Category Archives: Marriage

UKIP – Defender Of The Faith

UKIP has a track record of saying the unsayable and promoting inconvenient truth against the mainstream consensus. mikeBrexit, control of immigration and opposition to gay marriage are just three issues where the party has, famously, refused to kowtow to the liberal establishment.

There is another issue too: the public role of the UK’s traditional religion.

Until recently Tory MP Andrea Leadsom had been a less than high-profile politician. But she’d frequently gone public about her Christianity and her religious reservations about – but personal support for – same-sex marriage.

These, together with some naïve comments about motherhood, brought a storm around her head from party colleagues and media alike during her brief bid for the Conservative Party leadership earlier this month.

andrea-leadsomConservativeHome editor Paul Goodman described the ferocious attacks on her as ‘prejudice’, ‘feral’ and ‘bullying’, while commentator Iain Dale called the media assaults ‘astonishing’.

Faced with this onslaught the MP withdrew from the contest. Journalist Allison Pearson interviewed her afterwards and concluded that “Leadsom was genuinely shocked by the poisonous attacks from within her own party. She said it was highly unlikely that the daily stories saying how useless/dishonest/Christian she was ‘are coincidental’.”

Anti-religious prejudice in the UK is reserved only for traditionalist Christians like Leadsom it seems. In her article Pearson drew attention to the fact that no-one calls London’s Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan a ‘religious nutter’.

And when celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins claimed that then New Statesman editor Mehdi Hasan was disqualified for the job because of his Islamic beliefs, the media leapt en masse to the Muslim’s defence and it was Dawkins who came under sustained media fire.

for everyoneBy the end of the 19th century, laws requiring holders of public office to assent to particular religious beliefs had been repealed. Jews, Catholics, Puritans, Atheists – they were all free to participate in public life. It was a long time coming, but freedom of religion had come of age.

But step-by-step today’s secular Britain is turning back to public prejudice. As Andrea Leadsom found out, there is a new intolerance in the air.

Hotel owners, registrarsmagistrates, doctors and counsellors have lost their livelihoods because of their Christian beliefs.

anti-christian_hateAnd a wider targetted hostility can be observed, for instance, via the stand-up comedians in the popular TV series Live at the Apollo. Mock Christians or Christianity and the audience falls about laughing. This is no problem in a society that values satire and freedom of speech of course. Except that it does not, it seems, translate across onto Islam or atheism.

So who will step into the breach and stand against this rising tide of prejudice against the nation’s traditional religion?

Yup, once again: only UKIP.

In last year’s general election, ours was the sole party to publish a manifesto specifically for the faithful. In the document Policies for Christians, Nigel Farage wrote “UKIP is the only major political party left in Britain that still cherishes our Judeo-Christian heritage” and “we need a much more muscular defence of our Christian heritage and our Christian constitution”.

He had made similar comments previously to Fox News in New York and at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

UKIP’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall was reported as saying too that “UKIP is the only party that will confidently protect the rights of Christians in the UK and speak out against the attack on our Christian heritage.”

The party was as good as its word. In the 2015 manifesto UKIP promised to “extend the legal concept of ‘reasonable accommodation’ to give protection in law to those expressing a religious conscience in the workplace“- in this case over same-sex marriage.

QuakersSince 1757 our society has been broad-minded enough to allow Quakers and other pacifists to refuse military service even in times of national peril, and freedom of conscience has developed into a fundamental feature of western democracy.

Yet the establishment’s growing liberal authoritarianism has meant that UKIP’s pledge on this issue is unique amongst the main political parties.

UKIP also has been the only party to speak up for Christian refugees from the Islamic Middle East and North Africa.

In Syria Christians are a vulnerable minority who frequently suffer the double whammy of having to flee first from Islamist violence in their home towns and villages, and subsequently from the hostility of militant Muslim migrants inside the refugee camps. In 2013 Nigel Farage faced down a storm of politically-correct censure when he called for the UK government to take in only Christian Syrian refugees.

MigrantBoatAerialEighteen months later, after African Muslims threw Christian fellow migrants out of the boat while crossing the Mediterranean, the UKIP leader repeated his call for Christians only, this time from north Africa, to be offered refuge in Europe.

Farage and Nuttall have both resigned from party leadership and currently UKIP is looking for a new leader. Nominations close today, and hustings and voting will take place during August. The successful candidate will be announced at the party conference on 16th September.

Will he or she be sympathetic towards Christian values and defend the nation’s traditional religion? To find out, some CAUKIP (Christian Action in UKIP) colleagues and I have formulated an online questionnaire which we will be submitting to each declared candidate.

You can view it here.

We plan to publish the responses of the candidates on the CAUKIP website. If you’re interested, watch this space too.

My Journey Into UKIP

Out of the blue, less than 24 hours before nominations closed on 9th April, I received a call from UKIP London Region chairman asking me if I would be a candidate for the party in the General Election. He wanted me to stand in the Brent North constituency where the intended candidate apparently had gone AWOL.

