UKIP submission on gay marriage ‘consultation’


by Archbishop Cranmer

UKIP today submitted its response to the Government’s ‘consultation’ on plans to legislate for same-sex marriage. Despite the philosophical tensions (see here), UKIP oppose this legislation because ‘they believe that contrary to the hype it is illiberal legislation that threatens rather than enhances civil liberties’. The submission is reproduced below, but in summary UKIP believes:

…that The State should play only a minimal role in the lives of the people of the United Kingdom; more particularly, given the scope of this consultation, in the lives of the people of England and Wales. As such we support the concept of civil partnerships. Civil partnerships represent an entirely common sense way of allowing gay men and women in our country to register in a formal way their long-term commitment to one another and to take advantage of various laws relating to, for example, succession and financial planning in the same way as heterosexual couples.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “This consultation is merely gift wrapping (as the Government has clearly already made up its mind) and risks – due to both domestic and European Human Rights legislation – forcing religious groups into a situation were, by law, they must do that which they have a legitimate and moral right to oppose. That a Government Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt, himself gay, admitted to this merely strengthens our point. To that end, we in UKIP oppose the imposition of ‘gay Marriage’ as, rather than a confirmation of liberty and equality, it will instead be an imposition and a threat to those ideals.”

So, as outraged gay UKIPpers flock back to the Conservative, Labour and LibDem parties(…), appalled at the bigoted homophobia of Nigel Farage, the hetero-traditionalists now have an alternative home.

UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY SUBMISSION ON HOME OFFICE EQUAL CIVIL MARRIAGE CONSULTATION

The UK Independence Party Policy

The UK Independence Party’s position on this issue may be stated simply: while UKIP fully supports the concept of civil partnerships, it opposes the move to legislate for same-sex marriage.

As a democratic libertarian Party, we believe that The State should play only a minimal role in the lives of the people of the United Kingdom; more particularly, given the scope of this consultation, in the lives of the people of England and Wales. As such we support the concept of civil partnerships. Civil partnerships represent an entirely common sense way of allowing gay men and women in our country to register in a formal way their long-term commitment to one another and to take advantage of various laws relating to, for example, succession and financial planning in the same way as heterosexual couples.

Civil partnerships in no way impinge upon the lives, beliefs, conscience and faith of other people. And the experience of our nation since the introduction of civil partnerships has been one of tolerant acceptance of them as a sensible way forward in adapting our society to meet changed attitudes of the 21st. century.

The UK Independence Party has many in its ranks who are gay men or women who have, without fuss or ostentation, taken advantage of the new arrangements. As a libertarian party, we are entirely at ease with their choice and wish all of them well.

Gay marriage is an entirely different thing altogether.

The Consultation paper states that in respect of four categories of marriage no changes to the law are proposed. These are:

1. A marriage according to the rites of the Church of England or Church in Wales;

2. A marriage according to the usages of the Society of Friends (the Quakers);

3. A marriage according to the usages of the Jewish religion;

A marriage conducted by some other Faith in a registered building in the presence of an authorised person (a marriage conducted through a religious ceremony and on registered religious premises).

On the other hand changes are proposed for the following categories:

1. A marriage in a register office conducted by a superintendent registrar and registered by a registrar. This ceremony cannot contain any religious elements e.g. hymns (it is proposed that this is open to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples).

2. A marriage on approved premises (e.g. a hotel) conducted by a superintendent registrar and registered by a registrar. This ceremony also cannot contain any religious elements e.g. hymns (it is proposed that this is open to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples).

3. A marriage for the housebound or detained. There is also the facility for marriage by Registrar Generals licence for “death bed” marriages (it is proposed that this is open to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples).

It may well be that that is all that the Government are currently proposing.

But it is noticeable that the Consultation document is singularly bereft of any or any realistic attention as to what are very likely to be, in the circumstances set out above, the unintended consequences of introducing , to use a popular shorthand, gay civil marriage that is entirely on a par with heterosexual civil marriage.

There are many gay and lesbian people in England and Wales who are persons of deep religious faith. It is inevitable that some (though by no means all) such people would wish to have the right to have a religious marriage celebrated in a Church or other such place according to the rites and rituals of their particular religion.

