaim with pride your discrimination of your fellow human beings is amongst the most shameful things that a human being can utter. I fear it would not worry you one iota if you were to learn that we LGBTs were being marched into gas ovens. I suspect that you would look the other way, or, worse still, that you would be delighted.

      Shame on you. Turn back, you sinner! Forswear your foolish ways.

    5. Equality Network 20 Feb 2013, 2:50pm

      I assum Aiden is not in the UK. If he is (and he actually has any employees or customers), he’s looking court or Employment Tribunal cases in the face. The discrimination he claims to practise is clearly unlawful in this country.

      1. Yes. So Aiden, if you believe you are so morally in the right as you have stated, publicly declare here on this thread your address and the name of your business and steel yourself for a visit from the police. You have “right” on your side, you say, so you will have nothing to fear. Prove to us that you’re truly a man of your convictions, unafraid to be identified with what you believe.

      2. That There Other David 20 Feb 2013, 3:51pm

        The really hilarious bit about his post is after saying he already dosn’t employ or serve gay people, he threatens that things will “get greater”. What’s he going to do? Stop paying his gay Council Tax? Refuse to use the gay Post Office?

        Laughably he seems to be of the opinion that his prejudices are those of some imaginary silent majority. Just stand, point and laugh. It’s all his comment deserves.

    6. the cancer of hatred that spews from your foul mouth makes me want to find you and bash your head into pulp with a base ball bat – but as an evolved human being who is in a happy and rewarding 13 year relationship – I am going to get married purely to piss off all you haters – because I can!
      Your vile words make you clearly an evil moron and you will get your comeuppance –

    7. Dave North 20 Feb 2013, 3:36pm

      ” I don’t employ gay people”

      No self respecting gay person would want to work for a bigoted old turd like you.

    8. Jock S. Trap 20 Feb 2013, 3:58pm

      It’s not Gay marriage it’s marriage regardless of gender or orientation.

      If Registrar’s refuse to marry anyone they clearly are in the wrong job and I suggest they find another and let someone who is willing take over.

      Bigotry much not be brought into the work place, end of!

    9. Actually, the EU Court for Human Rights ruled that registrars do NOT have the right to refuse to marry anyone based on race, sexuality, beliefs or disability. There was a case quite recently about a lady who did not wish to register the civil union of same sex couples, because of her Christian beliefs. She got fired. She went to Court. Court said she shouldn’t discriminate. ( )

    10. Oh, mr bigoted little git. How do you KNOW you don’t work with gay people..hmmmm? Working with a homophobic horror like you they are probably too afraid to say if they are. And another thing…what’s this ‘Gay Agenda’ you and your ilk keep going on about? The only agenda they have is to live in peace and go about their daily lives free from persecution, physical and verbal attacks and and from being looked upon as second class citizens from things such as you. Now…..crawl back into your cave you repulsive little creature and SHUT YOUR FOUL MOUTH.

  17. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Feb 2013, 2:23pm

    This will end up like the CP debacle with registrars refusing to administer a CP contract. Their supervisors will find someone who is prepared to marry a gay couple and avoid sacking those who refuse to do their jobs. I think they should be sacked or resign, regardless.. Let them go work for their respective churches or whatever.

    1. Robert, no homophobic utterance that has emerged over the last six months has enraged me more than this from David Burrows.

      As my partner has just said on hearing this news: “When these people feel themselves up against the wall, then you discover just what they’re really like!”

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Feb 2013, 3:01pm

        I feel the same, Eddy. This man contributes nothing positive to the debate and should disqualify himself. Of course, his amendment won’t stand a chance of inclusion. I believe the committee will vote overwhelmingly in favour of the amendments already considered minus Burrowes’ red herring. I don’t think it’s going to delay anything since the issue has already been addressed in the CP debacle with the ECHR ruling in our favour against Ladele, but this idiot Burrowes just doesn’t get it. It’s another desperate attempt by a god botherering bigot who really ought to give up his membershp in Parliament and enter the religious life instead. There is a huge shortage of Anglican clergy and he’s just the type Welby needs.