Immediately I consented. Then, working with local activists, we managed to submit the required papers, signatures and deposit with just two hours to spare.

ukipIt was an unexpected and personally significant turn of events, so I thought I should email an explanation about my UKIP journey to people close to me. This, then, is what I wrote to them back on 11th April; the UKIP hierarchy requested that I shouldn’t publish it on my blog until today when the General Election campaign is over:

Dear family, friends and colleagues,

In October I joined UKIP, which surprised many, horrified some and delighted others.

Further, over the past month I have been campaigning at weekends for UKIP’s excellent candidate in the party’s most winnable London seat, Dagenham & Rainham. Then this week UKIP suddenly asked me to stand as their paper (that is, nominal or non-campaigning) candidate in the unwinnable Brent North constituency – which I readily accepted.

When I lost my seat on Newham Council in 2010 after eight satisfying years as Christian Peoples Alliance councillor, I decided that my period of electoral politics was over. I’d had my time and I’d done my bit. So I am, perhaps, as surprised as anyone to find myself back in the fray ahead of the general election on 7 May, this time on behalf of a different party.

I thought I’d try to explain why to those who know me and may be puzzled by my recent political conversion to UKIP. If however you are simply not interested or find it boring, please be free to ignore and delete this email.

the crossWhen I became a Christian in my late 20s, my worldview changed dramatically. While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the corporate success, high income and jet-set lifestyle that I enjoyed then, I realised immediately that the Christian God rejects egotism, arrogance, selfishness and untruth: Christ showed us that His compassion is for the weak, the voiceless, the marginalised, the deprived, the disabled and the despised.

As a result and following my faith, I left the prosperity of leafy Highgate in north London and moved to inner-city Canning Town in London’s east end, then the most deprived neighbourhood in the country according to the London Research Council. There I founded and became live-in warden of an after-care home for young offenders following their release from prison, and I ended up running a local church and community centre for the disadvantaged docklands population.

My heart was primarily with the outsider and the underdog, so when in 2001 and without consultation Newham Council highhandedly and Mugabe-like announced a brutal housing clearance scheme across Canning Town (“social cleansing” the appalled locals termed it) I moved into action. I door-knocked, leafletted and held mass meetings. I was then elected onto Newham Council as the sole Opposition member facing 59 Labour councillors and a Labour executive Mayor. I was the first non-Labour councillor in Canning Town for nearly a century and this small local earthquake helped kick-start my short political career…

The union of one man and one woman in marriage, faithful to each another “for the procreation of children” and “till death us do part”, is an almost uniquely Christian ordinance. Like Christianity itself, this monogamous ideal has for more than a millennium so influenced our society, culture and language that we hardly notice it; for instance it is a bit of a shaker to consider that if I had been born in, say, traditionalist Africa or Muslim Middle East, my beloved Sally could be merely the first of my three or four wives without anyone batting an eyelid or me breaking the law.

wedding handsThe social benefits of Christian-style faithful marriage have been so great, especially for the nurture and socialisation of the nation’s children, that I put the promotion of the marriage-based family via tax breaks and other incentives at the top of my agenda. For instance when I ran for Mayor of London against Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone in 2008, my prime election pledge was to “Promote marriage and stable family as a long-term solution to youth crime, educational underachievement and child poverty”.

I was stunned therefore when in 2011, without prior notice or indeed, initially, the support of gay campaigning groups like Stonewall, David Cameron commenced his crusade for same-sex marriage and, consequently, the debasing and degrading of traditional marriage. Under the government’s gay marriage legislation, loyalty and faithfulness were negated as a key defining characteristic of marriage (“Go on, be modern, play the field, everyone does”) and, necessarily, so was procreation and the nurture of the marital union’s offspring.

Yet same-sex marriage was not in any of the main parties’ manifestos at the previous general election; there was no Green or White Paper consultation over the issue; debate in Parliament was severely restricted and one-sided; opponents were excoriated as stone-age dinosaurs or homophobes – in this way the whole metropolitan liberal political bubble (led unitedly and enthusiastically by David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Boris Johnson) highhandedly rammed through the destruction of this foundational building-block of a healthy society. They betrayed our children and it’s the coming generations who will suffer the consequences.

For me it was the last straw. It was shades of highhanded Newham Council again, but at the national level. Until this betrayal I still had – just – some residual respect for our political elite and our existing party system. But no more. Their cavalier and flagrant abuse of the political process over this vital social issue was, for me, jaw-dropping. They shoved it down our throats, and it made me sick.

But not UKIP.

UKIP is an unsophisticated grass-roots party of mainly ordinary people, warts and all. The leaders make mistakes but deal swiftly with the jesters and worse that any new party attracts.

The leadership has common sense and very real courage: alone they stood against gay marriage; alone they want the UK to exit the corrupt and undemocratic EU; alone they campaign to end to the madness of uncontrolled mass immigration; alone they plan to protect childhood innocence by banning sex education from primary school pre-pubescents.

I don’t agree with some of UKIP’s stuff, but as despised outsiders and in spite of virulent opposition the party has single-handedly shifted the political agenda on both the EU and mass immigration. The party is currently doing the same over health tourism and wages depressed by cheap labour. Yet encouragingly a significant percentage of supporters come from ethnic minorities who too, of course, are outsiders.

