Wednesday, 22 February 2012

New C4EM online petition supports incest, bigamy and marriage of minors. Oops!!!

The Coalition for marriage (C4M) launched an on-line petition two days ago to support the current legal definition of marriage.

In just over 40 hours it has gathered over 25,000 signatures and numbers are continuing to rise rapidly.

It reads as follows:

'I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it.'

Obviously miffed by this the gay rights lobby have been working hard behind the scenes since Monday to produce a similar petition backing same sex marriage.

It has been launched this morning and at the time of writing carries 325 signatures.

It looks almost identical in layout to that of C4M (except in pink!) and is titled the 'Coalition for Equal marriage' abbreviated to C4EM.

The web address is

A clever idea? Most definitely!

The only problem is that they have drafted their petition without thinking very carefully about the wording.

It reads as follows:

'I support the right of two people in love to get married, regardless of gender. It's only fair.'

The problem of course is that 'two people in love' covers a whole variety of possible combinations which are excluded by the current legal definition of marriage.

Marriage between close relatives who love each other - otherwise known as 'incest'
Marriage between two people who are already married to other people - aka 'bigamy'
Marriage between minors who love each other - call it what you will

And that's just for starters!

Rather embarrassing especially as a leading journalist on the Telegraph has already put his name down.

Now I'm sure that all of these good people signed this petition 'in good faith' but it shows you just how careful you need to be!

Time for some editing?

I wonder if they will change the wording now that it is launched?

I have saved a copy just in case they do! Should make quite a funny news story!

Some of C4EM's other red-faced (or should I say 'pink-faced) signatories are listed on their site.


  1. Wow. This is a pretty obnoxious smear.

    1. Not at all. It is just a bit of fun and as I said above I'm sure that all of these good people signed this petition 'in good faith'.

      But it does illustrate just how careful you need to be when you start playing around with definitions.

      The 'equal marriage' and 'love and commitment' slogans need to be thought through a bit better.

      The current law has been very carefully drafted which is why it's a good idea not to meddle with it.

    2. Smearing for fun? How roguish of you, Peter.

    3. Not at all. I've actually done them a favour by drawing their attention to it in the first hour of posting.

    4. This is a smear and I assumed that was picture of you, turns out some other poor chap, had I not read on I may have associated his face with this article, and I'm sure he wouldn't want that.

    5. He is a well known journalist on the Telegraph who was one of the first signatories to the petition and tweeted it widely over the internet. The article identifies him.

    6. So, the C4EM, never use smear tactics? Nor use caricatures, misrepresent or the like?

      I can't see any harm in the above article. It just makes the point one has to be careful over definitions.

      I actually think it is dangerous to lift any group beyond criticism.

  2. Well spotted C4M! Certainly makes them look like idiots!

    1. And, when you say idiots. You mean people who assume that when they say two people in love that people will not degenerate this to mean paedophilia..... it was your gutterminded smear campaign that triangulated that argument.

    2. As I say in the article I am sure that the people who signed this petition did so in good faith in support of same sex marriage. However the people who drafted it should have been more careful about the wording because it is poorly thought through and ambiguous.

    3. read the 'about us' section on it. Your blog is a nasty, one-sided article.

    4. The Coalition for Equal Marriage Campaign (C4EM) claims to have been set up by ‘a couple of guys, who’d actually quite like to get married one day’ but they don’t name themselves anywhere on the site and there is no address or any contact details given.

      The petition in its main heading smears the 49,000+ supporters of the ‘Coalition for Marriage’ (C4M) as being ‘bigoted’ (‘Don’t let bigotry stop two people in love getting married’) and says (read the small print) that parents who teach their children that marriage is the ‘voluntary union between one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others’ are ‘massive bigots’.

      To imply that everybody who disagrees with you about an issue of public policy is a massive bigot actually is a smear.

      It is not a smear to point out that the wording of the C4EM petition is ambiguous and clumsy and that if you support the right for ‘any two people who love each other to marry’ you are inadvertently endorsing other kinds of relationship than voluntary adult same sex partnerships. It is simply a fact.

      Perhaps the fact that so few people have signed the petition is because they also can see this ambiguity.

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    7. Mate you're an idiot, your article is a load of bull and i'm glad so many people have already pointed that out to you.

      What you've done is be deliberately pedantic and assumed things that weren't written anywhere on the site, they explain themselves quite clearly in the about you section and at no point does it say that all people who are unsure or who don't agree with same sex marriage are bigots. It literally defines the term and refers to the religious extremists who do not just stick to their own views and keep themselves to themselves, instead they start a hate campaign against gays, labelling them grotesque and blaming them for natural disasters (seriously wtf!?).

      The C4M petition has been up longer than theirs and the c4em petition is claiming signatures rapidly (from more open minded people than yourself) currently boasting over 28000 signatures, still behind overall but that restores a little bit of my faith in this country!

      I'd also like to point out that they have named themselves but as for your request for full names and contact details, given that this literally is two people fighting for their rights and already dealing with a massive response to the petition, i'd say that's fair wouldn't you? Did you want to post your bull*** rant straight to their door? They are also fully named (and proud) in their article in the Gazette to which there is a direct link from the website.

