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Tag Archives: conservative
The Queen would be breaking her oath of coronation if she signed gay marriage in to law, according to a former leading Bishop.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said the Queen had a duty to “uphold the laws of God” and that this was at odds with allowing gay couples to wed.
The former Bishop of Rochester made the comments during a service outside Buckingham Palace on Sunday, ahead of a key vote on gay marriage in the House of Lords this week.
He later told the Daily Mail: “The idea of a constitutional monarchy comes from the Bible. Christians are told in the Bible to obey their rulers, unless the ruler tells us to do something God forbids. Happily in this country we have a monarchy that has taken an oath of upholding Gods laws, and the present Queen has for years been faithful to that. We are praying that she continues to be faithful.
“That puts the onus on the prime minister not to put the Queen into a position where she may have to go against the sovereign promises she has made. We hope that she is not put in that position.”
Nazir-Ali caused controversy in 2009 when he said while gay people were welcome to attend church they should “repent and be changed.”
During her oath in 1953 the Queen pledged to “maintain the Laws of God”. On Tuesday, she will attend a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years since the coronation. On the same day peers will vote on whether to allow David Cameron’s gay marriage Bill to continue its passage through parliament.
According to the Daily Telegraph, senior Church of England officials have advised Bishops in the Lords to stay away from the vote. It has been reported the Church fears the sight of unelected religious leaders voting against a same-sex marriage Bill that was overwhelmingly passed by the Commons could re-open the debate over whether it is right Bishops get to sit in parliament.
Peers from all parties are set to unite in a bid to derail the gay marriage, with Cameron under pressure from Tory activists to abandon the reform.
But he was bolstered by the support of several senior Conservative figures who called on colleagues not to “hinder a measure whose time has come”. Six former ministers – including five veterans of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinets – argued in a letter to The Times that the allowing same-sex marriage would strengthen the institution.
The debate on gay marriage fell through the looking glass on Monday, as the peer leading opposition to same-sex weddings enlisted Alice in Wonderland and Humpty Dumpty to his cause.
Lord Dear told the House of Lords on Monday that the word ‘marriage’ could not simply be changed on the whim of governments or politicians. He said by any stretch of the imagination gay mariage was a contentious Bill – before stretching peers’ imagination.
Quoting from Lewis Caroll’s 1872 novel he read: “I dont know what you mean by glory, Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. Of course you donttill I tell you. I meant theres a nice knock-down argument for you! But glory doesn’t mean a nice knock-down argument, Alice objected. When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to meanneither more nor less.
Lord Dear explained: “I would suggest that if we substitute the word ‘marriage’ for ‘glory’ we get somewhere very close to the essence of todays debate. As Humpty Dumpty might have said: ‘Theres a nice knock-down argument for you. Marriage means just what I choose it to meanneither more nor less’.”
The crossbencher, who was speaking at the start of two days of debate on David Cameron’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, also said he believed gay marriage would set back rather than advance gay rights.
“I fear that the Bill, should it become law, could well create such opposition to homosexuals in general that the climate of tolerance and acceptance in this country that we have all championed, supported and seen flourish over the years could well be set back by decadescertainly for a long time,” he said.
Citing widespread protests in France against gay marriage, Lord Dear said “tolerance can be overstretched”. He added: “The majority view should prevail, especially when the minority is tiny and the overwhelming majority is affronted.”
During the debate several peers opposed to the Bill also warned of the “unintended consequences” of the Bill – including the possibility it would open the door to polygamy and incestuous marriages.
The House of Lords usually automatically gives government bills their second readings. However peers opposed to the Bill will force a vote on Tuesday evening – despite the convention that peers do not throw out legislation passed by the elected Commons. The vote is expected to be close.
Gay marriage is backed by the leadership of all three main political parties, but it has split the Conservative Party down the middle and the majority of Tory MPs voted against the plans.
2 June 2013 Last updated at 20:21 ET
A “wrecking amendment” which seeks to derail the gay marriage bill will be debated in the House of Lords later.
The government’s bill, covering England and Wales, was passed in the House of Commons last month – despite the opposition of 133 Conservative MPs.
Ex-West Midlands chief constable Lord Dear, who has tabled the amendment to refuse it a second reading, said a vote on Tuesday was “too close to call”.