So I’ve joined UKIP and am campaigning and nominally standing for the party on 7 May. I want our society to regain its identity and confidence, to come out of the cosy but crumbling rich men’s club that is the EU and to engage independently with the wider world (including Europe) so that we stand or fall by our wits.

friends-fingersI don’t expect all my friends to agree with me (that’s not what friends are for!) or to support UKIP. But it is important to me that you understand why I am actively campaigning for them.

If you want to know more about the moral fury that has driven me into UKIP, I urge you to read my post “Matthew Parris’ Poison” (especially the second half) at www.alansangle.com/?p=1531.

Also if you have any comments, favourable or otherwise, be free to email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Very warmly,

Alan

The Pink News Definition Of Democracy

I received a call from BBC Radio Northampton on Tuesday: with effect from midnight Civil Partnerships (CP) could be converted legally into Same Sex Marriages (SSM), they said, so would I discuss the issue on Stuart Linnell at Breakfast in the morning? They had heard me on BBC Radio London and wanted me to make my case to their Northamptonshire audience.

benjamincohenIn the event and on behalf of our campaign group Because Children Matter, I followed Ben Cohen of Pink News  in the show (here, commencing at 1 hr 6 mins 53 secs into the programme). I’ve met Ben before in LBC studios and he’s a friendly articulate guy although this time inevitably he stumbled and struggled to identify any advantage of same-sex marriages over civil partnerships.

“(You make SSM) sound just symbolic really,” said Stuart Linnell (at 1:14:53). The presenter was trying to help his faltering interviewee, but also unwittingly he exposed the fact that while SSM may be an important issue for Pink News gay activists and their useful idiots in the LibLabCon political class, in reality and on the ground it is an empty – if destructive – charade.

Indeed Ben was forced to concede that the number of gay couples who have entered into SSMs since they became legal on 29th March “is not that high” (at 1:13:20). Thank-you-but-noOrdinary same-sex couples have seen through the pretence and said “No thanks”. Significantly, the in-touch leadership of Ukip like Nigel Farage and gay MEP David Coburn have seen through it too, to Ukip’s electoral advantage.

When it was my turn (this slot can be heard in full here) I pointed out that while CPs are what it says on the tin, SSMs are a fake and a counterfeit: while conventional marriage commits the participants to a faithful ‘til death us do part’ which brings stability and huge benefits for the nurture of children, SSMs were designed by the government  to accommodate what Brendon O’Neill calls the “flightiness and flexibility more commonly associated with gay relationships”.

So adultery is no ground for divorce with SSMs. High-profile gay couple Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow play the field and openly advertise for sex partners – “preferably firemen, married men, muscle men and rugby players” – on Gaydar. And BBC-duping Eric Anderson reckons to have had sex with over a thousand people other than his marriage partner Grant Tyler Peterson. Faithful monogamy SSM is not.

rageMy approach clearly hit the target as Ben Cohen was incensed. He contacted the programme producer and demanded further airtime. Rebuffed, he took to his website and gave vent to his spleen. There he quoted me at length and I’m grateful for the further coverage of my views.

But he also let slip his guard and laid bare the underlying intolerance for which triumphalist gay leaders have become renowned. “Everyone understands the BBC, like all broadcasters, must ensure that news reporting is balanced and impartial,” he burbled, “however when it comes to reporting on gay rights issues the BBC seems to step well off the mark… As the law has already been enacted, this issue is no longer up for debate… So quite why BBC Northampton felt the need to allow Alan Craig on the air to regurgitate the same old anti-gay diatribe, and for that to go unchallenged is beyond me.”

No doubt Ben was disappointed at his own confused contribution to the programme, and in his subsequent anger at my arguments he illustrated an almost universal truth: gay activists, having stormed and plundered the ancient marriage stronghold, now want to lift the drawbridge and shut down all further discussion.

It’s the Pink News definition of democracy: “The issue is no longer up for debate”.

Matthew Parris’ Poison

yes-scotland-poster-dont-let-them-tell-us-we-cantGay marriage illustrated it; Brendon O’Neill exposed it; and more recently the #YesScotland campaign highlighted and traded upon it: the UK’s political class is a corrupt, elitist, irresponsible, disingenuous, patronising, self-serving cartel. It must be urgently broken up and closed down.

Whatever you think of the issue itself, the gay marriage legislation last year was a democratic disgrace. Faithful one man/one woman marriage has been a defining and enduring bedrock of our society and culture – and the preeminent place of nurture for the nation’s children – for a millennium and a half.

lemmingsYet without warning, electoral mandate, Green or White Paper consultation or intelligent debate, and egged on by media, the PR industry, Hollywood celebs and the all-powerful gay lobby on both sides of the Atlantic (the UK perennially follows where the US leads), our political leaders like lemmings rushed off the marriage cliff and into the gay sea while emoting loudly and stupidly that it is “all about love”. Overnight, unitedly and unnecessarily they redefined, enfeebled and wrecked a hugely beneficial social institution.

