Posts Tagged ‘James Asser’

LGBT rights shouldn’t be stopped by offensive cardinals

13/03/2012, 07:00:06 AM

by James Asser

Last week, Kevin Meagher in his article for UncutGay rights and testy cardinals” raised some interesting points about the balance between faith and politics and the need for religion to have its voice and it’s say. Quite agree. All sections of society have the right to speak out, my concern over the comments at the weekend by Cardinal O’Brien, is less what he wants to say more the way he has chosen to say it.

Kevin makes the point that the cardinal “doesn’t mince his words” which is a nice way of saying he’s bloody rude and offensive. How else can we interpret the assertion that gay marriage will lead to the “further degeneration of society into immorality” or that gay marriage is “grotesque” or that in a convoluted and bizarre analogy that it is comparable to legalising slavery?

We’re told that tolerance and respect is a two way street, I agree and I respect the cardinal’s right to disagree, and to articulate it, but I see no tolerance or respect in the remarks he made, just abuse.

Of course what is being missed is that the government’s proposed consultation relates purely to civil marriage. There are no proposals to require churches to undertake same sex-marriage, no proposals that they should be made to embrace it; in fact the government consultation doesn’t even cover it. It’s not even as if this is a revolutionary new concept, it is the logical progression from civil partnerships and the work done by the last Labour government and we should be proud of that.

LGBT Labour would argue that if and when same-sex marriage is introduced churches should have the ability to opt in, much as they now have with civil partnerships. That way those faiths such as the Quakers, Unitarians, Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism that have expressed support and a desire to carry out same-sex weddings can follow their own path, as much as the Catholic Church and C of E.


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