Meanwhile, supporters of the bill plan a rally outside Parliament.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales would allow couples, who can currently form civil partnerships, to marry.
Religious organisations would have to “opt in” to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned in law from doing so.
It is backed by PM David Cameron, his Lib Dem deputy Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband but was opposed by 161 MPs in a free vote in the Commons – 133 of them Conservative.
It is alienating much of our core support while failing to attract new voters with under two years to go before the general election
The bill, which has been criticised by some Conservative activists, is expected to face a tough passage through the Lords – if crossbench peer Lord Dear’s amendment were passed it would effectively kill it.
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Gay marriage advocates have warned that the same-sex marriage Bill could be put at risk by a late night vote in the House of Lords, as the peer leading opposition to the legislation says the majority are “affronted” by the plans.
At last count 80 peers had asked to speak in the debate which begins at 3pm on Monday – meaning it could last well into the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Labour has warned a 2am vote could be “very risky” as frail and elderly peers, as well as those who live far away from London, may not be able to turn up to vote in favour of the Bill.
In an attempt to kill off gay marriage but critics of David Cameron’s Bill have tabled a motion that would deny the legislation further passage through the Lords.
Lord Dear, the cross-bench peer who is leading opposition to the Bill, said he expected the vote to be much closer than in the Commons where it received overwhelmingly support. “I don’t think it will be a landslide either way,” he told The Huffington Post UK.
“The one thing I can be sure of there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with an ill thought though Bill.”
The government Whips office has insisted it will do “nothing to jeopardise” the equal marriage legislation – pursuit of which has split the Conservative Party down the middle.
But Labour shadow equalities minister Baroness Thornton said the debate should instead be stopped before midnight on Monday and then started up again on Tuesday morning.
She told HuffPost UK: “There are a significant number of peers who really want to support this vote but are not strong enough to stay until 3am in the morning. It’s wrong to vote on something really important in the early hours of the morning.”
Baroness Thornton said Cameron had been “absolutely brilliant” in his advocacy of gay marriage and urged him to change the timing of the vote. “We are worried. It’s a bit irresponsible. Those very opposed will stay to the bitter end,” she said.
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Seventy-five members of the Lords have already asked to speak in the debate, suggesting that dawn could rise on the Tuesday morning before all the peers have their say.
Government whips are fighting calls to allow the Lords to hold a second day of debate on what has become the one of the most emotive issue in parliament for many years.
Some critics of same sex marriage legislation believe the policy undermines the institution of marriage while others simply regard it as a distraction from the countrys economic problems.
Mr Cameron has championed homosexual weddings and Tory strategists hope it will entice new voters to the party at the next general election.
However, gay marriage so far appears only to have played havoc with the Conservative partys grassroots, sparking resignations of members and fierce criticism of the Prime Minister.
Lord Luce said: You cant suddenly pounce on the 2,000 year-old institution of marriage after such little consultation and with such little thought.
This is all part of the Prime Ministers ‘modernisation of our party, whatever that word is supposed to mean. This is all being handled in a very slap happy, careless manner.
This weekend there is speculation in Westminster that the Most Rev Justin Welby, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, will also voice his concerns about the policy in next weeks debate. One of his predecessors, Lord Carey of Clifton, has already put his name down to speak.
Lord Dear, the retired chief constable of West Midlands Police and crossbench peer leading opposition to the Bill, said that critics of the policy were not anti-homosexual.
This is ill-thought through legislation that is being rushed through, the peer said. There are some 8,000 further amendments that will be necessary to existing legislation because of this single policy.
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Sometimes I hate being a conservative girl in a left wing world
I'm constantly biting my tongue in real life trying to hide my conservative leanings.
By: CindyCanBeOriginal's channel
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The debate in Britain over legalising gay marriage took a surreal turn on Tuesday after a senior politician said it could result in a lesbian queen giving birth to an heir by artificial insemination.
Norman Tebbit, a member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party who sits in the House of the Lords, also joked that it could see him marry his own son to escape inheritance tax.
Tebbit’s intervention comes amid fevered debate in parliament over a bill to legalise same sex marriage, which is opposed by many of Cameron’s Conservative lawmakers.