As a consequence procreation and child-rearing are no longer primary purposes of marriage and conjugal faithfulness is no longer a primary characteristic. Marriage is no longer marriage.

This was extraordinary and irresponsible social vandalism by the Tory Bullingdon boys, their ilk in all parties and their fawning followers on the issue across the political class. Short-sighted adult gay rights today were prioritised over the weighty matters of our children’s upbringing and our society’s tomorrow. And sexual activity, identity, licence and gratification were legislatively endorsed by the Mother of Parliaments as the rising public values of our time. So, like Roman civilisation before us, hereon it’s all downhill.

Brendon ONeillIn a series of biting articles Brendon O’Neill, editor of Spiked Online, excoriated the whole democratically-bankrupt process. The titles of his pieces indicate where he was coming from: ‘The iron fist in the velvet glove of gay marriage’;   ‘Congratulations, gay marriage campaigners – you have completely destroyed the meaning of social progress’; and ‘Gay marriage: a case study in conformism.

The articles are worth reading in full as he incisively challenges the top-down soft-authoritarian imposition of gay marriage by the select liberal metropolitan elite. One sentence exemplifies O’Neill’s thrust: “The push for gay marriage has taken place entirely at the level of respectable society, being spearheaded by tiny handfuls of sharp-suited gay lobbyists, lawyers, celebrities, commentators and the Notting Hill/Hampstead sections of the political class.”

This is the same political class that Alex Salmond railed against so roundly in his #YesScotland referendum campaign; he labelled and damned it as “Westminster” or “London”. An astute Scottish observer of my acquaintance reckons that when all three UK party leaders were forced to drop their above-the-fray aloof posture, leave the capital and make panicky visits north of the border during the last 10 days of the referendum, 5% of Scots promptly switched sides to vote Yes against them.

Clackton on SeaAnd early this month the same patronising arrogance received an airing in its most ugly expression – so ugly that it’s almost a parody of itself. Matthew Parris, columnist for The Times, took a day trip to the former Tory stronghold of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex where a by-election takes place on 9th October and wrote about the experience.

His article reeks of racism, elitism and condescension. He reckons Clacton is peopled by the elderly, the ill, the has-beens and the anti-immigration English. “This is Britain on crutches,” he sneers. “This is tracksuit-and-trainers Britain, tattoo-parlour Britain, all-our-yesterday’s Britain.” “There are ten tattoo-parlours and no Waterstones,” he sniggers.  “Somebody has to represent the static caravans and holiday villages and the people and places that for no fault of their own are not getting where a 21st century Britain needs to be,” he sniffs.

I simply don’t see how a reputable newspaper in our modern egalitarian democracy can publish such neo-Nazi political eugenics. Parris advises the Tories that the residents of Clacton are not part of the metropolitan master race that inhabits Canary Wharf and other gilded, up-market neighbourhoods in the capital and that therefore they safely can be ignored. “The weak, the unlucky, the resentful, the old and the poor will always be the easiest to enlist as clients, for they have nowhere else to go,” he snorts cynically. Joseph Goebbels couldn’t have put it better.

Matthew ParrisOf course even Parris wouldn’t want to hasten their end by consigning the weak, the old and the poor to the gas chamber. But his logic tells the Tories that there is no point in applying the scarce resources of the NHS or the welfare state to such nobodies. Better to invest in the Canary Wharf future than prop up the Clacton past.

It is pure poison. Parris’ stomach-churning and profoundly unChristian attitude towards his fellow citizens is both beneath contempt and amply illustrative of today’s metropolitan political class.

Two weeks ago I spent my first day campaigning for UKIP in Clacton.

Last week I applied to join the party.

Gay Marriage And Child Abuse

“I am writing to inform you of the gay wedding between Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow taking place this Saturday,” gushed the PR agent’s email from Essex that dropped into our GayMarriageNoThanks inbox a few days before the first gay marriage day on 29th March.

Drewitt-Barlows“We… actively invite protesters to turn up and be interviewed,” burbled the blurb. “The national press already confirmed are Sky TV, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Sun. A significant number of regional publications, radio stations and TV channels are also confirmed…

“Stars of The Only Way Is Essex are among the many celebrities set to make appearances at the wedding of the gay dads,” the puff piece went on. “Elton John has been invited,” they oozed.

Clearly the event was to be an exercise in spin, hype and mirrors. The Drewitt-Barlows were legally bound together in a massively publicised Civil Partnership ceremony in 2006; they cannot therefore legally be married until more laws are changed, probably later this year. So there was to be a celebration, a party and a booze-up, but no wedding. The event was a fake.

We decided to go anyway. Having confirmed with the PR agent that no children would be in the media zone outside the event, and that we came in peace to explain our opposition to gay marriage not to protest, we set off with our GMNT posters (one shown below: ‘I want my Mum’) and arrived just before it started.

Elton JohnSurprise, surprise: Sky TV was not there. Neither was The Daily Mail. Nor The Sun. Not even Elton John.

But we had half an hour in the sunshine with the media nonetheless. We were interviewed by eight or so journalists and cameramen; most of them were local and – like most people – had never considered the adverse effects of gay marriage on children.

