by Hilary White
GLASGOW/STRASSBURG, March 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Creating “gay marriage,” is an attempt to rewrite the natural law and “recreate society,” says Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow.
The bishop’s strong comments as the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that there is no such thing as a “right” to “gay marriage” in the European Convention on Human Rights, a revelation that has yet to put a damper on the UK government’s enthusiasm for changing the legal definition of marriage.
“It is certainly not the role of law to recreate our society according to passing fashions and ideologies, nor to redefine nature whether in terms of persons and their rights or its natural institutions,” Archbishop Conti said in a homily at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh this weekend.
The prelate said that current plans to alter the definition of marriage, promoted by the Conservative government of David Cameron as an effort to strengthen marriage, are in reality just the next step in the “marginalisation” of Christianity and any voice opposed to homosexual activity.
“Those voices are growing ever louder in our country,” Conti said, “that attempted marginalisation is becoming ever more acute and we are witnessing the transformation of tolerance into a kind of tyranny in which religious views are the only ones which seem unworthy of respect and acceptance.”
The Archbishop cautioned, “We are witnessing the transformation of tolerance into a kind of tyranny in which religious views are the only ones which seem unworthy of respect and acceptance.
“Our society will descend further into ethical confusion and moral disintegration the more that those in Government and the judiciary slip society’s moorings from the capstans of virtue.”
While Prime Minister Cameron’s plans to rewrite the definition of marriage will only affect England and Wales, the local government of Scotland reportedly “tends towards the view” that the definition should also be altered in Scottish law. The consultation in Scotland closed in December, and never received the same media attention as England’s consultation that began this month.
In related news, a much-anticipated ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has come down against the concept of “gay marriage” as a human right, protected under the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court said March 18th that the wording of the Convention itself restricting marriage to a man and a woman was “deliberate”. The ruling upheld one made earlier by France’s highest court prohibiting homosexual “marriage” and adoption.
There is no “indirect discrimination founded (…) on the impossibility of marriage,” the Court said. Article 12 of the Convention “does not impose on the governments of the state parties the obligation to open marriage to a homosexual couple”.
“Moreover, regard must be had to the historical context in which the Convention was adopted. In the 1950s marriage was clearly understood in the traditional sense of being a union between partners of different sex.”
Launching the British government’s consultation early this month, Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said, “Put simply, it’s not right that a couple who love each other and want to formalise a commitment to each other should be denied the right to marry.” It remains to be seen if the ECHR ruling, which is binding on the UK, that there is no such right, will put a damper on the government’s plans to introduce “gay marriage”.
The government’s plans are not popular among the British public. A recent ComRes poll showed that 70 per cent want marriage to remain defined as a “lifelong exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”. A similar poll in Scotland found that 53 per cent of the public thinks that “homosexuals should not be allowed to redefine marriage for everyone else”. Members of Cameron’s party have warned the Prime Minister that while pushing “gay marriage” will win him few points on the extreme left it will alienate voters who are more concerned with the economy and immigration.
A petition being circulated by the Coalition for Marriage to oppose the plan has collected 323,986 signatures as of today. Colin Hart, the head of the Coalition, has described the government’s consultation on the subject as “a sham” in which the crucial question of whether the change ought to be made has already been taken, and all opposition will be ignored. The government’s document launching the consultation said that “points raised in responses that are out of the scope of the consultation and the consultation questions will not necessarily be considered”.
“I always thought that a consultation was about listening to people and asking them their views before making a decision,” Hart said. “Not only are they redefining the meaning of marriage, they’re redefining the meaning of consultation.”
According to MEP Nigel Farage, the head of the increasingly popular libertarian United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), David Cameron’s unprecedented push to create “gay marriage” has less to do with a sincere interest in the homosexualist political agenda than with fear of appearing weak to a public that is increasingly disillusioned with the EU and its mechanisms.
“The last thing he needs at the moment is to have the European courts declare our law discriminatory again and demand it be changed,” Farage wrote.
“He does not want you to realise that a foreign court is the highest court in the land,” a UKIP brief said.
David Coburn, UKIP’s openly gay London Regional Chairman, warned that the government is pointlessly picking a fight with religious people in Britain who could find themselves accused of “hate crimes” for their support of traditional marriage.
“That would be a grotesque assault on peoples’ freedom of conscience. As we all know these things tend to be the thin end of the wedge once the government’s ludicrous overpaid /over-pensioned thought police get on the job.”
Coburn wrote on the homosexualist news service Pink News, “The same-sex marriage debate is not an old-fashioned left-right political issue. It’s about freedom.”
“The Tories over the last few years have raced to catch up with Labour’s authoritarian politically correct agenda.” All three mainstream parties, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour have adopted the authoritarian mode.
Calling the government’s plans for marriage “equality fascism,” Coburn said, they have “created a grotesque, maximum security, Kafkaesque society where everything including speech and thought are regulated in the name of security and equality.
“You can stab old ladies or promising teenagers and do three months, but woe betide if you transgress the language and thought police.”