One of the reports that recently came my way that particularly interest me was one titled: “Church schools must support gay marriage says Govt integration tsar”.
“Dame Louise Casey has labelled church schools supportive of traditional marriage as ‘homophobic’. She likened them to the extremism exposed by the Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham. The Government’s integration tsar told a House of Commons select committee that the issues raised by Trojan Horse were “not okay”. She then added, “the same way it is not okay for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage”. Casey then went on to accuse those opponents of gay marriage of using ‘religious conservatism as a veil for anti-equality views’. This is one of the clearest indications so far of how the extremism agenda could be hijacked to marginalise those who take a stand for traditional marriage. Her astonishing remarks come hot on the heels of her recommendation that everyone who holds public office should take an ‘equality oath’. They also fly in the face of official guidance that teachers and schools do not need to support or endorse same-sex marriage. It’s essential that we speak out when unelected advisers go beyond the law. Believing that marriage is between one man and one woman doesn’t make you homophobic or an extremist. It’s Dame Louise Casey’s comments which are extreme!”
Given the originator of the article was the Coalition for Marriage, I am not surprised at its tone and sare its concerns and support its condemnation. I along with 669,443 others had signed their petition objecting to the government’s proposals to legalize same sex marriage when the matter arose back in 2012. At the time there were repeated assurances that for those who did not go along with the government’s plans on the matter, in particular religious groups, their rights would be protected. It appears that here is an example of this not happening and this bothers me and is why I raise it here.
The issue of same sex marriage and homosexuality generally I have discussed at length in my writings and blogs and didn’t especially wish to add to. After all, we live in a pluralistic society where we encouraged to tolerate each others’ views and get on. While my views veer more toward conservative, e.g. gay is NOT ok, I have also tried to be sympathetic toward gay folk and balanced when offering an opinion. While I didn’t agree with (and still don’t) the government decision to legalise same sex marriage, I am beholden to obey the law and respect those who see things differently to me, including gay couples who marry, some I regard as friends.
The following is an exchange I had with a Facebook friend, after I had posted this article on my Facebook page earlier today. Friend’s comment: “The first sentence of this article demonstrates how suspect this article is. It implies that if you are supportive of gay marriage you are not supportive of ‘traditional marriage’. They are not exclusive. I support both. I do not wish to exclude anyone, unlike these people”. My response: “I agree there is a case for clarifying statements made. The thrust of the article is those who see marriage only in the way it has been understood until recently (i.e. traditionally and that means only between a man and a women) are now being called homophobic and liable for sanction. While I will always want to support folk of the same sex who marry according to society’s redefinition I have to stand by that earlier understanding and regret that if the likes of Dame Louise Carey have their way, those who hold different views, who want to happily coexist with those who see things differently may be prevented from doing do, for those who hold (imo) the correct view either have to back down or pay the price for not doing so”.
I dare say many similar such conversations have taken and will take place and we are far from hearing the last word on the matter. For the time being, I merely point out an example of the culture wars being far from over. I for one am not going to roll over in the face of liberal tyranny and egregious untruth, at least not without a fight.