The problem is that all gay marriages are a counterfeit. According to the government and unlike conventional marriages, gay marriages cannot be consummated and adultery cannot be reason for divorce. So same-sex partners in a gay marriage are free to play the field whereas husbands and wives in a real marriage promise to be faithful ’til death us do part’.

By firmly bolting a counterfeit on to the hallowed institution of marriage, parliament has diluted, distorted and, in the end, dismantled an invaluable social institution. And it is the nation’s children, who need stability, commitment and faithfulness at home to best flourish, who will suffer.

Furthermore all children are necessarily created by both a mother and a father, and they have an innate right to the people that gave them birth. This child’s right should trump all adult selfish interests and rights, straight or gay. But fifteen years ago gay dads Barrie and Tony led the UK field in legally obliterating mothers from their children’s personal history (here). No mother is mentioned on their children’s birth certificates but rather Parent 1 (Barrie) and Parent 2 (Tony). It is a legally-sanctioned form of child abuse and the documents are a physiological and legal lie.

GMNTIwantmymumFurther, the gay dads deliberately have allowed no mother figure in their children’s upbringing and they have stated clearly they want to keep it that way (here).

For anyone, including the state, to refuse or absolve a mum of her child-rearing obligations without good reason also is a form of child abuse; offspring have a right to their dad and mum partly because “both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child” (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 18). Children should not be passed around like possessions or bought and sold like slaves.

What’s more the Drewitt-Barlow kids have suffered a further form of abuse. A few years ago Barrie and Tony displayed the children’s pictures on the gay-dating website Gaydar where it seems the two dads advertise for male sexual partners; apparently they prefer “firemen, married men, muscle men and rugby players” (here).

The Drewitt-Barlows are well-connected media-savvy millionaires who run surrogacy businesses in Essex and California. Tony runs seminars on same-sex parenting and promotes himself as a public speaker. Barrie claims he an expert in same-sex parenting too.  Barrie also informs us that he is a social worker whose “aim at all times is the welfare of all children born through surrogacy” (here).

What a masterclass in falsehood and hypocrisy!

Farewell Freedom Of Speech

In my previous post at the end of last month (here) I told how we, the GayMarriageNoThanks.com (here) campaign team, planned to display ‘Sophie’ posters on billboards across London ahead of the third reading of the same-sex marriage Bill in the House of Lords on 8th July. The purpose of the poster was to draw urgent attention to the issue of children: at the heart of marriage for most people and, with the honourable exception of a very few parliamentarians (here), kids have been entirely ignored in the gay marriage debate.

EvidenceShowsThe ensuing Sophie story shines a small but penetrating light on the declining democracy in which we now live:

We tried first to book space for her with two of the major billboard companies, Clear Channel UK (here) and Primesight (here). They both examined the artwork and declined our business, the latter informing us it was “due to the content” which was “too contentious”.

This was ludicrous. Of course Sophie was contentious – how could she not be? She brought a specific, relevant and legitimate viewpoint about a highly contentious issue that was currently being discussed in the mother of parliaments and democracy just down the road, and we wanted to exercise our right as citizens to influence that discussion.

So we took Sophie along to the Advertising Standards Authority or rather to its associate, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which offers ‘authoritative advice’ on the UK’s advertising rules (here). In the light of their guidance we amended the statement along the bottom of the poster from ‘FACT:’ to ‘Evidence shows…’ and set about finding a new billboard company.CAPlogo(To clarify: CAP in no way endorsed or approved our poster, and they make it clear that advertisers are not to imply any such endorsement or approval. We listened carefully to their advice some of which we accepted, but the responsibility for the poster remained entirely ours.)

A colleague in Scotland had used AdTRAILERS (here) mobile billboards in the past so on Sunday 7th July, the day before the third reading, Sophie found herself being driven around Westminster and central London on one of their trucks. Response to her was both positive and very negative, and in Trafalgar Square some hostile gay marriage supporters shouted obscenities and ripped part of the poster from one side of the truck.

But much worse was to come. Early the following morning as the day of the Lord’s debate dawned I took a call from AdTRAILERS. Their staff member was apologetic but informed me they were cancelling the contract with immediate effect. The company had received “horrific” and “frightening” threats to the driver, the staff and the company, and for their own safety’s sake they could not allow the truck to go out again. “I have known nothing like it in ten years – it’s violent stuff,” said the shocked representative.

We subsequently received an email from the company cancelling the contract because of “threats” and “offensive complaints” and offering a refund. We asked them to report the intimidation to the police and supply us with the relevant crime numbers, but they declined. Fear of reprisals – to persons and business – by the gay marriage supporters paralysed the company who simply wished the matter would go away.

RainbowFlagThus Sophie’s campaign was derailed after just one day. She had been silenced by gay marriage bullies.

No doubt her antagonists crowed about their ‘victory’. But more thoughtful observers may pause to reflect on the implications for our society. The silencing of legitimate public debate through violent threats and fear are the hallmarks of autocracies and tyrannies.

