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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Negotiating same sex marriage confusion

In the general bafflement over the Prime Minister's obsession with legalising same sex marriage, an obsession surprisingly shared by Iain Duncan Smith, John Major, Michael Gove and others we thought might have known better, we are all wondering what on earth is behind this. A popular suggestion is that it is David Cameron's Clause 4 moment, that he is seeking to shed traditional conservatives from his party to make it more electable, just as Tony Blair changed the face of the Labour party.

The suggestion is hotly denied, even by Charles Moore who looks at the political implications of David Cameron's determination to introduce same sex "marriage". I find it all very difficult to understand in political terms. Given the rolling news story of corruption in our political class, I'm afraid I just assume that somebody is shelling out large sums of money.

My Catholic Dilemma for last weekend's Catholic Herald was on the question:
As a lifelong conservative I am deeply concerned by the Government’s proposal to legalise same-sex marriage. Should I now vote for UKIP?
I kept to my priestly non-committal stance about party politics and offered some general advice about voting for the candidate, not the party. Today I am relieved that I did so because Geoffrey Clark, UKIP candidate, seeking election to Gravesham Borough Council, suggests in his personal manifesto compulsory abortion for children with Downs Syndrome, Spina Bifida or "similar syndrome" (similar as in what respect? being disabled in some way?) so that we might reduce the national debt. Since well over 90% of such children are killed before birth already, I'm not sure how much killing the rest of them would help reduce the national debt. Maybe if we learned to value children and adults with Downs syndrome our moral compass might be a little better at finding ethical ways to reduce the national debt.

The politics of this weird episode in parliamentary proceedings, which has implications far beyond anything the Prime Minister or his advisers have yet grasped, is indeed almost impenetrable. So we need to keep on insisting that the Government does not have the competence to redefine marriage, and that doing so will inevitably bring about harm to society - and further attacks on Christians of orthodox faith.

If you are writing to your MP, I thought it would be helpful to gather together links to some good articles for ease of reference:

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has written a good letter to the Daily Telegraph.

Brendan O'Neill as ever, writes with great good sense on Spiked: The iron fist in the velvet glove of gay marriage with the strapline "Under the radical cover of being pro-gay, the state is expanding its sovereignty over all of our private lives and most intimate relationships."

Letter to David Cameron from Bishop Philip Egan and Bishop Egan's Statement.

Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster's Statement

Archbishop Nichols and Smith criticise "shambolic process"

Archbishop Smith: Marriage in its current form is essential to the common good
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