Proposals to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’ will provide the perfect mechanism for the homosexual lobby to realize one of its long-term objectives: the criminalization of all opposition to homosexuality.
For years the UK gay community has dreamed of creating a society in which criticisms of homosexuality are punishable by law. However, up to now they have only been able to achieve this on a sporadic basis through a combination of intimidation, vague public order acts, and pro-homosexual members of the police.
If same-sex ‘marriage’ is legalized, however, the gay lobby will be given a mechanism to begin targeting defenders of traditional marriage on a systematic basis.
At least, that is what Stephen Green and Robin Phillips have argued in a recent briefing paper published by Christian Voice. The authors show that changing the definition of marriage to accommodate same-sex couples would create an atmosphere hostile to freedom.
The briefing paper, titled The Trivialization of Matrimony, suggests that legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ could also have broad implications for Christians across every sector of public life. Green and Phillips pointed out that pension providers, businesses, insurance companies, teachers and private individuals would all be required to accommodate a new and unprecedented definition of ‘marriage’ or fall foul of the law.
When questioned about the guarantees of religious liberty peppered throughout the Governments’ consultation document, Green and Phillips replied that these promises are not to be trusted. “It is a significant fact,” they pointed out, “that throughout the consultation document not once does it guarantee protection to those who may have religious reasons for not recognizing the civil ‘marriages’ of same-sex couples.”
“When civil partnerships were first introduced, Government was adamant that this was not a half-way house to same-sex ‘marriage’, though subsequent events proved otherwise. Similarly, although the current Government is adamant that the new proposals are not preliminary to making churches solemnize same-sex ‘marriages’, what is to stop a future Government, or even the same one, from pursuing the itinerary of ‘equality’ to this final step?”
“Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone stated in a BBC Radio 5 Live interview that ‘it may be that [the issue of same-sex marriage in a place of religious worship] comes back another day.’ This could happen sooner than we think. Equality laws introduced by Labour in 2007 and subsequently enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act could make it difficult, even illegal, for Government to try to maintain this two-tier system of civil marriage and religious marriage.”
“In short, what Government is proposing to do is to change how all of us define marriage. Those who refuse to cooperate with the redefinitions will be found in breach of the law.”
The concerns raised in the Christian Voice briefing paper echo warnings that other defenders of traditional marriage have issued over the past five years. When fighting against same-sex marriage in the state of California in 2008, Dennis Prager wrote a revealing article entitled ‘California Decision Will Radically Change Society.’ Prager pointed to some possible consequences to allowing gay ‘marriage’:
Outside of the privacy of their homes, young girls will be discouraged from imagining one day marrying their prince charming—to do so would be declared “heterosexist,” morally equivalent to racist. Rather, they will be told to imagine a prince or a princess. Schoolbooks will not be allowed to describe marriage in male-female ways alone. Little girls will be asked by other girls and by teachers if they want one day to marry a man or a woman….
Any advocacy of man-woman marriage alone will be regarded morally as hate speech, and shortly thereafter it will be deemed so in law.
Companies that advertise engagement rings will have to show a man putting a ring on a man’s finger—if they show only women’s fingers, they will be boycotted just as a company having racist ads would be now.
Films that only show man-woman married couples will be regarded as antisocial and as morally irresponsible as films that show people smoking have become.
Traditional Jews and Christians—i.e., those who believe in a divine scripture—will be marginalized.
S. T. Karnick argued similarly in an article for Salvo magazine titled ‘The Tyranny of the Minority.’ Karnick pointed out that far from being the tolerant option, those who champion same-sex ‘marriage’ are actually fiercely coercive and intolerant:
“Favoring government-enforced recognition of same-sex ‘marriage’ is not, as the media invariably characterize it, a kindly, liberal-minded position, but instead a fierce, coercive, intolerant one…. What’s at issue here is not whether people can declare themselves married and find other people to agree with them and treat them as such. No, what’s in contention is whether the government should force everyone to recognize such ‘marriages.’ Far from being a liberating thing, the forced recognition of same-sex ‘marriage’ is a governmental intrusion of monumental proportions.
“Although pro-homosexual radicals continually refer to the forced recognition of same-sex ‘marriage’ as a civil right, as well as a matter of liberating society from hidebound prejudices, such policies are actually the government-enforced imposition of a small group’s sexual values on a reluctant and indeed strongly resistant population.
Section 5 of the 1986 Act outlaws ‘insulting words or behaviour’. If gay ‘marriage’ is legalized, it is likely that the rubric of what constitutes ‘insulting behaviour’ will be broadened to include any advocacy of traditional marriage.
These concerns are not merely hypothetical. Even though same-sex ‘marriage’ has yet to be legalized in the UK, there is already a significant move to persecute those who dissent from the grinding uniformity demanded by the homosexual lobby. Consider just a few instances as a foretaste of what will occur on a much larger scale if same-sex ‘marriages’ are enshrined in law:
- In October 2001, a pensioner held up a sign that said, ‘Stop immorality, stop homosexuality, stop lesbianism, Jesus is Lord’. He faced abuse from a crowd which culminated in the police arresting and then convicting him under the Public Order Act 1986 for being insulting. (Read the report at The Free Speech Debate website
- In November 2003, the Bishop of Chester was questioned over his views on homosexuality by Cheshire police after commenting that psychiatrists could help homosexuals to re-orientate themselves. The Crown Prosecution Service eventually dropped the case saying the Bishop had committed no crime. (Read the report in The Chester Chronicle.)