The UK is not yet Putin’s Russia or Taleban-controlled Pakistan. But inch by inch our free speech is being closed down, our liberties are being curtailed and our democratic space is shrinking. So maybe, just maybe, we are on the way.

“Won’t Somebody Please Think Of The Children?”

OurGreatLeaderIn politics as in life, there are people, events and opinions expressed that stop you in your tracks. David Cameron’s betrayal of basic conservative marriage-and-family principles at the October 2011 Tory party conference was one such. In words written for him, significantly, by Peter Tatchell (here) the prime minister claimed he now supported same-sex marriage ‘because I’m a Conservative’ (here).

I am not a Conservative Party supporter but I reached for the sick bucket. As a Christian Democrat I count myself a natural social conservative so my fury at Cameron’s slick perfidy knew no bounds. I was stung to write my most satisfying piece on the issue so far, ‘Confronting the Gaystapo’ (here), in which I compared Cameron in 2011 to Chamberlain in 1938.

Some thought the piece was OTT but I don’t. The man plans to redefine and wreck the precious gift of marriage that has been quietly handed down through the generations. Loyalty, faithfulness and marital stability will be jettisoned by his same-sex marriage Bill in order to accommodate gay marriage values (here), and so the secure home for sacrificial parenting and safe nurture of our offspring will be irreparably undermined. “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad,” is the ancient Greek proverb that aptly sums up the cultural suicide contained in the Bill. The foundational building-block of our society and civilisation is being demolished by a detached deluded government. “Professing to be wise, they became fools,” is how the New Testament explains it.

If the Bill becomes law expect the national budget for children’s, youth and police services to soar; the state will be forced to take over provision for an increasingly unstable and insecure younger generation on our streets, created by parents who, thanks to the prime minster and Baroness Stowell (here), will have been encouraged by Act of Parliament to pursue multiple sexual relationships and ‘open’ marriages.

TraditionalMr&MrsMaybe the in-your-face stupidity of the Bill might be brought home to Cameron if SamCam announced over breakfast one morning that she wants to be more modern and have an open marriage and that in line with his government’s new legislation she plans to have an affair with the milkman and/or her beautician. I wish it on no-one including David Cameron, but he would come face-to-face with the destructive effects of his Bill and her philandering on their three young children.

I was similarly stopped in my tracks two weeks ago when the House of Lords vote on their Second Reading of the Bill was announced. Pro-marriage supporters had been trounced in the House of Commons but, we had been informed by our campaign leaders, it would be different in the Lords where there is much more opposition to the same-sex marriage Bill. Well, they were wrong, utterly wrong. The vote in favour of the Bill was as overwhelming as the vote in the Commons. It was disturbing and distressing.

Layout 1Some Anglican Mainstream (here) colleagues and I decided that until then we had been culpably quiet. We had left the public argument to others and, in the face of overwhelming media and elitist bias, there had been almost no national discussion, no setting out the arguments against same-sex marriage. In particular the wellbeing of children, who are at the heart of marriage for most people, had been ignored while adult interests about ‘equality’ and religious conscience dominated the limited debate. It was late in the day but we decided we must start debate about children.

First we raised the required funds from friends and supporters and on 10th June took a half-page advert in The Times, entitled ‘Ten good reasons why the House of Lords should say No to the same-sex marriage Bill.’ The reasons majored primarily on the wellbeing of children. You can find them on our associated website, GayMarriageNoThanks.com (here), which we launched at the same time.

Layout 1Our next step is to take billboard space across London ahead of the Bill’s Report Stage in the House of Lords on 8th July. Again we plan to promote debate about the wellbeing and interests of children – typified by ‘Sophie’ in the posters – against the depredations of Cameron’s legislation. If you would like to contribute to the cost of the billboards and the fighting fund, go to the ‘Donate’ button on the website (here). Many thanks. HelenLovejoyfromTheSimpsons

 

Gay Marriage? Thank God For Stephen Timms

Stephen_TimmsI have no inside knowledge of course, but I always thought that our two Newham Labour MPs, Stephen Timms (East Ham) and Lyn Brown (West Ham) were good friends. Maybe they still are, but it was with some amusement that I read about their spat over same-sex marriage in the House of Commons.

In his speech during a debate on the same-sex marriage Bill in early February, Stephen claimed rightly that “Children are at the heart of marriage… Children are the reason why marriage has been so important…”

Lyn Brown's weddingLyn Brown interrupted him in full flow to remind him that he attended her marriage ceremony (in May 2008). “My right hon. Friend was at my wedding. I was not young when I got married (she was 48) and… it was highly unlikely that I was going to be able to procreate after all that time. Is he telling me that my marriage is less valid than anybody else’s?” (here)

It was a petty point. It is true that some married couples are not able to – or indeed choose not to – have children. It is true also that gay couples can have children even if only by adoption or artificial means.