The problem is that many Churches are very strongly opposed, by reason of their religious faith, principles and conviction, deeply opposed to the concept of permitting gay couples to marry in their Church. It is thus equally inevitable that gay couples will seek the right to marry in Church and inevitable that Churches will refuse to permit them to do so.

We are quite sure that, whatever the Government’s worthy declaration that it proposes no change to the duties of the Church in relation to the estate of marriage, there will,very soon after the introduction of gay civil marriage, be a challenge in first the domestic courts of England and Wales and then in the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the exclusion of gay people from the right to have a religious ceremony of marriage is unlawful discrimination against them on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

We believe that, given the current nature of the European Court of Human Rights’ attitude to such matters, there is a very strong likelihood that the Court at Strasbourg will agree that it is an unlawful discrimination on those grounds and order the United Kingdom to introduce laws which will force Churches to marry gay people according to their rites, rituals and customs.

We are also sure that, if that were to take place, the Government would swiftly bend the knee to such a ruling and introduce such legislation.

If that happens and Churches were forced to marry gay people, it will be no more and no less than a wicked piece of tyranny by which the rights of hundreds of thousands of people of faith who hold true to the fundamental tenets of their religion will be ruthlessly trampled upon.

If that were to happen, it would by itself be a breach of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights which says:

ARTICLE 9

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The intention of the Government to legislate to introduce civil same-sex marriage presents a very high risk of Churches and Faiths being forced to marry gay people. Their right to manifest their religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance will be struck down at the Altar of Equality.

It cannot be that legislating for religious gay marriage could be justified under Article 9.2 but we strongly fear – as do most of the Churches and Faiths of our country that, whatever the intentions of the Government are in this regard, such will be forced on them by the Strasbourg Court – a court which has a well-established track record of forcing the United Kingdom to adopt positions, such as votes for prisoners, which are anathema to our people. We believe that this case will be no different.

We believe that the Government must not take this step to far and risk the grave harm of undermining the rights of Churches and Faiths to decide for themselves who they will and will not marry.

We make a number of further observations.

Firstly that, however they may have dressed it up, this is not a consultation at all. The Consultation document makes it plain that the Government has made up its mind to legislate for same-sex civil marriage regardless of any dissenting views. This is thus an entirely bogus exercise. We suspect very strongly that it is intended as a distraction from the grave difficulties that the Government currently finds itself on a series of fronts such as the economy and Europe.

Secondly, we strongly suspect that the sudden desire of the Government to “consult” upon the matter of same-sex civil marriage is entirely driven by the fear that a case lodged in the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the UK’s laws on marriage and civil partnerships are discriminatory of gay people and heterosexuals respectively[1] will lead to those laws being declared to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

There is, thus, a strong fear that the case will go against the UK and that the Government will suffer serious political damage when it is seen to be forced to act to change the law at the behest of the Strasbourg Court.

Given the current difficulties that the Government faces over such issues as votes for prisoners, it has concluded, we believe, that it cannot in this instance yet again be seen to be forced to act by the Strasbourg Court and is thus unwilling to take the political hit attendant upon that event.

Thirdly we must express our deep concern that, were Churches and Faiths to be forced to accept having to marry gay couples, that would, in the case of the Church of England, represent a threat to its position as the Established Church. The very act of having the Queen-in-Parliament pass laws that would utterly subvert the strongly-held beliefs of the Church of England would in turn risk destroying its position as The Established Church with her Majesty the Queen as its Supreme Governor.

We cannot believe that to risk doing that is in the interests of the United Kingdom.

Finally we pose this question: why now?

This is not a burning issue. It is not a matter which animates the daily social intercourse of our Nation. There is, apart from a small but noisy minority within the gay community, no strong demand for this. This is therefore not vital to the life and well-being of our Nation and, given the risks attendant upon it, should not be proceeded with.

8 responses to “UKIP submission on gay marriage ‘consultation’

  1. Robert Hagedorn

    Sex with feces? Google First Scandal.