      Can't you see the parody they have made of the c4em petition? It's deliberately pink, and deliberately a virtual clone of their site. As i know the makers of the site personally, i know that they've let it go as a given that people wouldn't be so ridiculously petty in the face of something which is a seriously troubling realisation; as Will Young said on question time the other night there is a profound sense of underlying, thinly veiled homophobia that still remains in this country. For every step forward we make these right wing bigots try to take us ten steps back.

      It is extremely upsetting, sickening even to hear about the archaic opinions some members of our society hold, especially since i have gay family members and many gay friends. Why should gays be made to feel like second class citizens and their be paved for discrimination due to these categories placed over a union of two (consenting, of age and not blood related adults) people??

      Forgive the pun but you've batted for the wrong side here, you should be concentrating on the good that will come from raising awareness and support for equal marriage. You've just made yourself sound like an idiot. You're the guy at the party who no-one ends up talking to because you correct everything they say when you got what they meant anyway......

      P.S. Your title is disgraceful and untrue, and you should take that picture down, putting it so close to your ramblings and then the explanation that he's actually a good guy at the bottom is low.

  3. They've updated it now.

  4. I see an asterisk and explanation has been very quickly added to the petition now. Let's see how it goes.

  5. I think the wording on the site might do with a bit more editing.
    I could amost feel my eyes being scratched out when I read -

    "Also, if we're very lucky, schools might teach kids not to be massive bigots like their parents"

    Hissy Fit or what?

    1. As opposed to the section on the C4M site that states peoples jobs may be affected by gay marriage....... please extrapolate the reasoning that suggests this to be true.

    2. We have already seen a rising tide of discrimination against people who support traditional marriage as a result of the legalisation of civil partnerships coupled with new equality legislation. If same sex marriage is legalised faith-based employers who provide special health benefits to married employees would be required by law to extend those benefits to same-sex ‘spouses’. They would also face lawsuits for taking any adverse employment action - no matter how modest - against an employee for the public act of obtaining a civil ‘marriage’ with a member of the same sex. Faith-based adoption and fostering services that place children exclusively with married couples would be required by law to place children with persons of the same sex who are civilly ‘married’. Marriage counsellors from faith backgrounds would be denied their professional accreditation for refusing to provide counselling in support of same-sex ‘married’ relationships. All these moves would place faith groups in the invidious position of being forced to act against their consciences or face marginalisation, exclusion and litigation.

      This has already happened with the civil partnership act and equality act. You may be a person who would never take such action but others do and will.

    3. I note that the most substantive point that opponents of marriage equality have made is that they feel they should be able to legally discriminate against same-sex couples, and fear that full equality under law will impede this aim.

      To an extent, this may well be correct. However, if the most developed secular argument for continuing to legally quarantine same-sex couples is that it will be harder to advance a discriminatory agenda against us, then I am afraid I cannot muster much sympathy for the cause.

  6. Hilarious! - The figures alone show that C4EM are on a road to nowhere. Monogamous marriage between male & female is the accepted norm since time immemorial. - Sadly, we have a PM that wants to give any minority 'equal-rights', much to the disapproval of the general populace.

  7. >> Marriage between a woman teacher and her pupil under 16 - hmmmmmm!

    Why only a WOMAN teacher? Why not just "teacher" and under-age pupil? Your post comes across as sexist. There are many more male teachers who prey on vulnerable female pupils, than women teachers. They are perverts and the children are deluded and looking for a father figure, no doubt.

    1. Good suggestion - thanks James. I'll tweak it.

    2. Are you kidding? Not all male teachers are perverts. Goodness.

    3. No one is suggesting that but some male and female teachers are.

  8. You are aware the petition states that people should be allows people who love each other to get married "regardless of gender" and not "regardless of legal ability to consent", right? This is about love between consenting adults, not anything to do with minors. If you disagree with the petition it's one thing, but creating a straw man article like this does more to undermine your argument than it does strengthen it.

    1. No. The petition was very lazily worded because they didn't actually think about it carefully enough. It was sloppy but underlines the importance of detail.

      Marriage is much more than 'loving each other' and same sex marriage is much more than just a simple 'equality' issue. But many people have not thought it through carefully.

      This is the problem when you are fighting a cause with emotive slogans rather than properly reasoned arguments and labelling all opposition as 'homophobic' or 'bigoted'.

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  10. Oh look, a cheap shot from the morally superior Christians. Colour me unsurprised.

    1. Peter Saunders has just pointed out how something as simple as "two people in love to get married, regardless of gender" is open to interpretation.
      He's done them a huge favour, hence C4EM changing it.

      Christians are not morally superior to anyone !
      Our moral guidance is the bible...if you have a problem with a one man and one woman marriage, you're gonna have to take that up with God...He's made the rules, and we follow them :)

    2. Errm, have you read the Bible lately? One man one woman is the exception rather than the rule, when it comes to Biblical marriage.

      Also, the idea that Saunders did this to help c4em is risible. You really believe that?

      There is no rational argument for denying marriage equality. Saunders accuses equality proponents of arguing emotionally, when his own side of the argument is generally based on a combination the "ick" factor and "the Bible says it's wrong". the latter part is particularly ironic, given that Jesus is reported as expressly saying that unless divorce was for infidelity, subsequent re-marriage was adulterous. Yet Christians seem perfectly happy for divorcees to remarry in their own churches, blatantly defying the principles of the man they believe was God incarnate.

      One thing we do agree one: Christians are not morally superior. But they do like to pick and choose the rules they follow.