        1. Thanks for the very reasonable reassurance, Robert. I feel a bit calmer now! :-)

  18. This is just outrageous!

    My gut reaction is: if the Act is passed but registrars are to be legally entitled to say “I don’t approve of lesbians or gays, or I don’t believe in the validity of relationships between lesbians and gays”, then I DON’T WANT that form of Same-Sex Marriage! I reject it. And I would urge all lesbians and gays to reject it also.

    Why? Because that modified form of marriage would not BE marriage. That is, the institution of marriage that has been available to heterosexuals for centuries would STILL NOT be available to us. We would have been granted another form of marriage, a bottom drawer variety, which registrars would be legally entitled to refuse to perform.

    This David Burrowes has burrowed himself into a bigot’s hole from which he can now never emerge unless he does so in order to genuinely and remorsefully declare that he has behaved in the most appallingly discriminatory manner towards his fellow human beings.

    Shame on him!

    1. Don’t worry, Eddy. This amendment won’t be allowed. I reckon Burrowes KNOWS that. He’s only sh*t-stirring and attempting to delay the legislation as per the plans of some fundie ‘christian’ groups.

      1. Thank you for raising the hope of that possibility, Iris. I certainly hope it’s not allowed. But with so many rabid homophobic backbench Tories against us, hating us, could this hateful amendment really fail?

        1. Because it’d open the door to all kinds of discrimination which is currently illegal, Eddy. As an example, I once met a Tory who told me that unemployment in the UK was women’s fault – ie if we all stayed at home like we were ‘supposed to do’ there’d be more jobs for men. I doubt he’s the only man who thinks that, but something like that will never impact on our laws in the UK.

          This amendment is a breach of the EU laws aswell as our own, so I don’t think it’ll even be given the time of day.

          Burrowes is too stupid to see that the law protects him too – eg what if he was refused service because he was a Christian?

          He’s just a bully, picking on others to compensate for his own inadequacies, in my opinion. It wouldn’t affect him one jot if we had EM. Moreover, I note he has no problem with other bits of UK law that conflict with the bible.

  19. That There Other David 20 Feb 2013, 2:24pm

    Registrars are only performing the marriage as representatives of the state. They aren’t actually marrying anyone, the state is. Therefore their personal religious beliefs are not at all impacted by performing a same-sex marriage ceremony, because they aren’t the ones deciding anything.

    And it has to be said, if they are so religious what the hell are they doing performing any civil marriages at all? Shouldn’t they be demanding everyone go instead to the local church/mosque/temple etc.?

  20. I heard Burrowes on the radio a while back. What a sanctimonious prat he sounded like!

    I don’t believe for one second he actually thinks his stupid amendment will pass. He’s only doing it to delay and to further promote homophobia and the nasty, spiteful and totally unchristian agenda of fundie groups.

  21. Jock S. Trap 20 Feb 2013, 2:37pm

    I’m sorry but a registrar does not work in a religious environment so therefore shouldn’t bring their personal beliefs into the workplace.

    If they wish to opt out then they shouldn’t be in the job. May I suggest they become a priest, vicar or whatever their homophobic belief tell them but they must stop abusing others over their personal (and that’s all it is) beliefs.

  22. Jock S. Trap 20 Feb 2013, 2:40pm

    I do have to add, why is this Public Bill Committee agenda not more public.

    Most of the most important Committee’s are usually covered with some in depth coverage yet this one doesn’t…

    We’re not even getting news coverage about the days events which I find a bit shameful being this is a very important bill and I for one would watch it.

    1. It has been shown on Parliament TV 18/19 Jan 2013

      1. Sorry Feb

  23. this item occured also in belgium 10 years ago. some registrars refused to marry gay couples. they got a disciplinary sanction and now the problem has disappeared. same policy today in france : if a civil servant refuses to comply with the law : out !

  24. Registrars should do the job they are paid to do or seek other employment.

  25. Hmm, I thought Registrars was a government institution (serving the public) and not a religious institution (meaning they can pick and chose who to serve through bigotry). Unless this politician is stating that government employees should be able to discriminate.