- In December 2005, Joe and Heather Roberts were interrogated by Lancashire police after complaining to their local council in Fleetwood (Wyre Borough Council) about council tax money being spent on promoting gay rights. Both the Police and the council at the time refused to admit they were wrong. After the threat of legal action, the Council and the Police apologised to the Roberts and settled out of court.
- In December 2005, author Lynette Burrows was interviewed by the police after she expressed disapproval of homosexual adoption on a talk show. The policewoman who talked to Mrs Burrows said that a ‘homophobic incident’ had been reported against her and that it would be kept on record by the police. (Read the Telegraph report.)
- In February 2006, Dr N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, mentioned in a speech before the House of Lords about the way people were being censured for moderate comments disapproving of homosexuality. He observed, “People in my diocese have told me that they are now afraid to speak their minds in the pub on some major contemporary issues for fear of being reported, investigated, and perhaps charged. My Lords, I did not think I would see such a thing in this country in my lifetime…. The word for such a state of affairs is ‘tyranny’: sudden moral climate change, enforced by thought police.” (Read his speech, ‘Moral Climate Change and Freedom of Speech.’)
- In September 2006, Stephen Green was arrested and detained in police station for handing out evangelistic tracts at a gay pride festival in Cardiff. Police said the arrest was because the tracts Mr Green was distributing contained Bible verses about homosexuality. (Read the BBC report.) He was charged but the prosecutors dropped all charges. South Wales Police paid a sum in compensation.
- In June 2008, Iris Robinson, wife of Irish First Minister Peter Robinson, was investigated by the Serious Crimes Branch of the PSNI (Northern Ireland Police Force) for speaking out against homosexuality. (Read the Belfast Telegraph report about it.)
- In 2008, Christian counsellor Gary McFarlane was sacked from his job with Relate because he confided that he would not be comfortable counselling homosexual couples about sexual problems. (Read the BBC news report.)
- Since 2008 British Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to close down because of their refusal to place children with homosexual couples. (Read the LifeSiteNews report about it.)
- In December 2008, Pilgrim Homes had £13,000 of funding removed by Brighton Council because the home refused to ask its elderly Christian residents every three months if they were homosexual. Funding was only restored when Pilgrim Homes promised to ask the residents about their sexual orientation on admission. (Read the LifeSiteNews report.)
- In January 2009, the Earl of Devon (Hugh Courtenay) had his licence to hold wedding ceremonies at Powderham Castle near Exeter revoked by Devon County Council. The justification for removing his licence was that the Earl’s Christian beliefs prevented him from allowing civil partnership ceremonies to be held on his property. (Read about it in the Telegraph report.)
- In 2009, Christian Registrar Lilian Ladele faced the sack because she asked if she could be exempt from registering civil partnership. Even though she won the case against Islington Council, the Employment Appeal Tribunal overturned the case and ruled against her. (Read the Guardian report about it.)
- In April 20, 2010, street preacher, Dale McAlpine, was arrested for allegedly telling a passer-by that homosexuality is a sin. The 42-year-old Baptist was put in jail for seven hours causing “harassment, alarm or distress.” (Read the Telegraph report.)
- In 2011, housing manager Adrian Smith has had his pay slashed as a punishment for saying on his private Facebook page that allowing gay weddings in churches was ‘an equality too far’. (Read the Daily Mail report about it.)
- In May 2011, Oxford student Sam Brown was celebrating the end of his exam. In the course of his celebrations, he said to a policeman, “Excuse me, do you realise your horse is gay?” He was arrested under the 1986 Public Order Act for making “offensive homophobic comments”. He remained in jail overnight before the police dropped his case. (Read the BBC news report.)
- In February 2012, hoteliars Peter and Hazelmary Bull were sued using Government money after refusing to offer a double bed to a homosexual couple in 2011. (Read the Guardian report about it here.)
- In May 2012, the author of the Archbishop Cranmer blog was being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority for posting a petition in support of traditional marriage and displayed an image advertising The Coalition for Marriage’s campaign to protect traditional marriage. The image showed numerous heterosexual couples getting married but no same-sex couples. The Advertising Standards Authority launched the investigation in order to determined whether the advert promotes homophobia. (Read the National Secular Society’s report.)
- In May 2012, the Law Society cancelled a planned conference organised by Christian Concern called, “One Man, One Woman. Making the case for marriage for the good of society.” The conference was organised by the World Congress of Families but was cancelled by the Law Society on the grounds that it is “contrary to diversity policy, espousing as it does an ethos which is opposed to same-sex marriage.” Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, commented, “Since when can debate be against diversity? …This action by the professional body…demonstrates how discussion on traditional views on marriage is being shut down before any change in the law to redefine marriage has come into force. If this kind of censorship is happening before gay ‘marriage’ has even been legalized, what will happen afterwards?” (Read Cristina Odone’s article, ‘Heterosexual marriage? I’m sorry, you can’t discuss that ‘)
- In May 2012, Roman Catholic schools in Wales got reprimanded by the Welsh government for circulating a letter written by Archbishop Nichols of Westminster in support of traditional marriage. The Welsh Government alleged that the schools support of traditional marriage failed to give students a “balanced perspective.” (Read the LifeSiteNews report.)
PRAY: With the UK Prime Minister and the United States’ president both publicly advocating the legalization of gay ‘marriage’, it is appropriate to reflect on what this would actually mean in practice.