  11. *sigh* I despair. Marry whoever you want. Or whoever you think 'god' wants u to marry. But in a secular society, you can't force gods laws on everyone else.

    It's just pathetic knit-picking to make those assumptions, and I find it quite funny 2 imagine u sitting back smugly thinking you've got one over on the gay community.


    1. Members of the gay community, like any other members of our society, have every right to exercise their rights as citizens and participate in the democratic process. But they must accept and respect the fact that many others in our society believe that marriage should not be redefined.

      All the legal rights of marriage are already available to same sex couples through civil partnerships so there is no need to redefine marriage to include them. The President of the Family Division has even described civil partnerships as conferring ‘the benefits of marriage in all but name’. Such a move would also inevitably lead to calls to open civil partnerships to opposite sex couples on the basis of ‘equality’. But marriage and civil partnerships have been designed for two very different types of relationship and should be kept distinct. It is not and should not be ‘one size fits all’.

    2. it's not anyone's business how a civil marriage is defined in a liberal society. i stopped reading after your first paragraph.

  12. This was a highly pedantic objection. I don't know how churlish you'd have to be to actually interpret C4EM this way - especially since it's a counter-petition to an anti-same-sex marriage petition.

  13. Does the defintion of One man and one woman actually halt incest, or even say that incest is wrong? As long as it is the union of one man and one woman, then where does that definition say it is wrong? Surely that is an oversight also?

    1. Yes the current legal definition stops incest, paedophilia and marriage of minors by the riders on these in exisiting legislation.

    2. peter, that wasn't the person's question and you know it.

  14. I don't see Mr Saunders' response here is any different from a (hypothetical) response to the original C4M which said "Ooh, they want 'traditional' marriage do they?! I suppose they want to roll back the Married Women's Property Act and have bridal prices and tell everyone it has to be in church and they have to play the Bridal March whatever their preferences..."

    That would obviously be churlish and silly. It's obvious from the context what 'traditional' means.

    It says more about you than anything if you immediately leap from same-sex marriage to paedophilia and incest and so on the moment you have the slightest gap of ambiguity into which to project.

    1. I think you may have over thought this. I think they want gay marriage, no mention on the past. But now you mention it, yes these were changes to the marriage acts, as was the act preventing incest and what wonderful changes they were to the 'traditional' institution.

    2. Throughout history in virtually all cultures and faiths throughout the world, marriage has been held to be the union of one man and one woman. Marriage existed thousands of years before our nation began and has been recognised in our laws as the ‘voluntary union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others for life’ (Hyde v Hyde 1866). The UN Declaration of Human Rights (article 16) recognises that the family, headed by a man and a woman, ‘is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State’. It is not up to governments to redefine marriage – but simply to recognise it for what it is, and to promote and protect it as a unique institution.

    3. Urggghhh really, Mr Saunders? Come on. Marriage is a legal institution so it is appropriate for the law to consider and reconsider the definition, terms, etc. Indeed marriage does pre-date both the Established church and the state, but that's no argument that you can't take marriage as a legal object. Compare: sex pre-dates both church and state as well, doesn't mean we can't make and re-make laws pertaining to sex.

      Note also that there are plenty of examples of "redefining" marriage e.g. by legalising divorce and the Married Woman's Property Act. Both of which were positive social changes. If you insist on marriage never changing perhaps you should stick to an older model: maybe all marriage should be pagan, the village elder should de-flower the bride, and the groom must buy her off her parents? No. Change is good.

      Also, on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, it's very obvious that Article 16 is ambiguously worded to potentially encompass a few different models of marriage. It does not say that all families are exclusively headed by one man and one woman. It says "Men and women of full age" have the right to get married, which does not preclude for example two men from getting married. I.e. both men would be exercising their right to get married, to each other. (I'm not suggesting that the Declaration is explicitly pro-same-sex marriage, just that it's intentionally ambiguous so as not to rule it out.) Before you object that this is retroactive interpretation, note that the Declaration does not rule out for example a man marrying multiple women either (presumably so that the Declaration could be taken up by states with a tradition of polygamy).

      Yes, you can cite the Declaration to back up formal recognition of the value of family. But for god's sake if the writers of the film Mrs Doubtfire can understand that families come in all shapes and sizes then surely to goodness so can you.

    4. And another thing, to mirror your argument, "Throughout history in virtually all cultures and faiths throughout the world," there has been a very low age of consent, or none at all. That means we shouldn't have developed legal protections against the abuse of minors, does it? No, obviously not. To confuse antiquity or tenaciousness with being right and good is a fallacy of the most obvious kind - the kind you can only fall into when you have no real argument to make.

  15. This is a disgustingly low blow. You're on the losing side of the argument, and this is the best you can come up with?

    1. I have yet to hear an argument for same sex marriage apart from 'equal rights', 'I'm in love', 'the opposition are bigots' or 'X backs it and he/she is a famous celebrity'. These are not arguments. They are emotive and vacuous soundbites and slogans.

      Moreover only 5,000 have backed this (highly ambiguous and sloppliy worded) petition whilst over 40,000 so far have backed the coalition for marriage.

      The same sex marriage lobby does not, as far as I have seen thus far, have any arguments whilst we have many which have not been countered - see

    2. Perhaps you can explain why equal rights should be denied. Surely there has to be a good reason for denying equality to people, Dr Saunders? The 'counter-arguments' to equality presented in your link are extraordinarily shallow and have themselves been refuted again and again.