But it is true too that there are exceptions to every rule. And these specific exceptions do not undermine the fact that real marriage is in essence and in principle about two people coming together, committing exclusively to each other, creating children and providing a stable caring home for the nurture and healthy upbringing of the next generation. It is because marriage is important for the welfare of children and for the future of society that an apparently secular state like ours must take an interest in the defining, ordering and regulation of marriage.

wheat fieldConversely if children and the future are not an essential part of marriage, then neither is the state. And if now marriage is simply to be about adults (gay or straight) loving and choosing each other as they wish, the state logically and inevitably must back off and allow any consenting adults of any gender and any number the right to marry for as long or short as they choose. For instance a wacky middle-aged couple I know went alone into a field of wheat one sunny summer’s day, frolicked naked and hidden amongst the ripening stalks and when they emerged from the field told friends that they are now ‘married’. This is a recipe for nuptial anarchy and instability of course, but on what basis do we tell them that they are not married?

Lyn Brown is my MP so I thought I’d try to persuade her change her mind ahead of tomorrow’s final Commons vote on same-sex marriage. The local paper, the Newham Recorder, published this letter from me last Wednesday:

Dear Editor, 

The final House of Commons vote on the Same-Sex Marriage Bill will take place later this month, before it then goes on to the House of Lords. Local MP Stephen Timms abstained in the previous vote and has said he will vote against the Bill next time. Can I appeal to my own MP, Lyn Brown, to follow suit? 

“Two people who love each other and are committed to each other should be allowed to get married whatever their gender. It’s an equality and human rights issue.” This is the main argument advanced in favour of same-sex marriage. 

But it is a selective and specious argument, and in reality the Bill does not create ‘equal marriage’ at all. Rather by changing the time-honoured definition of marriage from that between one man and one woman, it creates new inequalities and discrimination.

 It is notable for instance that the Bill will allow two lesbians to marry but not two elderly spinster sisters. Like the lesbians, the sisters may love each other, be committed to each other and live together for many years, but the legislation does not follow its own logic, allow them equally to get married. 

And if the Bill is about equality for minorities, why are the polygamous marriages of Muslims and Mormons excluded from it? And what about polyandrous marriages where there is one woman and two or more men? 

Further, there is an increasingly vocal minority demand for group marriage with multiple men and multiple women living in one so-called ‘family’. On what grounds are these minority ‘families’ excluded and discriminated against by the legislation? 

marriage based familySo the Bill is confused, illogical, irrational, unequal and creates new exclusions and discrimination against minorities. But worse, it completely ignores children. Same-sex marriage is about the interests of gay adults; children are not even mentioned in the legislation. Our children are our future, yet their rights and their welfare in marriages are completely blanked. 

Also, same-sex marriage will undermine normal faithful marriage by downgrading marital loyalty, as adultery will no longer be a valid reason for divorce. The right to play the field with even temporary and multiple sex partners is included by the government in this new definition of ‘marriage’. 

Finally, there is little demand for same-sex marriage in the gay community and there is no democratic mandate from the wider community. It was not included in any of the manifestos of the three major parties in parliament at the last election. 

Stephen Timms is showing courageous leadership by voting to reject the Bill. Lyn Brown, can we ask you to follow him and do likewise? 

Yours sincerely, etc 

The gay online newspaper Pink News ran the letter under the (deliberately?) untruthful headline claim that I want polygamous marriages to be included in the Bill (here).

I received a hostile email response from ‘AgayBgay’ informing me that “religion is a lie” and that there will be “punishment and justice” for gay rights violators. He also notified me ominously, “You have been warned.”

innocent childHe claimed further that “homosexual people are born homosexual” – which of course is the scientifically unproven and anecdotally questionable ‘born-gay’ argument. Matthew Parris (here – £) and Peter Tatchell (here) – both gays – would disagree. No gay gene has been discovered and rather than gayness being pre-determined at birth, it seems much more likely that childhood experiences and free-will play the major part.

MPs vote on the same-sex marriage Bill tomorrow. Will Lyn Brown vote against it alongside her Newham colleague?

Thank God for Stephen Timms.

“Vive Le Mariage!”

(My promised Unequal Marriage 2 has been postponed for the moment – but not cancelled.)

banners and flags at rallySpending last Sunday afternoon at Trafalgar Square in a biting wind and at zero degrees was a strangely warming and encouraging experience.

The youthful London-based French group La Manif Pour Tous A Londres (here) held a rally in favour of traditional marriage and for some weeks previously I had been helping them with their planning. Their aim was to join with the proposed massive rally in Paris on the same day (here) to protest against President Hollande’s plans for same-sex marriage, but they were pleased also to include our opposition to David Cameron’s rushed, muddled, unnecessary, unmandated and destructive Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.

The French Tricolour and the British Union Jack flew together united in favour of real marriage but under the stony one-eyed Francophobic glare of Admiral Nelson, an irony I referred to from the platform which was picked up by The Independent (here). A French event in Trafalgar Square made front-page news in Paris-published Le Figaro too (here).

ouch!Strident, abusive, hate-fuelled, foul-mouthed and anti-family, the inevitable gay counter-demo was there as well – maybe 100 of them compared with some 2,500 at the rally. And my pre-teen daughters – who were enjoying our cheerful array of balloons, flags and banners – giggled with shock when one gay publicity-seeker wanting her five minutes of fame (here) climbed up amongst Landseer’s bronze lions at the base of Nelson’s column, unbuttoned her top and exposed her duct-tape-covered nipples to the freezing wind and laughing world. “Won’t it hurt when she strips the tape off afterwards?” asked the younger one, genuinely concerned.