  2. Pingback: Before It's News

  3. Given the astonishing and unwelcome unanimity among the leaders of the three main parties on this issue, I am mightily relieved to see that UKIP is prepared to argue for the maintenance of freedom of speech and conscience on this issue. The desire to “redefine” marriage is a wholly specious capitulation to the demands of the gay-lesbian lobby. Marriage is not a jelly-like entity which can be “re-defined” according to the prevailing political and social whims. It carries with it its own definition – the union between a man and a woman. The fact that certain clerics have seen fit to expatiate on this matter, regaling us with waffle about “pastoral care for all loving life-long commitments”, quite apart from being a betrayal of their own ordination vows,, is actually irrelevant. The issue here is not whether gay and lesbian people should be allowed to have such “loving, lifelong (or any other) commitments” but whether such commitments should be called MARRIAGE. I am looking for a political party to vote for, who are prepared to honour the belief that many (both Christians and non-Christians) have, that traditional marriage is, and should remain, a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. Those who hold that view are not “homophobic bigots”. We simply happen to believe that marriage (as traditionally “defined” is a most necessary bedrock for our society (as well as being a most beneficent divine provision for mankind). Our principal party leaders seem tragically determined to remove yet another pillar from that society. Mr Cameron would have us believe that in pursuing this unworthy aim he is demonstrating his “conservative” credentials. Few people are taken in by such nonsense. To destroy (which is what is really being envisaged) marriage is just about the least conservative social measure which one could imagine. Curiously (for Mr Clegg) it would also be a highly illiberal measure – illiberal that is for the future of free speech and for liberty of conscience.

  4. You really don’t need gay people to ‘destroy’ marriage the figures speak for themselves. Take the time to look at countries which currently have same sex marriage in place and you will find that far fom collapsing into debauchery they are civilized tolerant and free . Why are you so concerned about its impact on this country? It is nauseating to hear regions leaders playing the role of victim because they are loosing their mythical grip on an increasingly educated and questioning populous. Religion is a lifestyle choice…fact but please keep it out of other peoples lives and let’s have no government interference in people’s private lives.

  5. thespacebetween2

    Lol @ carl, educated? You mean indoctrinated, and narcissistic? People who don’t know the difference between why and how, idiots that can’t understand religion and science are more than compatible, idiots that actually treat science theories with no evidence the same as science facts such as gravity and evolution. Questioning populace? The populace love soliders and think the west is always right, and the populace are demanding the government and private companies not allow people to wear the cross, but that other jeweraly is acceptable…. That people are not allowed to not perform abortion if they are in medicine, when someone else who has no objections could perform it and the conscience objector do something else… A society where people are ridiculed by less intelligent zombies and are fired for consciencious objection is not a great society. The society is less educated than ever, all folk care about is reality tv shit and how they look, not the substance. Carl people are getting thicker, cause of facebook and media brainwashing, fact is you’re evil because as long as the brainwashing agrees with your agenda you dont give a fuck.

    I am left wing in a lot of ways, but this gay marriage crap is nonsense, fools compare it to how inter-race hetero marriages used to be banned but thats like comparing apples with oranges, and if you do that who’s to say bestiality and child marriages are next on the “liberals” aka perverts agenda? Because once you compare apples with oranges it ends up with comparing apples with elephants. Moral Hazard.

  6. UKIP is absolutely wrong on this. They are cynically using libertarian reasoning as an excuse to be ‘anti gay marriage’ (which they no doubt hope will appeal to the socially conservative part of their base). In fact a true libertarian position is that of course gay marriage should be permitted in general terms, but equally that no-one or place should be forced to conduct a gay marriage if they do not wish to. This means everyone is allowed their individual freedom to do what they want, and the role of government is simply facilitating that where it is desired. To not permit gay marriage at all (even where both the couple and local church/synagogue etc all want to conduct it) is anti-libertarian, and is a most disappointing stance from a party which is supposed to represent individual liberty.

    • I agree that there is nothing in itself wrong with gay marriage. however, I do suspect that the law will be made in a way that leads to the persecution of whole churches.

  7. I would argue to get the state completely out of marriage.
    This will ultimately mean individuals taking contracts between eachother without the states rubber stamp. Ofcourse this will mean Catholic religious contracts, CoE contracts, and other organisational or private marriage contracts.
    Would this not make everyone happy?
    Or am I getting the concept wrong – they didn’t teach us well in state school you see.