      Perhaps you ought to stop straining at the gnat of equality and swallowing the camel of pharisaism?

    3. Same sex couples already have equal rights.

      All the legal rights of marriage are already available to same sex couples through civil partnerships so there is no need to redefine marriage to include them. The President of the Family Division has even described civil partnerships as conferring ‘the benefits of marriage in all but name’.

      Marriage and civil partnerships have been designed for two very different types of relationship and should be kept distinct. It is not and should not be ‘one size fits all’.

      But this is actually not about rights at all. It is about a small minority trying to redefine a word in the English language that they don't like.

    4. So you're good with 'separate but equal' are you, Peter?

      The only difference between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples is what the parties involved have between their legs. Really - that's all you have. But hey, if you think that's important enough reason to deny equal rights, then knock yourself out.

      "This is not about rights at all..." Save your rhetoric, Peter. I know you'd like to re-frame this issue to make your side look like the victims, but you're not. And you will lose. Your descendants will be as ashamed of you as you would be ashamed of an ancestor who opposed racial equality.

    5. The race comparison is nonsense.

      Conflating race with sexual behaviour is a category error. Race (and sex) are fixed biological characteristics. Sexual behaviour is a lifestyle choice.

      Equating being something with acting on a desire is not comparing like with like.

      There is no absolute right to fulfil human desire. But there is most certainly a right to be.

      As for what is between one's legs - it's actually very important. Marriage is the voluntary union for life of a man and a woman (biologically complementary beings) exclusive of all others.

      Same sex marriage is an oxymoron. It's like a two storey bungalow or a bicylcle with four wheels. Nonsense. And calling any same sex coupling marriage, however committed, exclusive sincere or permanent, is simply an abuse of the English language.

      Same sex couples already have all the rights of married couples with civil partnerships and equality does not necessarily mean uniformity.

    6. "Nonsense"? Scientific research into sexuality may yet be far from conclusive, and while it has not procluded the possibility of psychological effects it has clearly established that there is a distinctive hormonal and likely genetic influence. Ergo, merely branding it as a non-sensical lifestyle choice is a gross oversimplification, regardless of how convenient this is in making your point. It would seem that the same-sex marriage argument is not the only one full of holes.

      I won't even bother pointing out the church's history of paedophilia; it tends to make many Christians very tense and defensive, and people on both sides of the religious divide are very much aware of what has happened in the past. All the same I'm amazed that - knowing this - that you would have the audacity to suggest it as an argument against gay marriage.

      I can't possibly fathom your real reasons for this spiteful, highly speculative and unsubstantiated bile, but I pity you all the same. You said it yourself; gay couples in civil partnerships have equal rights and that seems sufficient; how can gay marriage - leading on from civil partnerships - possibly affect your personal life? Does it somehow invalidate whatever kind of relationship you may be currently involved with; is this an expression of some insecurity on your part or are you just frightened of change in principle?

      Whatever your real reasons, the idea that a doctor would make such claims without any kind of substantial scientific backing is appauling. That being said, don't let my judgement stop you; your unsubstantiated bile and rank hypocrisy will do far more to hurt the C4M campaign (and, by extension, the position of the church) than C4EM ever could.

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  17. The irony is that this is exactly what some gay activists actually do want. It is well known that Peter Tatchell would like the age of consent done away with, or at the very least reduced to 14, and that he thinks nine-year-olds are sexual beings.

    Australian blogger Bill Muehlenberg has today posted this on his site:

    [...] in 1972 the US-based National Coalition of Gay Organizations issued its Gay Rights Platform. It offered, in part, this list of demands:

    7. Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent.

    8. Repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit; and the extension of legal benefits to all persons who cohabit, regardless of sex or numbers.”

    The Useful Idiots who signed this pink document should be careful what they wish for.

    1. are you really comparing the c4em to a document put together in 1972? now who's an idiot?

  18. So you wilfully misread a contextually unambiguous statement in order to construct some bizarre and completely imaginary interpretation that even you don't believe anyone actually intended, either in writing it or signing a petition agreeing with it… And you expect the signatories and authors to be embarrassed?


    I almost never see those who oppose equitable marriage referring to their position as "marriage between one man and one woman, subject to local restrictions on age, consent, availability (e.g. no proxy marriages) and degrees of consanguinity or adoptive relatedness". I would never expect you to say that. It's perfectly clear what you mean when you say marriage should be between a man and a woman, and pretending otherwise would puerile.

    1. The Coalition for marriage is simply calling for us to retain the current law so does not need all these qualifications which are alrady implicit in that law.

      The C4EM petition highlighted in this blog is proposing a new model and so should define what it is in an unambiguous way. But it doesn't.

      It is shoddily drafted and full of holes.

    2. Peter:

      "The Coalition for marriage is simply calling for us to retain the current law so does not need all these qualifications which are alrady implicit in that law.

      "The C4EM petition highlighted in this blog is proposing a new model and so should define what it is in an unambiguous way."

      The reason they can sum up their position in a single, simple sentence is because their proposition is elementary and well-known. They propose a single change to the existing model, that we should remove the requirement that both parties in a marriage should be of the opposite sex.

