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I'm a gay man who opposes gay marriage: Does that make me a bigot?

Andrew Pierce, Columnist at the Daily Mail, writes for the ResPublica fringe magazine

When David Cameron committed the Government to supporting same-sex marriage some months ago, he declared: ‘I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.’

His argument being that the party should support a long-term commitment in any relationship. The unexpected policy shift caused uproar in the Tory Party in Parliament and across the country. Now, a submission by the Church of England into the Government’s consultation on gay marriage has warned of an historic division between the Church’s canon law — that marriage is between a man and a woman — and Parliament.


It suggests the schism could even lead to ‘disestablishment’, a split between the Church and the State, and the removal of the Queen as Supreme Governor of the Church. Despite the opposition of every major faith group — notably the Catholic Church — Mr Cameron is arrogantly pressing ahead with an issue which excites his chums in the metropolitan elite, but which disregards the sentiments of millions of ordinary people who, as poll after poll has shown, are against it.

 

Even some of the Prime Minister’s admirers concede that the policy has less to do with offering equality to the gay community and more to do with decontaminating the allegedly ‘toxic’ Tory brand. Perhaps the Prime Minister has calculated that anyone who stands up and argues against his proposals will be branded a homophobe and a bigot. Well, Mr Cameron, I am a Conservative and a homosexual, and I oppose gay marriage. Am I a bigot? And what about Alan Duncan, the first Conservative MP to come out as gay? Mr Duncan, the International Aid Minister who is in a civil partnership, is implacably opposed to gay marriage.

 

So is Dr David Starkey, the celebrated historian, who is openly gay. The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, meanwhile, who was the first Cabinet minister to enter into a civil partnership, is contemptuous of Mr Cameron’s motive for smashing down centuries of traditional Church teaching in reference to marriage.

This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which has already won equal rights with civil partnerships,’ says Bradshaw. ‘This is pure politics.’ He’s right. It’s yet another sop to the wretched Lib Dems, even though they number only 57 of the 650 MPs at Westminster.

 

The introduction of same-sex marriage became a policy commitment at the Lib Dem conference two years ago, even though there was no reference to it in their election manifesto, or in their four-page manifesto written for the gay community only six months earlier. Even gay rights campaigners are puzzled by the Prime Minister’s conversion to the cause. Stonewall, a powerful pressure group for gay equality, has not called for gay marriage. While the organisation — of which I’m proud to be a member — supports the idea of gay marriage, its priority remains tackling homophobia in schools after research showed that gay men in the 16-to-24 age group are significantly more likely to have attempted suicide than other young men. So who — apart from Mr Cameron — is clamouring for gay marriage to be allowed?

 

A poll by Catholic Voice of 550 gay men and women suggested only 40 per cent identified the change in marriage as their priority. What sort of message does our preoccupation with fringe issues like gay marriage and Lords reform send to people who are worried about their jobs?’


The Tory Party HQ, I can disclose, has warned the Prime Minister that this issue has triggered the biggest revolt among grassroots members since Tory MPs dumped Margaret Thatcher in 1990. Certainly, the Archbishop of Canterbury has dismissed as worthless the assurances of the Prime Minister and the Lib Dem Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone — nicknamed ‘Featherlight’ by her despairing civil servants — that churches will not be ordered to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. Ironically, if the change goes ahead, it could provoke legal challenges from the heterosexual community. Ministers have ruled out extending civil partnerships, which became law in December 2005, beyond the gay community. So we gays will enjoy rights denied to heterosexuals. What an absurd state of affairs.

 

The truth is that no one has been able to explain to me the difference between gay marriage and a civil partnership. I have asked ministers and friends. None has an answer. But I do. We already have gay marriage — it’s called civil partnership. Why can’t Mr Cameron just leave it there?

 

This article has been published in the ResPublica Fringe magazine, a collection of articles and essays from our party conference partners.


Andrew Pierce will be speaking at ‘Marriage: Changing the terms of debate’, a ResPublica public fringe event at Conservative Party conference: Wednesday 10th October, 10.30am - 11.45am, the ResPublica Marquee, the ICC Birmingham (secure zone).




Comments on: I'm a gay man who opposes gay marriage: Does that make me a bigot?

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Gravatar Vito Diclemente 14 November 2012
And I is very sorry. The comment has been repeat 2 time and both comment. But I want to say that of course he is biggot. If I black and say nigger to other black man. Is that ok if I am black? Or women discriminate on other women because she is woman?
Reply
Gravatar Vito Diclemente 14 November 2012
And I is very sorry. The comment has been repeat 2 time and both comment. But I want to say that of course he is biggot. If I black and say nigger to other black man. Is that ok if I am black? Or women discriminate on other women because she is woman?
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Gravatar Vito Diclemente 14 November 2012
You take a note of this yes ok.
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Gravatar Vito Diclemente 14 November 2012
You take a note of this yes ok.
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Gravatar Vito Diclemente 14 November 2012
I know not what is problem with you. You are a big bigot.
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Gravatar Vito Diclemente 14 November 2012
I know not what is problem with you. You are a big bigot.
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Gravatar Adam Achoukhi 14 November 2012
If you oppose gay marriage then do no.t get married. Live and let live!
Reply
Gravatar Adam Achoukhi 14 November 2012
If you oppose gay marriage then do no.t get married. Live and let live!
Reply
Gravatar Adam Achoukhi 14 November 2012
If two people wish to get married and you decide to oppose it for no good reason then it does make you a bigot. The fact that you are gay is irrelevant.
Reply
Gravatar Gregory 12 October 2012
For one, here is some real, legal differences between civil partnership and marriage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT6I72W9SMM&feature=player_embedded.r/>r/>And it might not be Stonewall"s priority, but they are definitely for pushing the legislati
Reply
Gravatar Gregory 12 October 2012
For one, here is some real, legal differences between civil partnership and marriage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT6I72W9SMM&feature=player_embedded.r/>r/>And it might not be Stonewall"s priority, but they are definitely for pushing the legislati
Reply

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Detailed Summary

Date Published
09 October 2012

About The Authors

Andrew Pierce

Andrew Pierce is a columnist for the Daily Mail. ...