Saturday, 6 March 2010

Gay marriage plan threatens churches says Bishop of Winchester -Times Online

So here’s the deal. Gay people insist on the right to marry. I don’t think it is meaningfully possible and object on social and religious grounds. But we live in a liberal democracy so I can hardly deny others the privilege that democracy affords me. But that is not enough – it never is. They want enshrined in law the right to marry in religious premises. Of course, there are already those liberal churches that afford this privilege without legal coercion but that is not enough – it never is. So the final situation stands something like this:

You have no right to force me as a gay person to comply with your religious code but I want enshrined in law the right to force you to act against your religious conscience. Nice!

‘Church of England clergy will be sued for discrimination if they refuse to “marry” homosexuals under a proposed law, a bishop has warned. Other religious leaders fear that churches that refuse to bless civil partnerships might be forced to close…

Don Horrocks, of the [Evangelical] alliance, said: “We understand the Lords’ desire to allow a few liberal religious groups to have freedom to follow their consciences. But other religious groups must not be forced to betray their consciences by facing lawsuits if they fail to allow a civil ceremony.

“This amendment hugely confuses the distinction between civil secular ceremonies and religious ceremonies, as well as the nature of marriage, and has major implications for the UK’s matrimonial laws which haven’t begun to be thought through.”’

Now this is going to upset some people I know personally but it has to be said. It is never enough, whatever you do to enshrine gay rights in law, it is never going to be enough.

In the UK there are calls for all kinds of “traditional” gay activities to be acceptable and legally protected now that basic gay rights are recognised. This includes the right to participate in cruising, the frequenting of public places for the purposes of casual sex – see here. It seems some wish to be free to liaise in places like the infamous Highgate Cemetery for instance without let or hindrance (shades of Joe Orton)

What next? The right to organise and participate in cottaging? As a young man I was more than once the target of such activities and I can tell you it is not the happy-go-lucky and wholesome activity some might have you believe. But this is the way it is going as the gay programme embraces any and all sexual activities once considered aberrant and wrong. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender movement (LGBT) is vocal and growing in its call for the acceptance of any and everything that would overturn the accepted and traditional mores and customs of society. Likeminded people gathering around a common cause, or an example of my enemy’s enemy is my friend?Sociologist Mary Bernstein said:

"For the lesbian and gay movement, then, cultural goals include (but are not limited to) challenging dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity, homophobia, and the primacy of the gendered heterosexual nuclear family (heteronormativity). Political goals include changing laws and policies in order to gain new rights, benefits, and protections from harm." (Bernstein, Mary (2002). Identities and Politics: Toward a Historical Understanding of the Lesbian and Gay Movement. Social Science History 26:3 (fall 2002).

The “cause” is anarchic then and not simply about being accepted but about creating a social chaos out of which this new, promiscuous order will rise. Promiscuous?

There are faithful and good people who remain in gay relationships for a lifetime, this I know personally. But casual and promiscuous sex seem to be the overwhelming norm in the gay community. So, on one hand you have people that seek, reasonably in many eyes, to be accepted in homosexual relationship as equals in the wider society with heterosexual partnerships. But then you have many in that same community seeking to have the same wider society give licence for their promiscuous agenda.

Of course, when such concerns are expressed we are met with the same cry - “Homophobia!” Its a lot like talking to a Mormon who will cry “Anti-Mormon!” But crying foul and damning your critics as blind and ill-informed enemies hardly helps to move the discussion along and does nothing to address the genuine fears and concerns of intelligent people.

Gay marriage plan threatens churches says Bishop of Winchester -Times Online

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