Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Daily Telegraph poll on same-sex marriage

Vote here:


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  1. How strange! When I voted in this poll a couple of days ago the 'No' vote was well ahead. I think the Twitterati must have been out in force to skew the result.

  2. Canon Andrew Godsall22 February 2012 at 14:10

    George is hardly an encouraging sign, unfortunately. Someone needs a quiet word with him about the role of a former Archbishop. Bob Runcie was a model to follow....

    Andrew Godsall, Exeter

  3. Below is part of what I posted on Revd Mann's blog earlier today - but it seems appropriate here...

    As I've noted elsewhere, despite being one half of a same-sex couple, I'm not a fan of the idea of religiously sanctioned SSM. Yet I suspect this present considerable effort on the part of some conservative Christians to muster opposition to SSM will have the opposite of its intended effect in the hearts and minds of many members of the wider population. The main reason for this failure is rooted in Matt 23:23. The very fact that a certain flavour of conservative Christian has remained strangely silent - or certainly less motivated, organised and vocal - on other social and political issues erodes their integrity to speak out on SSM. A cursory glance at AM's or CI's website is enough to suggest to many decent and fair minded people that the sites' contributors are disproportionately concerned with the 'gay' issue - for strangely enough in the day to day lives of most people, the propaganda of AM, CI and likeminded sites and organisations, appears groundless or at worst a gross exaggeration of most people experience of homosexuality – which of course... it is! As Peter Ould recently noted: ‘The general public are simply not interested in this [negative] kind of approach. They see it as equating homosexuality with promiscuity and the most offensive sexual practices, and since they all have gay friends who are not involved in either of those things, they just see it as demonization’ (from http://www.peter-ould.net/2012/01/30/sobering-reading-on-changing-attitudes-blog/).

    This is a serious error on the part of these vocal Christians - it undermines their credibility as 'witnesses' and cheapens the very Gospel they claim to defend. It wins conservative Christians few friends - not because of their 'Christian morality' but because of the hugely disproportionate interest in a subject which has little if any bearing to the vast majority of people's experience. 'SSM will undermine heterosexual marriage' doesn't really provide an answer to the fact marriage has been under strain long before even the first mention of civil partnerships, let alone SSM: the present campaign is really a case of shutting the stable door long after the horse has bolted!

    Preach the Gospel by all means, but if you are going to preach about the sanctity of marriage, then remember its failures in our present society are diverse and complex and have been existent long before SSM was mooted: perhaps if a certain flavour of Christian had protested about what REALLY undermines marriage, they'd be listened to now - but when it is only 'the gay issue' that results in lobbying and petitions (and a good deal hate-mongering and unmitigated self-righteousness) then alas, don't be surprised if your words fall on deaf - and even hostile - ears!

  4. Peter, the 'general public' who are not interested in this kind of approach are not usually the same general public as those who read the Christian Institute and Anglican Mainstream.

    Those not interested now will be interested soon enough. When they find out that their children are being taught that homosexual acts are morally equivalent to heterosexual ones (it is difficult to see how this can be avoided once we have gay marriage) and that the cost to the NHS for treatment of illness caused by some such acts accounts for between £18,000 and £41,000 per person per annum, and they can't get treatment for their (unpreventable) illnesses because there is not enough money.

  5. Is Jill suggesting that gay marriage will increase the cost to the NHS from preventable disease? Can she supply the financial burden from GUM Clinics frequented by heterosexuals? Or is it just gay people who become ill through sex 'acts'?

  6. STIs are estimated to cost the NHS over £1 billion a year. HIV treatment is estimated at around £0.5 billion a year. So nearly half of the NHS spend on STIs is on 1% of the population. You can read it all here:


    My main point is not to throw stones, but to point out the entirely predictable outcome of giving homosexual activity moral equivalence by introducing gay marriage.

    The only way to protect children, and indeed gay men, is to re-stigmatise homosexual activity. While we are being urged to eat our five-a-day and to stop smoking and overeating, and to on no account step into a puddle to rescue someone drowning, we now have a situation where our children will be encouraged to engage in behaviours which probably would not have otherwise occurred to them and which will lead to sickness, early death and financial ruin. It is insane.

  7. Jill: Why would 'straight' children wish to engage in activities which you regard as having no moral equivalence to marriage? It would be against their nature. You don't wish to throw stones. Only to "re-stigmatise" people who have no choice over their sexuality. Anglican Mainstream did the same. It called them 'lepers'.
    PS Do your health objections apply to lesbians?

  8. William Fisher, N.W. England22 February 2012 at 17:36

    So, Jill, you propose to "re-stigmatise" homosexual activity. How do you propose to achieve that? I'm interested to know.

