Saturday, February 9, 2013

Peter Tatchell confirms it

The Boss has already explained (here and here) some of the background to the legislation on Same Sex Marriage, which is not nearly through Parliament.but, at least, the date for the Committee stage has been announced: February 12. Interestingly, there is an article, which is really an interview with that mostly tiresome though occasionally admirable campaigner, Peter Tatchell, in yesterday's Evening Standard.

Mostly it is very dull but then articles in the Evening Standard usually are. He does, however, give his own version of what pushed David Cameron into this politically uncertain course of action:
Back to Westminster and the apparent conversion of the PM, the Chancellor and the Home Secretary. In late 2010, continues Tatchell, he arranged for four same-sex couples and four straight couples to file applications at local registry offices for, respectively, civil marriage and civil partnership licences. All were refused, of course. In February 2011, Tatchell and human rights lawyer Robert Wintemute of King’s College London applied to the European Court of Human Rights to strike down the bans that stymied those eight couples, and told the government that, sooner or later, it would have to go to Strasbourg to defend the existing law. Meanwhile, lobbying harder than ever, Tatchell wrote a “briefing paper” extolling gay marriage as a natural extension of the Conservative Party’s traditional support for the existing institution of marriage — and, with a fair amount of chutzpah, circulated it widely within Tory circles.

“That’s when things started to happen,” he says. “Astonishingly, within three months of our application to the European Court, the Government announced that it was going to consult on legalising gay marriage. They knew that there was no argument they could use in Strasbourg that would be anything other than bigoted and intolerant. I think they realised the game was up, and decided it was better to lead on the issue and get the kudos of enacting liberal reform than be dragged through the courts. It may have been a pure coincidence, but it does strike me as very closely mirroring the pattern of events that I set in place.”
So there we are, it was the ECHR what done it. Well, up to a point because I do not think this will be resolved even when the legislation is passed as it almost certainly will be, eventually and probably with some amendments. For who can define marriage to the complete satisfaction of all?

1 comment:

  1. Parliament is sovereign, they say and may legislate that black is white - and that will be the law - if the EU and ECHR agree!

    Marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman for millennia and rendered rather well into English by the Book of Common Prayer(1662)
    " be an honourable estate among all men and therefore is not by any to be enterprised , nor taken in hand unadvisedly , lightly ,or wantonly , to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites like the brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently , discreetly, advisedly , soberly and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained.

    Firstly it is ordained for the procreation of children... "

    So "gay marriage" is no marriage nor ever can be.
    It is an abominable perversion of language to say that it is. It is an attempt to give honour to what the Prayer Book elsewhere calls "Th unruly wills an affections of sinful men"
    I remember our very peppery English master discussing the phrase "The proper study of Mankind is Man" when one of our class asked "Sir, what about Woman?".
    He replied "Boy, there is an Interpretation Act which lays down something you will understand very well later - that Man embraces Woman".

    Of course, there are biblical precedents of bad behaviour. My mother used to sing
    "King Solomon and King David led very wicked lives,
    Carrying on like anything with other people's wives.
    But when growing old and weary both were struck with sudden qualms,
    So King Solomon wrote the Provers and King David wrote the Psalms"

    But, I fear the chorus would cause most uproar today

    "Old folk, young folk, everybody come,
    Join the darkie Sunday school and make yourselves at home.
    Bring your pots of Worthington and park 'em on the floor
    And I'll tell you bible stories that you never heard before".