      By your own admission, no one is actually confused by the existing statement. You know what they mean, I know what they mean, they know what they mean, their signatories know what they mean, even casual readers know what they mean. Your insistence that they are insufficiently precise is inconsistent with this fact.

  19. @ the anonymous individual who said "you should not force god's (sic) law on anyone else"

    I quote:
    "Thou Shalt not commit murder"
    "Thou Shalt not steal"

    Need I go on?

    1. your point being? we can arrive at those conclusions without god. (or at least, some of us can).

    2. actually, it would appear not.
      Abortion? Some sales techniques?

  20. Perhaps the real irony is there is at least one committed Christian on that list you've published.

    What ever happened to the 'treat others as you would like to be treated' Christian view?

    I support the right of gay people to get married, and I'm about as straight as they come.

    1. All the legal rights of marriage are already available to same sex couples through civil partnerships so there is no need to redefine marriage to include them. The President of the Family Division has even described civil partnerships as conferring ‘the benefits of marriage in all but name’. Marriage and civil partnerships have been designed for two very different types of relationship and should be kept distinct. It is not and should not be ‘one size fits all’.

    2. or you can just completely ignore the perfectly legitimate point that andy raised.

    3. "Marriage and civil partnerships have been designed for two very different types of relationship and should be kept distinct. It is not and should not be ‘one size fits all’."

      Amusingly, the Christian Institute—who were amongst the strongest opponents of civil partnership legislation on the basis that they were "marriage in all but name"—complained that civil partnerships should be made available to a multitude of non-romantic/sexual couples, such as cohabiting sisters, carers and the party they assist etc. Apparently they believe that one size does fit all! :)

  21. The C4EM petition highlighted in this blog has gained just over 5,000 signatures.

    But the original Coalition for Marriaage Petition now has over 40,000 signatures.

    This is confirming the suspicions of many that the same sex marriage lobby is just a small vocal minority.

    1. I wonder how many signatures you'd get on a petition in Iran to ban Christianity? Because that would make it the right thing to do, yeah?

    2. Speaking of Iran, if you really care about religious freedom, go and sign this, if you haven't already done so.

      Yes, I have signed it.

    3. Good on you. I have signed it too.

    4. so you believe in religious freedom, but not personal freedom? how liberal of you!

    5. I believe that people should not be killed for their faith. But I don't believe that same sex couples, who already have all the rights of married couples through civil partnerships, should have the right to redefine marriage.

      They have equality already. But a small minority does not have the right to run roughshod over the institution of marriage and redefine it for everybody else.

      But equality does not mean uniformity. Same sex marriage is an oxymoron like a four wheeled bicycle or a two storeyed bungalow.

      And defining marriage to include it would be an abuse of the English language.

      The two types of relationship are different and should not be covered under one legal umbrella.

    6. "But a small minority does not have the right to run roughshod over the institution of marriage and redefine it for everybody else."

      Ask a few gay couples in a civil partnership how often people refer to them as "married," as opposed to "in a civil partnership" or… "civilly partnered"? "Civil partnershipped"? Whatever verb you're meant to make from that appalling morsel of legalese.

      When my boyfriend was still alive, people asked us exactly the same question as they'd ask any other couple. "When are you going to get married?" "Planning to tie the knot soon?" Sometimes they would apologise, and ask if they were meant to call it a "civil partnership"!

      People—straight people, and quite a lot of them too—are already referring to gay couples getting married. Calling them something else is causing more confusion, not less. You cast this as a minority trying to "redefine" marriage, but I think it would be equally valid to turn that around and describe the situation as another minority demanding that only they be allowed to define marriage under law.

      Speaking of minorities… I don't think either of us think the percentage of people who agree with us carries much weight in what we think is right, do you? If only 45% of people thought that only mixed-sex couples should be defined as married, and you were one of them, would you really just throw up your hands and say, "fine, we should call same-sex couples married under law"? How about 30%? 10%? 1%? Would being in a minority change your position substantially? Personally, I think you have a little more integrity than that. :)

    7. Jordan, may I ask, forgive me for going personal. What your boyfriend had died from?

    8. I didn't get an email about this question when you asked it. You can ask, although it isn't a pleasant topic. He collapsed following a spontaneous cerebral haemorrhage, hitting his head on the way down, eventually leading to his death three days later of a cardiac arrest.

  22. I have read all the arguments against gay marriage and I have yet to see one that makes sense.

    For illustration purposes lets use your own 10 reasons not to legalise same-sex marriage in Britain (from an article posted in your name here )

    1. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman
    - The only reason it is like that is because the law currently says it is. The law of the UK is a fluid thing which changes over time to reflect a more modern and inteligent approach - its why we now enfoce equality through all aspects of public life.

    2.Same sex couples already have civil partnerships
    - This is a not a reason, its an excuse to try and evade equality for others. You might just as well say "we allow them to have sex, what more do they want."

    3.Redefining marriage without consultation is undemocratic
    - By that reasoning we should have a referendum on any and all changes to the law, governments redefine the law all the time and they should do it for the benefit of all.

    4.Equality does not mean uniformity
    - I agree with the sentiment but disagree with your spin on it. Equality means we dont all have to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    5.Protecting traditional marriage safeguards children and society
    - Total and utter pish. There is no evidence anywhere that children raised by 2 people of the same sex aren't as well adjusted as their peers, in fact the evidence there is suggests the opposite. What matters is the love the parent has for the child, not whether there are 2 Mums or 2 Dads.