“I said to a minister I know: have you thought this through? Because you’re doing the law of succession, too,” Tebbit, 82, told The Big Issue magazine.
“When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?
“It’s like one of my colleagues said: we’ve got to make these same sex marriages available to all.
“It would lift my worries about inheritance tax because maybe I’d be allowed to marry my son. Why not? Why shouldn’t a mother marry her daughter? Why shouldn’t two elderly sisters living together marry each other?”
The comments by Tebbit, a minister in Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s, sparked derision on Twitter.
But they indicate the opposition awaiting the gay marriage bill when it goes to the House of Lords for consideration.
The legislation looks set to be approved by MPs in the House of Commons, but it must also pass through the unelected Lords before becoming law.
The legalisation of gay marriage is set to be approved by MPs later after surviving a Tory backbench attempt to derail it.
An amendment which supporters warned could scupper the legislation altogether was easily defeated after the Government reached an agreement with Labour.
Some 56 Conservative backbenchers – half the number predicted – backed a move to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.
Eight Labour MPs, three Lib Dems and three SDLP members joined the Tory critics but the measure was beaten in a free vote by a large majority of 370.
An embarrassing reverse was avoided after the Government accepted Labour calls for an immediate review of civil partnerships instead.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is now expected to clear its final stages in the Commons today, although it will still face stiff resistance in the Lords.
Former Tory minister Tim Loughton accused ministers of making a “grubby deal” with Labour to see off his amendment and said the battle would continue in the upper chamber.
David Cameron is also still under fire from many in his own party who are vehemently opposed to the measure and warned it will cost vital Tory support.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller defended the Government’s tactics and insisted there was “overwhelming support” for the change, including within the Conservative Party.
She had argued that extending civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples – supported in principle by many backers of gay marriage – would cause significant delays and costs.
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A bill to legalise gay marriage in Britain passed a crucial hurdle in parliament on Tuesday, despite efforts by lawmakers from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party to wreck the plans.
Plans to allow gay marriage look set to overcome their latest parliamentary hurdle after Labour and the Government signalled they were ready to work together to defeat a backbench bid to wreck the legislation in the House of Commons.
A source close to Culture Secretary Maria Miller said she was “very relaxed” about a Labour proposal for an immediate consultation on extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples, designed to defuse Tory backbench demands for straight couples to be given equality with homosexuals and lesbians in this area.
The deal means that the first same-sex marriages could take place as early as next summer if the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill clears the House of Lords, where it is expected to meet stiff resistance.
A Tory opponent of gay marriage has tabled a “wrecking amendment” to the Bill which would extend the option of civil partnerships to straight couples. While many advocates of same-sex marriage back the idea in principle, they fear it could delay the legislation or scupper it altogether after Mrs Miller said it would impose “significant” additional complexities and extra costs on the reforms.
The wrecking amendment, tabled by former families minister Tim Loughton, is expected to win the support of 100 or more Conservative backbenchers in a free vote in the Commons, but it needs the backing of large numbers of Labour or Liberal Democrat MPs to have any chance of being passed.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has made clear that he would not back amendments that would derail the Bill, and Labour has put forward plans for an immediate consultation on straight civil partnerships, which is expected to be enough to persuade the party’s MPs not to back the Loughton amendment.
Downing Street signalled Prime Minister David Cameron’s readiness to support the Labour proposal, saying it was “entirely consistent” with an amendment tabled last week by Mrs Miller which would require a future culture secretary to review civil partnerships five years after the introduction of gay marriage – but leaves open the option of an earlier review.
It is understood that Mrs Miller’s amendment was deliberately phrased in a vague way to allow an earlier review if there is pressure from Parliament for it to be conducted swiftly.
Gay marriage is the latest in a series of issues sparking friction between Mr Cameron and traditionalist Tory MPs and activists. A group of more than 30 current and former local party chairmen have written to the PM to warn that it will drive Tory voters to Ukip and make a Conservative election victory in 2015 impossible.
Mr Loughton has denied that his amendment is designed to derail the Bill, insisting that it is a matter of equality that heterosexuals too should be able to have civil partnerships. “If the Government think it is right to extend marriage to everyone then it has to be right to extend civil partnerships to everyone too,” he said.
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