One man highlighted the nasty child-unfriendly nature of the gay counter-demo. He took real pleasure in going around bursting kids’ balloons with a pin; in one case he was seen to wrench a balloon out of a little girl’s hands and stamp on it. Same-sex marriage is a sterile adult-centred anti-family concept at the best of times and this vicious bully amply illustrated the fact.

“Vive Le Mariage” was a chant from the platform and it seemed rapidly to become the rally’s cold-defying battle-cry. Downing Street is just a few hundred metres from Trafalgar Square: “David Cameron, are you listening?” we bellowed.

Nelsons Column“We hate no-one. We love everyone. We love marriage,” we chanted. Yes, I know, it’s simplistic – but it was effective in portraying our essential message.

So far the prime minister seems as deaf as Nelson’s statue and just as elevated above the real world of ordinary people. If he proceeds with his same-sex marriage legislation we can hope that soon his tenure at No 10 will be history too.

Unequal Marriage 1

the real thingWhat’s in a word?

I’ve told the story before (here) about how, during negotiations with Policy Exchange – David Cameron’s favourite think tank – over the terms of a proposed same-sex marriage debate, they became distinctly frosty when I challenged their assertion that gay marriage should be called ‘equal marriage’ with an insistence that conventional marriage should therefore be called ‘real marriage’.

There was another entertaining incident last month while I stood at the gates of Downing Street. Half a dozen chairmen of local Conservative associations went to the door of No 10 in front of TV cameras to deliver a letter to the prime minister signed by 25 senior party colleagues that protested against the government’s same-sex marriage legislation (here). Peter Tatchell got wind of this, grabbed the opportunity for media publicity and rushed to the gates to bellow his usual hate speech about homophobes at full volume down the length of the historic and world-famous cul-de-sac.

Peter Tatchell outside Downing StreetHe also held up a poster: “End ban on same-sex marriage. Marriage Equality!” it proclaimed. With equivalent Alice-in-Wonderland logic and a wish to flap his wings and fly, he could have urged the government, “End pull of gravity. Bird Equality!”

The gay lobby and their useful idiots in the government and media have brilliantly manipulated the limited public debate about same-sex marriage by capturing the word ‘equality’. But by framing it as an equalities and human rights issue (eg here) they have messed with our language and wilfully disregarded the underlying realities.

male and femaleThe problem is that biology, nature or God (which I prefer, of course) has ensured that a same-sex couple can never undertake the act of marriage no matter how much they love each other or how long they live together. Two men (or two women) are physically unable to be naturally intimate and consummate their union through an activity that unites them and has the potential to reproduce and provide the next generation.

This is the essence of marriage and, further, in its purest ideal it is the private act that follows the public exchange of vows and signing of public documents; it is the intimate deed of physical and spiritual union that on the marriage night completes the coming together of two individuals and engages them in the mystical mathematics of procreation: 1+1 = 1 = 3+. It is consummation which transforms the marriage ceremony from a contract to a covenant.

I’m aware of course that the ideal is more honoured in the breach than the observance as today few couples refrain from sexual relations until the wedding night and many choose to co-habit rather than marry. But, for instance, financial honesty is another ideal that is vital to society’s wellbeing and is enshrined in the nation’s law. The fact that it is breached by everyone from corporate fat-cat tax fiddlers to single mums who falsely claim benefits and students who bunk the bus doesn’t deny the importance of the ideal. We have not (yet) attempted to redefine honesty and make it more inclusive such that fallen former MP Margaret Moran (here) could suddenly find herself re-included in the ranks of the righteous and her court sentence and criminal record scrubbed.

I am also aware that by choice or disability some married couples do not procreate. But this too doesn’t change the marriage ideal or its social value.

Of course two men or two women can have a legally-defined relationship which may or may not be called a civil partnership. A lesbian couple or two spinster sisters may love each other and live together all their adult lives; certainly where necessary the state ought to provide for them by statute. (The state currently and unfairly provides for the first but not the second (here).) But they can no more be married than they can defy gravity.

fruitful unionConsummation is so central to marriage that it too is enshrined in the nation’s law which decrees that marriage is voidable if it is not consummated (here).

This is the crux of the matter: the hard reality is that consummation physically cannot take place except between heterosexuals so the government has been forced to fudge and create a fundamental inequality in its ‘equal marriage’. Through the legislation and unlike heterosexual couples, same-sex couples will be exempted from any need to consummate their ‘marriage’.

So what’s in the word? They are married but not married. They are one but not one. They are the same but not the same. They are equivalent but certainly not equal.

It is Through The Looking-Glass stuff and a socially destructive confusion of the meaning of marriage by the government: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less” (here).

In the next post we will look at other inequalities and the discrimination against minorities that will be created if the Bill becomes law. Meanwhile I’m praying that politically the Dumpty in Downing Street has a great fall over his Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.