    6.Marriage is a unique biologically complementary relationship
    - I would love to see where this is recorded in law books anywhere, one can only assume you are making this up on the hoof. What you mean is 'Some people think that marriage should be a uniquely biological relationship'.

    7.Redefining marriage will be complex and expensive
    - This is not a valid argument, ever. Equality should never be forsaken due to potential cost.

    8.Schools will be forced to teach about the new definition of marriage
    - Only if they already teach about marriage, if they do they will have to shorten the text from "One man and One woman" to "Two Adults"

    9.Redefining marriage will not stop with same sex marriage
    - There is no evidence to say this is the case - and yes, I do dismiss the so called evidence you attempted to inject into the conversation regarding Canada, I do so because polyamorous relationships are very different to same sex marriage and because I see no actual linking to any real news reports of this happening.

    10.Redefining marriage will lead to faith-based discrimination
    - The faith based discrimination you talk of is where religious organisations will be forced to cease working with anyone or treat all people equally, the same goes for those poor employers you talk of.

    So, being as all the reasons you give are false, along with every other reason I have ever seen, the logical conclusion is that you have something personally against these groups having the same rights as the rest of us.

    If you don't like gay people or they make you feel awkward you should just come out and say so. Be brave and defend your opinion with some cold hard facts for a change.

    Maybe I am wrong, maybe it is just that you think that defending the rights of gay people somehow allows their gayness to rub off on you? If that's the case you should admit that too.

    If you cant or wont admit that it's you personally that has the problem then please try and come up with some arguments that actually take anyone more than 5 minutes to totally refute.

    1. this is the most comprehensive rebuttal of anti-lgbt rubbish i have seen in quite some time. hats off to you.

  23. These are not rebuttals. Have a look at the original article at

    My position on lgbt is that of a ‘homosceptic’ – see

    A range of articles on the subject outlining my position is indexed at

    1. Unless you didn't read my post above you should have noticed that I linked to your original article and the above *is* a rebuttal of all you claim there, to say otherwise it to deceive yourself.

      The word homosceptic is merely something for homophobes to hide behind, claiming you are one is just an admitance of being homophobic...

      I am comfortable that you were unable to come back on anything I put in the above post, so I shall now seek to destroy the incredulous term homosceptic - these definitions are lifted from the page you link to:
      You are sceptical that:
      • Homosexuality is genetically determined
      - This is a sidestep, it is irrelevant whether homosexuality or any other sexuality is predetermined by genetics. The nature/nurture argument will wrangle on and lgbt people will continue to enjoy what they do.

      • Homosexual orientation is always fixed
      - Another side step, it doesn't matter if some people change their feeling towards others over time, just as it doesn't matter if one day you change your favourite meal. That which you prefer, be it sexually or otherwise, is personal to you

      • Sexual orientation is a biological characteristic like race, sex or skin colour
      Covered in the first point. Biological Characteristics ARE genetics - this is basic science!

      • Feelings of same sex attraction should be welcomed and acted upon
      - If we are to question whether two adults who love each other should act on those feelings then we must in fairness ask the same of the rest of society, to do otherwise smacks of singling out a section of society for special treatment.

      • Offering help to those who wish to resist or eradicate these feelings is always wrong
      - Ask yourself why some people actually want to stop liking who they are and the answer will always be peer pressure. The pressure from their friends, family or even society at large. It isn't possible to turn people from gay to straight any more than it is possible to turn straight people gay. Let's assume you don't have any gay feelings or desires, can you be turned gay? PLEASE ANSWER THIS.

      Homosceptic is a made up word for hiding homophobia behind. Its the theist equivalent to being an agnostic, it is no mans land inhabited by those without the conviction to say what they really mean.

      Finally, I do not need to see the plethora of posts you have made against allowing any two adults to be married to know that you really are homophobic - that is you are scared of, dislike and wish to curtail the rights of those who are in the LGBT group.

    2. Thanks for taking the time to expound your views on this matter. I suspect we are not going to agree because we are starting from very different premises.

      However, let me again make my position clear.

      First I am not homophobic, that is, I do not dislike or fear gay and lesbian people (by which I mean people who recognise that they predominantly experience feelings of erotic attraction for people of the same sex).

      Personally I know many people like this and quite a few of them are close personal friends. I therefore strongly resent your insinuation that I am 'homophobic'. You do not know me nor know my mind.

      Second, I hold the orthodox Christian view that ALL sexual activity outside a lifelong monogamous heterosexual publicly recognised covenant relationship between two voluntarily consenting adults (e. marriage as currently legally defined) is morally wrong. That includes ALL heterosexual erotic activity outside marriage as well as ALL homosexual erotic activity whether within a committed relationship or not.

      Third, I believe that homosexual orientation (the strength and direction of sexual attraction a person feels) is a complex product of genetics, environment and personal choice. It is relatively fluid in some but fixed in others.

      Fourth, I do not believe it is wrong to offer professional help to people who are unhappy with the strength and direction of their sexual feelings and are seeking either to change their behaviour, or the strength and direction of their feelings, or both.

      Fifth, I believe that whilst sexual orientation is usually not a matter of choice, sexual behaviour virtually always is a matter of choice.

      Finally, I believe that sexual orientation, although subject to biological influence, is not a fixed biological characteristic within an individual like eye colour, skin colour or genetic sex. It is therefore a category error to conflate them. Desires may be genetically influenced but they are not genetically determined.

