Small ads

Our MP and gay marriage

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

This is how The Guardian reported what our brilliant and effective MP said in today's debate.

Craig Whittaker, a Conservative, said it would be better for the government to create a new category of marriage called state marriage. That could replace civil partnerships, and it would allow gay people to be married without undermining religious marriage.

Our MP's daft and offensive idea seems to be create another category that is separate and therefore not equal despite the bill being clear churches won't be forced to move into the 21st Century.

You have to be pretty thick not to understand that today's vote was about our brothers/ mums/ dads/ sisters/ friends who are LGBT being treated as equal citizens in all aspects of the law.

No-one should be surprised by his words today but in 2015 we go to the polls and if only a small number of people who fell for the Lib Dem lies last time switch we can make him a one term MP.

From Andy Mc

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Craig Whittaker was on the local news last night outlining his position and why he voted 'against'.

He talked mainly about 'his' views and 'his' position on the issue, never about his constituents.

I think I understand the game most politicians play...if they can ally themselves with their constituents (or the majority) then this is good PR and will be mentioned in dispatches/ blogs/ tweets/ etc. However, if their (party political) position doesn't fit with their constituents views (again the majority), then the constituents go unmentioned.

I suspect the majority of our MP's constituents don't agree with his vote. He will just have to work harder to try and get re-elected won't he ?

From Andy M

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Re state marriage: '.......In that way, those who want marriage so that they can be called married, get their way and those who want to maintain traditional marriage for its true intended purpose can keep it.'...

How arrogant and dismissive is that? Goes with the territory I suppose.

I wonder if Craig disapproves of me too; currently unmarried, an atheist and with a child born out of wedlock!

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Andy, think our MP is pretty promiscuous with his disapproval so yes.

Have to say l'm disappointed with the lack of response to this thread . . . only slightly better than Richard 111. Our tireless MP says his postbag was 15 to 1 in favour of his stance . . . seems we agree?


From Ruth Walker-Cotton

Monday, 11 February 2013

I suspect that the lack of response to this thread is partly because there was already a lengthy airing of views on this subject a few months ago. If you name check Craig Whittaker on Twitter you will see that there were many negative and strongly comments on his shameful refusal to support the equal marriage vote. I myself have commented previously on HebWeb, have been in contact with Our MP who refuses to listen to other viewpoints, and it is my hope that he is showing himself to be outdated and irrelevant to the town.

From Jan Bridget

Monday, 11 February 2013

I don't have much to add to what I said in the previous thread about Craig Whittaker and his stance on gay marriage, i.e. he is consistent in his homophobia. I thought the debate (much of which I watched) was very good. There were some excellent speeches, including this one from David Lammy.

From Rev Tony Buglass

Monday, 11 February 2013

I commented in the last thread on this topic, when Mr Whittaker aired his opinions on his blog. He hasn't changed his position, which means he hasn't listened to the comments that were made. Doesn't surprise me. I was contacted by BBC Radio Leeds, and interviewed briefly on the phone on Tuesday morning, just after him. He simply can't see what a daft position he's arguing: he persists in arguing that marriage is child-centred, which would mean I'd have to refuse to marry an older couple who had no prospect of having children. It is simply not true: marriage is an adult commitment, between two people, and for life.

Personally, I am in the business of offering Christian marriage, which is the same adult life-long commitment, between two people who want to include God in their relationship. I don't think he would exclude two of his children from that relationship because they happen to be of the same sex - and I rather suspect he knows a lot more about what makes them tick than those who pontificate about the rights and wrongs of the issue.

The radio interviewer said to me a couple of times that Graig is entitled to hold to his principles. I agreed. And said that his constituents are entitled to disagree with him, and to decide that he doesn't represent their views, so shouldn't represent them in Parliament any more. Roll on that day.

From Mick Piggott

Monday, 11 February 2013

There are so many reasons for dumping our current MP at the next general election and this issue is one of them.

Nice to see that Tony Buglass would be prepared to conduct marriage ceremonies for gay couples if he were allowed to.

What I can't understand is why gay people would want to get married in any church which is homophonic? Nor can I understand why women want to be clerics at any level in sexist churches such as the C of E.

Shouldn't we more progressive people just be rejecting these reactionary institutions altogether?

From Anne H

Monday, 11 February 2013

Most of us here in Hebden Bridge feel that Craig Whitaker doesn't represent our views. (His views on environmental issues are also a long way from most of ours). But his constituency covers a much wider area than Hebden Bridge. I can imagine that many of his constituents - who would never dream of entering into debate on the Hebweb - might well agree with his views on gay marriage, wind farms and many other issues. These are the people who voted for him after all! There must be quite a lot of them or else he wouldn't have got elected!

Perhaps it is us who are not representative of the constituency as a whole, not him? Just a devil's advocate type thought

From Darren G

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I'm affraid Craig Whittaker's idea that marriage is child centred is a bit wrong. Hasn't he himself just got married? When is your child due Craig?
I'm sure he's also got divorced, many in the church will not agree with him being remarried.

If you give him enough rope you all know what happens next and I don't agree with that, well in most cases.

From Andrew H

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Just because he is our MP he doesn't lose the right to have his own opinion, after all this is a pretty devisive subject.

Also, if he doesn't share the same views of most people in Hebden Bridge it is strange that he got elected in the first place.


From Anne H

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Andrew H - it's not strange at all that he got elected. He might share the same views as people in the rest of his constituency - Brighouse, Rastrick etc. It's quite a large constituency. I think we got used to Chris McCafferty being local and sharing many of the same views as Hebden Bridgers.

