Wednesday 2 January 2013

Huge opposition mounts against gay marriage

With the coalition government about to publish their bill to legalise gay marriage in England and Wales there has been a huge increase in opposition to the measure over the last two months.

Over 624,000 people have now signed the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) petition against the redefinition of marriage which simply 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.’

The petition has overwhelmed that of the ‘Campaign for equal Marriage’ (C4EM) which has attracted only 64,000 signatures, just over 10% of C4M’s total.

This underlines the growing suspicion that the push to legalise gay marriage is the concern of a small liberal elite which does not speak for the majority.

C4EM is claiming that of 649 MPs in total, 305 (47%) support the proposal and 114 oppose it with 14 neutrals and 216 unknowns.

But the Daily Mail has already published a list of 118 Tory MPs alone who oppose it and the Telegraph said before Christmas that 137 Tory MPs, almost half the party, are expected to oppose it based on letters to constituents.

Ed Miliband has now offered Labour MPs a free vote on the issue and the names of eight who are on record as opposing it is available on the New Statesman’s website.

So together with the other ten MPs that C4EM have identified who oppose gay marriage (eight DUP, one Lib Dem and one Independent) we had already before Christmas a total of 155 opposed (137 Tory, 8 Lab, 10 other).

There is even stronger opposition in the House of Lords.

Three quarters of Conservative peers and 67% of cross-benchers have said in a poll that the government should call a halt to its plans to introduce equal marriage for England and Wales.

Meanwhile, a separate poll of MPs found two thirds of members of the Commons are opposed to using the Parliament Act to get the legislation through if it is blocked in the Lords.

Furthermore, over the Christmas period there were several new developments which may well lead others to declare their hands against the Prime Minister’s proposals.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, used his Christmas message to attack the government’s plans branding them ‘totalitarian’ and has urged Catholics to write to their MPs asking them to oppose the move.

More recently he warned that the ‘true nature of marriage' will be lost to schoolchildren if gay wedding plans go ahead.

In his support the Pope used his New Year message to ‘warn David Cameron’ about damage to the family if marriage is redefined.

Over the Christmas period High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge criticised (video here) the plans saying the Government should not be focusing on a ‘minority issue’ involving only 0.1% of the population when families are in crisis.

Meanwhile A Conservative Home poll showed that 55% of Tory Party members would vote against SSM if they were in Parliament.

Angry Muslims have demanded that the government treats them the same as the Church of England allowing an exemption on having to conduct ceremonies and former Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has said that gay marriage calls trust in David Cameron into question.

In the face of all this growing opposition our Prime Minister remains resolutely determined.

Whether he will be successful remains to be seen, but even if he is, it seems that his making this issue a key priority at such a time is alienating huge numbers of his own MPs, party members and hundreds and thousands of not millions of ordinary British citizens.

Other posts on this blog about the issue include the following:

1. Ten reasons not to legalise same-sex marriage in Britain
2. Ten myths about the redefinition of marriage
3. Ten ways redefining marriage would damage civil liberty
4. Ten People Punished for Believing in Traditional Marriage
5. Same-sex marriage - 24 articles on all aspects of the UK debate


  1. forgot to mention that 53% of consultation responses (against 46%) supported equal marriage. And that was the biggest consultation ever done!

    1. And hey... you forgot to mention that 500,000 British people were ignored in these figures and that the government accepted all-comers from around the globe, the vast majority of whom submitted anonymous online forms!

      See Telegraph expose at

    2. Petition responses do not equal consultation responses! A petition is a quick thing, a brief thing, a "not engaging with the debate except with knee-jerk reactions" thing.

      Consultation responses however, involve time, thought and effort. They mean more because they are an honest solicitation of views. C4M supporters should have filled it out. C4M did ask them to quite prominently on their website...

    3. And many did. But the online form the govt provided and based its figures on allowed multiple anonymous responses from anywhere in the world. It was quite frankly risible.

    4. Somehow I doubt you'd have been saying that if the results went in your favour! Be honest!

  2. What is happening to democracy in this Country? Why is the Prime Minister ignoring the request of so many people to leave marriage alone? Where does the gay lobby derive their power from?
    Gay marriage already exists, it's called Civil Partnership. Marriage would not add any substantial new right to gays, would only anger and upset million of people who wish to continue to call different things with different names! This matter should go to a referendum.

  3. Frightening times. What is at stake here is freedom of conscience. By the way, the current law does not stop two gay people exchanging vows in front of friends, even with prayers and hymns if they wish. No change in the law is needed. The only reason the state is involved in marriage is precisely because future generations come from conjugal relationships. And please don't say that some heterosexual couples are infertile. Their inferility is circunstancial, thereby not.changing the definition of marriage in principle. The infertility of a same sex couple follows inexorably from the nature of the relationship itself with a lack of sexual complementarity.