      I am not asking you agree with my position but I hope this helps you to understand it better.

      Kind regards

    3. I shall be blunt, I think you are lying.

      Personally I know many people like this [in the gay community] and quite a few of them are close personal friends.
      Just like any racist who says they cant be racist cos he has lots of black friends you try and suggest you cannot be homophobic because you have gay friends. I think that is total and utter bull.

      To suggest I can't tell if you are homophobic because I don't know you has some little truth in it, however I do know what you post on this and other sites and from what I have seen the homophobic label fits you very well.

      Second, I hold the orthodox Christian view...

      You believe in a book that it's writers said was the word of God. There is no proof that it is the word of your God or that of any God... in fact the talking snake mentioned at the beginning of the book should have warned you that this book could just be a load of nonsense written by medieval men who used it as a control over others.

      You now carry the burning torch, the one used to burn 'witches' just a few hundred years ago, and you try to tell others what they can and cannot do with their own bodies because someone wrote about it in a book with a talking snake 2000 years ago, would that be about right?

      I have read a lot about Jesus and he never once, to my recollection, said anything about homosexuality. The Old Testament of course has lots of nonsense about it (but it also has that damn snake!)

      Try actually living up to the values that you claim to uphold, those which Jesus expounded. Be nice to others, treat them as you would like to be treated. If you are not gay then why worry about those who are, why stop them from being in a loving relationship and showing the commitment of marriage.

      Third, I believe that homosexual orientation (the strength and direction of sexual attraction a person feels) is a complex product of genetics, environment and personal choice.

      Should anyone listen to you just because you believe it? Not really as you have no proof. If you had some cold hard facts, then your opinion would be worth listening to - as it is you are just making up stuff because its your 'belief'. In law we deal in facts, not beliefs, that is why we moved from burning witches at the stake and into court rooms.

      Your God has no place in our government or our legal system, if He doesn't like them let him strike me down right now whilst I type this so you never get to see it...hmm, didnt happen. Your God doesn't exists and neither does the holy ghost!

      Fourth, I do not believe it is wrong to offer professional help to people who are unhappy with the strength and direction of their sexual feelings...

      Does that include for straight people who want to be gay, for men who want to be women or vice versa? I somehow doubt it - prove me wrong.

      Fifth, I believe that whilst sexual orientation is usually not a matter of choice, sexual behaviour virtually always is a matter of choice.

      'Virtually always' means 'not always'. Get over it.

      Finally, I believe...

      And thats the trouble, all you have is some weak beliefs that things should be a certain way based on a very old book written by people centuries after the events that have been transcribed took place.

      I dont just believe the following, I live it:

      All people should be treated equally and fairly regardless of sexual preference (or anything else) No one should be allowed to force their personal views onto 2 adults who love each other.

      You have provided zero come back on my original reply and you have provided zero proof that you are anything but homophobic.

      Maybe it's time for you to admit I am right?

  24. "First I am not homophobic, "

    Have you forgotten how you entitled this post? Honestly you are a disgrace to blogs. Do you think that is a reasonable and non-hateful thing to do? Tongue in cheek? No way. Nothing to do with paedophilia can be.

    Disgraceful. Take it down.

    Paul McMichael

  25. It was not me who drafted this petition. I simply pointed out the ambiguities in the wording which are most definitely there.

    I note that C4EM has now got 10,000 signatures but it is a long way short of C4M's 97,000 and steadily losing ground by the day.

  26. While we're nitpicking over ambiguous wording, I feel I should point out that the slogan emblazoned across the c4m website, 'Don't play politics One man + one woman with marriage', isn't even close to being a coherent sentence, while the statement supporters are asked to sign apparently says marriage is 'the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others', clearly implying that marriage should take place at birth and that a married couple should hide in a cave and have no interactions with other people.

  27. This discussion will lead to nowhere. Is it very clear that the fight for homosexual marriage is NOT about rights - they are already available through civil partnership. The purpose of the whole thing is to promote and force on everyone the idea that a same sex relationship is equally valuable and absolutely equivalent to a heterosexual one. A large part of population will never accept that, no matter what the law will say - they will just be coerced into silence. The value of marriage for society is widely recognised, hence the protection by the law. But what's the added value of a same sex relationship for the society 9not for the two individuals involved)? What they bring to society more than two singles would do? And yet they are protected by the Civil Partnership law ...

    1. Surveys consistently show that almost all younger people think same-sex and opposite-sex couples should be treated equally: it seems pretty clear that the part of the population that "will never accept that" is dwindling. They will probably continue to exist for a long time, but then there are plenty of people who still don't think white and black people should have the same rights. Of course, those people used to use a similar argument - what did it matter if black and white people had separate toilet facilities - there were still toilets available for everyone. As for the value of marriage being 'widely recognised': perhaps you could quote some evidence that demonstrate the value of marriages to society, and that same-sex marriages do not provide the same value?

    2. But what's the added value of a same sex relationship for the society 9not for the two individuals involved)? What they bring to society more than two singles would do?

      Its a fair question and one that deserves response.

      Same sex couples, on the whole, don't have offspring and so they don't add to the already problematic increase in population. This means they are able to adopt unwanted children (at least they should be able to) It also means that they are both free to be fully employed and thus pay taxes.

