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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Same Sex Marriage will be the new 'Europe' for the Tory Party.

I completely failed to see it coming. I was convinced that Tory Party supporters would manage to persuade David Cameron to kick the policy of supporting same sex marriage into the long grass. Yet, determined to put the image of the 'nasty' party behind him, Cameron pursued the matter, and has done the unthinkable.

The result is a 'win win' for those of us who support equality, and would also like to see the demise of this government of millionaires. The marriage bill was passed (400-175) overwhelmingly, and the first step towards the right of Gay people to call their life long commitments 'marriages' has been won. A real victory for equality has been achieved, and at the cost of a vicious internal war in Tory ranks. As I said, win win.

Gay rights has always been a struggle for the Tories, and they have always been an instinctively homophobic party - Cameron's modernism will not sweep that historic prejudice aside easily. This issue will become a running sore for the Party, just has Europe has been in the past. I for one do not mind watching them tear themselves to pieces over this. Same Sex Marriage may well be the Tories next 'Europe'.

But there is still so much to do. The barriers that the Church of England's hierarchy has imposed means that it will be a long hard struggle before priests like me can conduct such weddings in our churches. Before being able to preside over a same sex marriage, I will need to seek permission to use the premises of more forward thinking Churches such as the Methodists and Quakers.

Justin Welby will have to risk doing a 'Cameron' and take the Church of England to a place of fierce division if he wants to modernise the Anglicans, and stop us being associated with the 50% of Tories who still represent the 'Nasty Party'. I fear he is not inclined to take that risk, and will happily sacrifice another decade of Anglican decline for the sake of 'evangelical purity'.

It is up to us; forward thinking evangelicals; dyed in the wool liberals; compassionate Anglicans; we must all keep struggling for equality and justice within our Churches. Today we should be optimistic - even the most unlikely of scenarios can actually become a reality.

2 comments:

  1. Well said. Personally I am most worried that the Bill would make marriages conducted in the CofE illegal, thereby preventing any shifts within the church in future to make a difference ...

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  2. My goodness Chris! They don't get anymore liberal than you do they. And too think you're speaking at the social workers conference. I'm glad I googled you. I won't be going. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Stop watering the Bible and muddying the waters. We can love the world but we are not part of it. You seem to struggle with that. I'm not perfect but God is. We can't change Him and what He decreed and neither should we try

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