Showing posts with label English Parliament. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English Parliament. Show all posts

Friday, December 7, 2012


Statement on same-sex marriage by English Prime Minister David Cameron:
He said he did not want gay people to be "excluded from a great institution", but would not force any groups to hold ceremonies in their places of worship. 

Ministers will reveal their response to a consultation next week. MPs will be given a free vote on the issue.
The "Church of England" responded:
It is important to be clear that insistence on the traditional understanding of marriage is not knee-jerk resistance to change but is based on a conviction that the consequences of change will not be beneficial for society as a whole. Our concern is for the way the meaning of marriage will change for everyone, gay or straight, if the proposals are enacted. Because we believe that the inherited understanding of marriage contributes a vast amount to the common good, our defence of that understanding is motivated by a concern for the good of all in society.

The proposition that same-sex relationships can embody crucial social virtues is not in dispute. To that extent, the Prime Minister's claim that he supports same-sex marriage from conservative principles is readily understandable.  However, the uniqueness of marriage is that it embodies the underlying, objective, distinctiveness of men and women. This distinctiveness and complementarity are seen most explicitly in the biological union of man and woman which potentially brings to the relationship the fruitfulness of procreation.

To remove from the definition of marriage this essential complementarity is to lose any social institution in which sexual difference is explicitly acknowledged. To argue that this is of no social value is to assert that men and women are simply interchangeable individuals. To change the nature of marriage for everyone will be divisive and deliver no obvious legal gains given the rights already conferred by civil partnerships.
We believe that redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships will entail a dilution in the meaning of marriage for everyone by excluding the fundamental complementarity of men and women from the social and legal definition of marriage.

Given the absence of any manifesto commitment for these proposals - and the absence of any commitment in the most recent Queen's speech - there will need to be an overwhelming mandate from the consultation to move forward with these proposals and make them a legislative priority.

We welcome the fact that in his statement the Prime Minister has signalled he is abandoning the Government's earlier intention to distinguish between civil and religious marriage.  We look forward to studying the Government's detailed response to the consultation next week and to examining the safeguards it is proposing to give to Churches.
Except for the weak acknowledgement in the second paragraph that "same-sex relationships can embody crucial social virtues" and the references to the English Government and the Queen, the statement could have come from the Vatican.

Who wrote this anonymous press release in the name of the "Church of England"?  What minds came together to produce this rubbish?  Or was it just one person?   Judging from the people I know in the Church of England, the response most certainly does not express the mind of the entire church.  Was General Synod consulted?  Is it possible for the people in the head office of the Church of England to be more out of touch?   Many questions; no answers as of yet.

H/T to Simon Sarmiento at Thinking Anglicans.

UPDATE: While we're on the subject, please read Mark Harris' brilliant response to the "Church of England's" response to David Cameron's statement on same-sex marriage. Thank you.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden
From the Guardian:
A Christian charity which sponsored a conference promoting the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality has funded interns for an estimated 20 MPs, including some who are now ministers in the coalition government.

The Christian Action Research and Education charity (Care) has provided staff to the parliamentary offices of Caroline Spelman, Alistair Burt and Steve Webb. In 2009 it sponsored a London conference about homosexuality and Christianity which included sessions on "mentoring the sexually broken". The event in London was also organised by Anglican Mainstream, one of the conservative Christian charities that was blocked this week from showing adverts on London buses that supported the idea that with therapy, homosexual people can become "ex-gay".

The conference featured a keynote by Joseph Nicolosi, a Californian psychologist and founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. The organisers said they were "very worried about the continued progress of the gay – and in fact the LGBT – agenda across the board in the UK. Social, cultural, political and religious sectors are being targeted and most of them are capitulating".
Well, well.  The "gay cure" folks under the name of a charity named Care (Oh, the irony!) have infiltrated Parliament by paying to support interns for MPs.  The members of Parliament who had or have interns paid by Care are unavailable for comment.  Surprise!  And the Care conference that included sessions on "mentoring the sexually broken" was organized by Anglican Mainstream.  A question: Where does Anglican Mainstream get its funds?
"It's a complete disgrace that any elected representative would have associations with an organisation that promotes a 'gay cure' in the 21st century," said Phillip Dawson, who launched a campaign when he discovered his local MP, David Burrowes had an intern sponsored by Care. "The Royal College of Psychiatrists has explicitly stated that discussions of a 'gay cure' fuel discrimination and prejudice. MPs should be fighting homophobia wherever it occurs but by associating themselves with Care they are actually helping to fuel it. We have to be clear that there is no place for groups that promote a 'gay cure' in the corridors of power."
 The "gay - and in fact the LGBT" agenda promoting fairness and equality for all is, indeed, worrisome to some, but why?

Thanks to themethatisme for the link to the story.

Should MPs be accepting financial support from charities that sponsor "gay cure" conferences?

Phillip Dawson from Enfield thinks not -- so when he discovered a Christian charity that sponsored a conference discussing "Therapeutic approaches to same-sex attraction" and "Mentoring the sexually broken" had also since funded interns for 17 MPs, including his own, he was shocked.

Now Phillip has started a petition on calling for all MPs to sever ties with Care (Christian Action Research and Education). 
Thanks to MadPriest for calling the petition to my attention.  Signatures from outside England are accepted.