      You would think that most Christians (who are against abortions) would welcome childless families into the fold as they are both less likely to ever have abortions AND more likely to be able to provide loving homes for children who don't have one.

      I am talking in general terms above and there will be some who don't fit into the above pattern, but the majority of same sex couple fulfil more than one of the criteria I have mentioned above.

  28. I note that C4EM has now got 28,000 signatures but it is a long way short of C4M's 181,000 and steadily losing ground by the day.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. 1. All i've heard throughout this whole thing is you contradict and repeat yourself Peter, no new arguments brought to the table at all. You've actually copied and pasted a few times! Original! I wish there was "like" buttons on this page so i could show my appreciation to each and every person who has opposed your views here.

    Your beliefs are ancient, and whereas you think that's something to be proud of, it's views like this that do the real damage to our society.

    You admit that lgbt tendencies have something to do with genetics yet beleive that people of this "persuasion" (they weren't persuaded, it's who they are, it's not a choice to piss off all you people, it's not wrong) should oppress their true self and force themselves into a mould to fit the church. You've put it rather blandly as you're now trying to claw back any sort of good reputation you ever had but that's basically what you're getting at, that we should fight who we are if it doesn't fit into your set of ideals. Disgusting, and blatantly homophobic. On this note i completely agree that the term homosceptic is a screen for homophobia in most cases, and it would certainly seem, in yours. It's one thing to say that you don't beleive it to be solely genetics, but to say we control our behaviour as human beings and these "impulses" shouldn't be acted upon (which is the undertone in all of your posts so far) is a very oppressive view, heil pj saunders! (not).

    I'm proud to be a part of society that supports equal marriage, and i'm a heterosexual through and through. Coming from a catholic background myself i won't be getting married in a church and reading out the bigoted vows in front of my family and friends, some of which as i've mentioned already are gay.
    I and many others have managed to survive a religious upbringing without being completely brainwashed, and i'd say that's because of a very balanced home life and the fact that i beleive it was not the intention of the priests in our parish (some of which are very close family friends) never to impose the strict rules too fiercely, but to support the morals behind the faith. That is what i have taken away from religion, treat your neighbour as you would treat yourself, and i pity those zealous individuals who take the bible so literally in some circumstances, and not at all in others (convenient huh (for them!)).

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  32. some really interesting comments here. i received the coalition for marriage petition through the post, and was horrified, and started a blog just to air my opinion on it (

    it seems so petty to me that christians are unwilling to surrender the noun 'marriage', it has already been redefined through many non-biblical marriages occurring in churches, surely the sum of marriage between non christians, marriages for convenience, remarriage after divorce etc add up to be more harmful than a few different body parts.
    christians haven't had a strong, active voice against these other unbiblical marriages, so why take such issue on the gay issue... screams homophobia to me.

    what upsets me, is as a christian, i want a christian marriage to my same-sex partner, and members of my own 'family' deny me this, and not only deny me this but make it into a massive issue which is divisive and unloving. i have been ousted from churches that i have been a serving member of as soon as they have found out i am gay.

    i believe as christians love needs to be the motivation for all the things we do, and marginalising homosexuals (and christian ones at that) does not seem to be the product of love.

    as for the c4em, it may be badly worded, but it is of great relief to a christian homosexual such as myself, that there is a voice loud enough to rival the dominant christian discourse. i feel like a small fish in a pond full of sharks, as i watch all these christian leaders damning their fellow (practising) gay christians with little chance for us to have our say, or to show the world that there are two sides to this argument.

  33. I note that C4EM has now got 52,000 signatures but it is a long way short of C4M's 500,000 and continuing steadily to lose ground by the day.

    What is even more interesting is that the C4EM page has over 9,000 tweets and 35,800 facebook likes compared with 3,700 and 4,300 respectively for C4M.

    What all this demonstrates is that support for same-sex marriage is small and mainly amongst the internet set.

    There is not much evidence of the real 'gay community' that we keep hearing about, just a few activists connected on the web through social networking media making a hugely disproportionate amount of noise.

  34. There is no need whatever to abuse Peter. Let me remind people of what the - presumably "great" guy to some of the angries here- Peter Tatchell wrote in "The Guardian" on 26th June 1997 regarding a book on "Boy-Love" which he defended as "courageous", though it was a book that documented "examples of society where "consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal" detailing amongst other instances a New Guinea tribe where "all young boys have sex with older warriors as part of their initiation into manhood".
    NOT OK.
    But Tatchell's comments include: "The positive (sic) nature of some child-adult sexual relationship is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends...had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None felt they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy".
    Given these comments from THE highest profile mover & shaker in this movement, I think that Peter's detractors should be far too embarassed to question him on requiring closer definition. I have friends & relations involved in counselling abused boys & know what is really happening, most of which is hushed up on one level or another.

    1. Peter Tatchell's support for gay marriage is a clime down from his more extreme views. In some ways it's reassuring that he's had to do this. I think for the great majority of gay couples and their heterosexual friends who support gay marriage it really is about love and civil rights.

      However, the amount of air time and respect from the media that he gets is one of the things that makes me uneasy about the changes that are happening in our society. In fact, this man seems to be seen as some kind of hero and martyrs for the cause, as though he was Martin Luther King, or something. His views about children and sex and really quite frightening and dangerous. Is his support for same-sex marriage trying to bring down the system from the inside?


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