From Roger N

Friday, 15 February 2013

Can I just play Devil's advocate here?

I don't necessarily agree with what I am about to say, but can understand people who do.

Marriage has traditionally been an official religious blessing of the union of a man and a woman. The Church of England marriage ceremony contains these words "The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of sexual union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives." It then mentions the importance of the birth and nurturing of children.

I think the problem arises in the words 'sexual union'. What exactly does that mean, particularly if gay and lesbian couples are to be brought into the equation?

Many marriages have been annulled on the grounds of 'non-consummation' - that is, that sexual intercourse hasn't taken place. Where does that leave us as far as gay couples are concerned? Given that, in the not so recent past, homosexual acts were crimes punishable by imprisonment, is it really so surprising that many people and organisations (The Church included) are so restive about the proposals?

What on earth should the Church say about same sex weddings? You can kiss and hold hands but that's all! Or is it ok for the Church to give its blessing on unprotected anal intercourse? Can the Church be seen to condone what, in the whole of creation is perceived as unnatural sexual practice? The bible mentions Sodom and Gomorrah, and the fate that befell them. Is the clue perchance in the name of the first of those places?

If homosexual marriage is allowed, then the whole rule book needs to be rewritten and diluted. But why bother when we have a perfectly good civil arrangement? I can understand people who are restive about this whole topic, and I really think you can't blame our MP if he has similar concerns.

From Andrew H

Friday, 15 February 2013

Understand the constituancy point. Therefore, if he represents the majority view then. He is simply being democratic. Is that not his job?

From Darren G

Friday, 15 February 2013

The reason I have a problem with this is when Craig Whittaker uses his religon to defend his decisions about gay marriage.

If he was religous I'm sure half of his decisions would upset the apple cart at an harvest festival.

The man is stuck in the last century with the rest of his Dickensian party. And please there are people all over Calderdale able to see the disgusting hypocrisy of our MP and his party

From Maureen Brian

Friday, 15 February 2013

Noooooo! Marriage has traditionally been a property transaction - between a man and his wife's father. Where there was no property then no pressure to marry until well into the nineteenth century. Compulsory registration of births, marriages and deaths probably had more to do with it than the CofE.

The other traditional form was the spoils of war operation - kill the blokes, carry off the fertile women.

Both in the Bible - just check. Please!

Just because Craig Whittaker says this and thus has always been the case doesn't make it so. You'd probably be better with wikipedia.

From Rev Tony Buglass

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Roger's comments illustrate very well the layers of confusion about religious views on same sex relationships. Craig Whittaker has repeatedly quoted the Anglican marriage service to justify his claim that marriage must be heterosexual, and is child-centred.

Personally, I think the Methodist marriage service says it better. It says 'It is the will of God that, in marriage. husband and wife should experience a life-long unity of heart, body and mind, comfort and companionship, enrichment and encouragement, tenderness and trust.' There is nothing in that declaration that could not equally apply to same-sex partners. It goes on to say 'Through such marriage, children may be nurtured, family life strengthened, and human society enriched.' Again, there is nothing there that could not equally apply to same-sex partners. As to marriage being primarily for procreation, the operative word is 'may' - it is not compulsory to have children, some couples are unable to have children, but are nevertheless able to marry in church. Mr Whittaker's arguments on this score are shallow and inconsistent.

Roger raises the issue of sexual union and non-consummation. Non-consummation is only grounds for annulment if the couple concerned wish it to be. If an elderly couple consider themselves 'too old for that sort of thing,' or a disabled couple are physically unable to consummate the marriage, they are no less married than a couple who are sexually active.

As to what constitutes sexual union in a same-sex relationship - well, if we're not careful, we'll find ourselves in Clinton-esque arguments about whether or not what they did to each other was valid in the terms of the agreement! The real question is whether what they shared was intended to be making love. If that was the intention, then it was sexual union. As to anal intercourse - it isn't only gay men who engage in that, so I'm told; heterosexual couples may also enjoy it together.

The reference to Sodom and Gomorrah perpetuates an age-old myth: the sin of Sodom was not homosexual sex, but a breach of the laws of hospitality which were basic to society in the ancient world. It has long been interpreted as a sexual sin (hence the origin of the term 'sodomy') but that is a superficial understanding of the text - I suspect it says more about generations of interpreters than it does of what the Bible really says.

The discussion will have to continue for some time, no doubt, partly because the churches do not agree on what they think, and partly because the Government has muddied the waters by the way civil partnership has been implemented. I thought civil partnership was the equivalent of a legal marriage, and it does appear to confer the same rights and protections, but it isn't exactly the same thing (although the legal niceties escape me...).

Perhaps the simplest answer would be for 'civil partnership' to be a simple legal contract between two people (including siblings who wish to establish a legal basis for sharing a home, for example - a major problem which the Government has completely ignored), legal marriage to be offered to both same-sex and heterosexual couples, and the Church to be separated from the legal process, so that any religious marriage service would be offered after the legal processes have been done, as is the case on the continent.

I am aware that the Establishment of the Church of England raises problems for the latter suggestion: I'm a Methodist, and I don't believe in the Established Church, so that one isn't my problem! I will be happy if the law is passed, and the Methodist Conference gives its clergy the same freedom as it does for the remarriage of divorced people: no minister is compelled to act against his conscience, but is free to marry them if he feels able.

From Andy M

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Will you stand at the next election . . . please?!

It would be a landslide!