  4. Such bad people commenting here. What difference does it make to you if it's called marriage?

  5. Call it what you like but don't involve the state. If you do then the next step will be a loss of freedom. We all know what happened to the Catholic adootion agencies - these were the ones who had the best record in finding families for hard to place children. The only reason the state was involved in marriage in the first place was because its future citizens come from conjugal relationships. Marriage is defined based on objective biological fact. If you change the definition from something objective to something subjective, there could well be further redefinitions in the future. Society should be ordered so that insofar as possible, children are born as the fruit of love, loved for their own sake and nurtured in that love. That is the 'telos' of marriage and it is massively inappropriate for the State to play political games with it. Now, if two men wish to exchange vows in front of family and friends and call their union a marriage, then fine. Nobody cares, so no need to change the law. Your assumptin that we are 'bad' is the frightening thing and it does not bode well for the future. I do not think you are bad. Yes, I think you are mistaken. I would like the same attitude from you.

    1. Not intrinsically bad people, mistaken is probably the right word. It is a great shame that Catholic adoption agencies fell by the wayside but in my view their refusal to sanction gay adoption is every bit as bad as refusing to sanction adoption by couples who are in an ethnic minority. It is not the failure of the government, but of the organisation for failing to adapt.

      The idea that a gay couple do not love each other as much as a straight couple is totally wrong, so therefore their right to raise a child - all other factors being in order, should not be in question. Granting civil liberties to citizens is not a case of the state 'playing political games', it is the result of a sea change in popular opinion.

      Clearly people do care, or else there wouldn't be a debate. How the idea that marriage between two men or women is any more wrong than that of a straight atheist couple came to be confuses me.

      Furthermore, I am not entirely sure how the redefinition of marriage will in any way affect the idea that children will be 'born as the fruit of love, loved for their own sake and nurtured in that love.'

    2. See below for reply

  6. My personal view is that sex is for marriage and that marriage is the lifelong commitment between a man and a woman (between a man and a woman because its purpose in principal is the love and nurturing of new life born as the fruit of a loving relationship). You do not have to share this view on sex – you can have sex with whoever you like. But what on earth has that got to do with racism? I believe this is called a category error - something that Peter Saunders talks eloquently about. Your attempt to put people in the same bracket as racists is precisely what is so dangerous and will lead to further loss of freedom in the future. You say we are ‘failing to adapt’. That sounds frighteningly totalitarian.

    Of course gay couples can love each other very much. However, they can never procreate. This inability to procreate is not merely circumstantial (as it might be in some heterosexual relationships). Hence there is an intrinsic difference between a heterosexual relationship and a gay one. This is an objective fact. If marriage is to retain its meaning of family forming for the nurture of future generations then its definition must be based on objectivity. It has nothing to do with civil liberties. There is no sea change of opinion. 625000 people have signed the petition asking the government to leave marriage alone compared to just 64000 signing the one supporting Cameron. The current definition of marriage is not based on my opinion or on your opinion but on objective biological fact. If we change this and base it on your opinion, why should it not be changed in a few years time and be based on someone else’s opinion? In Holland there have already been calls for threesomes to be granted ‘marriage’.

    Clearly people do not care if a gay couple has their own exchange of vows and a wedding party afterwards. The police are not going to move in and disrupt it. Why do you want to change the law? This move to redefine marriage did not come from the gay community but from a self proclaimed progressive elite.

    I agree there is already a problem with marriage at the moment. People are not fully aware of its important role in providing loving environments for their own children, who should be born as a result of a loving relationship. Saying that a gay union is a marriage will in no way help, will actually in time confuse future generations as to what the real purpose of marriage is and, as you yourself demonstrate with your racism accusation, lead to a state sponsored morality that dismisses other views as abhorrent.

  7. Getting back to the figures quoted in this article , the daily mail said 118 Tory MPs showed some concerns over the issue. It didn't say they were actually going to oppose the bill. Much of their concerns were to do with a legal case being brought against the church in Europe if same sex marriage was introduced. This figure is quite likely to decrease as the govt dispels these fears. The figures from the Telegraph have varied from 100 to half of the Tory party. Neither the Daily Mail or Telegraph have gone into such detail as the C4EM website and neither of these papers have told us how many MPs are in support of same sex marriage. At the C4EM doesn't give a one sided picture and is brave enough to show which MPs support the bill and thoese who don't.

  8. The fears are well founded. Quadruple lock! What nonsense.

  9. If there had been online petitions during Galileo's time, I'm sure it would have said:

    'I support the legal description of the Earth which is that it is the center of the universe because God had made it for us therefore it must be so. I oppose any attempt to redescribe it.'

    Not everything many people refuse to accept today is true. Not everything Christianity's champions say is correct.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.