  9. I cannot answer your question, Fr David, as I have no idea why straight people would want to engage in such an activity, but nevertheless there is plenty of evidence, especially amongst the young, that this is on the increase. Young people have no knowledge of the horrors of the '80s with the horrible deaths from Aids.

    You are twisting what I have said. It is homosexual activity, particularly anal sex, which should be re-stigmatised. As the number of young gay men contracting HIV is also rapidly increasing, this is the only way to protect the whole community. This worked with smoking. Gay marriage is not the way to do this - quite the opposite - it is bestowing unspoken approval.

    It's none of my business what people get up to in their bedrooms, or with whom, but it becomes my business when my grandchildren are not taught the dangers of irregular sexual activity. Current sex ed is too damaging already, in my view, and can only get worse.

    I would like you to point out to me exactly where Anglican Mainstream has called anybody a leper. They did host a conference where the principal speaker was the author of a book entitled 'The Lepers Among Us' but anybody who read the book, or read even the smallest description of the conference, would immediately see that the emphasis was on calling the Church to stop treating gay people as lepers. So quite the opposite, in fact, to what you have said.

    William J Fisher - People will realise soon enough. Gay activists are very quiet at the moment with their demands for more funding for AIDS, but once gay marriage is in the bag they will be back.

  10. Oops, I gave you an extra initial, William Fisher. My apologies!

  11. @Jill I presume you are the same person who pops up on various sites with your almost pathological obsession with other people’s righteousness (or lack of same) and in particular the fund of salacious and prurient knowledge you seem to possess or opinion on all things related to homosexuality? First you presume people can be ‘made’ to perform homosexual acts – which of course is just folly (or wishful thinking?); secondly that homosexual acts lead to medical ailments – well, I have been a hospital and hospice social worker for some ten years (mainly working in palliative care) and although the odd homosexual patient has crossed my path, I haven’t seen the NHS hospitals swamped with homosexual ‘ailments’ (alcohol, tobacco and not forgetting the woes of heterosexual sex... virgins don’t get cervical cancer! Yes, but not ‘homosexual ailments’; whatever they be!) – and if you’re talking about HIV, then I’m afraid you’ll find many HIV wards have now closed in London, because there are so few patients with AIDS – and the vast majority of patients still suffering from HIV in the UK are heterosexual Africans (who curiously enough, have a disproportionate number of conservative Christians among their number!). Yes, there has been a rise in young homosexual men sadly contracting HIV; but a some good sex education should overcome that... (By the way, GUM clinics still have a largely heterosexual clientele – what is the cause of that?)

    You seem interested in numbers and statistics – as well as economics. With regard to the latter, given our current economic climate, more gay men is just what we need, since they are disproportionately more likely to have attained a degree or higher, be employed in a professional occupation, be involved in some form of voluntary work in their communities (Big Society and all that!), earn more and similarly pay more tax etc. As for the stats, well, as I’ve said before, oddly enough liberal, tolerant societies, tend to have far fewer social problems (divorce, teen pregnancy, single parent families, STDs etc.) than religiously conservative societies – the USA is a prime example – ironically the States most vehemently opposed to SSM are the ones with highest divorce, teen pregnancy and single parent family rates – whereas many liberal States don’t suffer from these problems to the same degree!

    However, I can see there could be grounds for ‘protesting’ about what people do with the ‘Temple of the Holy Spirit’ i.e. their bodies – particularly since you seem so concerned with NHS costs. Given almost 10% of NHS spending now goes on treating diabetes it is curious, is not (since you’re so concerned about the bill those wicked homosexuals present to the taxpayer every year for their wicked pleasures) that you are not protesting about all those chubbies, who are gobbling up precious NHS resources by their base desires? As it says in Deuteronomy 21:20-23, gluttons should be stoned to death (not unlike homosexuals) but we don’t see AM or the like organising a petition and marching on Trafalgar Sq over this national disgrace do we? No, far better to go for ‘easy’ targets – but the bulk of the population see this scape-goating for what it is (not to mention, many decent, fair minded Christians (several of my Evangelical friends are appalled at the tone and inferences of AM and CI)). Wholesome societies were never arrived at by witch-hunts, as history demonstrates again and again. All I ask for is proportionality - and given, at most, 3% of the population are homosexual (tho’ the figure could be as low as 1%) the obsessional interest and finger pointing of a certain faction of conservative Christians does more harm to Christianity, than anyone else!


    Peter Denshaw

  12. This was only meant to be a link to an article and online survey - sent to me, incidentally, by a very 'non-extreme' contact.

    As it's all getting a bit carried away, I'm closing the comments.