  26. Fine. Then they shouldn’t be paid.

  27. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Feb 2013, 3:08pm

    The fact that he’s demanding an ‘opt’ out for religious civil registrars proves just what a bigot and a homophobe he really is, delusional fool. He needs to be taken down a peg or two. What next, re-write the Equalities legislation allowing all manner of opt outs tailored to one’s bigotry? Cameron should ask for his resignation. He’s unfit to be in government. There shouldn’t be any opt out for any civil servant. I think every working person has at some time been forced to do something they don’t like as part of their job. I see no difference for registrars who happen to be religious. They report to their place of work and are supposed to do their job in its entirety, not pick or choose this or that they’re not comfortable with. Let them resign or sack them. Any other employer would be well within his or her right to do just that.

  28. his young and just a pratt of the first order

  29. Nobody should have a “conscientious bigotry” get-out clause. NOBODY. Registrars, anglican vicars, rabbis, catholic priests, imams, fire-shamans, NOBODY. If you offer marriage services then you MUST be bound to offer them equally to everybody. There is simply no place for permitting sectarian discrimination and bigotry in law.

    Religious sentiment is nothing more than personal opinion plus being wrong about the fundamental nature of reality. Such a thing is not a valid or legitimate basis for legal exemptions.

    This struggle will not cease until there is TRUE equality, and the law is there to enforce it in every case. Equality is centrally important to society, religious bigotry is a parasitic nothingness of no value at all to human flourishing. Let the religious bigots squeal their protests all they want – they will be COMPELLED into treating us equally, however deeply they wish not to be.

  30. Can i opt-out of serving Straight people in my job please? Given that i work for a utility it would mean an awful lot of people wont get any electricity!!.

  31. We can also do this. Since it is mostly catholics that have a problem marrying gays, then they should also refuse people that have not received an official annulment from the church (prior divorce) and since the pope states that marriage is for procreation, then females that are sterile or who have reached menopause should not be married and sterile men should also be refused,

  32. CH Brighton 20 Feb 2013, 3:33pm

    Mr Burrowes: Get thee to a Ukipery

  33. If I’m not allowed to have the same level of service from government paid for bodies, would they agree that I can pay less tax?

  34. Outrageous yes. And his sordid little amendment stands no chance. We have been all the way to the European courts and back again and the message is clear. Relious people who are in public employment cannot pick and choose which aspects of services they deliver.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 20 Feb 2013, 6:17pm

      Exactly right. It’s frivolous of him to even comtemplate such a thing. He has the nerve to confront Ben Cohen regarding the homophobic label aimed at him in this ‘forum’ and comes out with something like this and expects no reaction? He’s trying to play the victim card on behalf of the god botherers, exploiting this entire debate to advance their agenda and gain public sympathy, delusional at best and doomed to failure because they’re a minority of opinion in the UK. The more they rant, the more the British public distances itself from them. What they’re doing is helping equal marriage succeed.

  35. Jason Feather 20 Feb 2013, 6:20pm

    Maybe he could amend the law so that other bigots are catered for as well so if they don’t want to marry black people, Jews or anyone with a piercing or a tattoo they don’t have to! Having though about it maybe we should bring back those shop signs that say “No blacks, no Irish, no (insert a prejudice here)” It would make things a lot easier for those people unable to process rational thought.

  36. 21 Feb 2013, 1:36am

    So if a registrar disliked say black people, or Eastern Europeans, or Muslims, Jews, white people, or dog owners, they should all be able to opt out? Sounds reasonable to any bigoted person out there, doesn’t it?

  37. Spanner1960 21 Feb 2013, 9:03am

    I totally agree with Mr Burrowes:
    Registrars should not have to marry gay couples.

    I suggest they alternative employment that does not conflict with their homophobic views.

  38. Reverend Roger Pym 21 Feb 2013, 11:14pm

    I have to agree that Burrows attitudes are biggotted.
    The personal beliefs of marriage registrars are completely irrelevant. They are government appointed. If they don’t like it they should resign.

  39. I would have thought that under the Equalities Act 2010 they are duty bound as they are doing a service?? I think Mr Burrowes needs to look at fact before opening mouth

  40. D Morrison 8 Mar 2013, 11:08am

    This man is quite right and he has truth completely on his side. Whether one likes it or nor homosexuality is an abomination and so are these proposed same-sex unions.

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