No condemnation of Roman Catholic Church or medical opinion but plenty for `homophobic Unionists`

This week has seen Nationalist politicians falling over themselves to condemn Ulster Unionist peer Ken Maginnis and DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots as homophobic bigots.

Maginnis on the Nolan show opposed gay-marriage and referred to homosexuality as deviant behaviour although he tempered his argument by saying “If my next-door neighbour is homosexual, I will treat him with the same day-to-day respect as I will treat the neighbour on the other side.”

The Audio Boo can be heard here.

The SDLP`s Colum Eastwood (Yes the one that attended the paramilitary funeral recently) said:

“The attitudes contained within this survey, so frighteningly personified by Ken Maginnis’s startlingly offensive expressions of archaic ignorance on the Nolan Show this morning, are a timely reminder that a resilient residue of prejudice remains in our society. It should be named for what it is – bigotry.

The Republican Network for Unity Tweeted: “Ken McGuinness is a Backward, narrow-minded imbecile. The LGB community thankfully have rights, rights that RNU will support.”

Sinn Fein`s Phil Flanagan ‏Tweeted “Ken Maginnis is a dinosaur. Comparing homosexuality with beastiality. Unnatural and deviant practices he says. Sigh!”

The SDLP`s Claire Hanna ‏Tweeted “especially depressing Nolan Show this morning. Impressive contributions from John O’Doherty of Rainbow. Shame on Maginness, dark ages stuff”

Kieron McGuire retweeted by Sinn Fein`s Conor Maskey “Scandulous take from UUP on issue of gay marriage & this is who the stoops want to go into opposition with! #shame”

Yet the striking thing is that these largely Roman Catholic politicians, even when asked, fail to condemn the Catholic church for the very same views. I queried  the majority of the above as well as several other Sinn Fein politicians (who had made similar comments on Twitter) as to their silence regarding the Roman Catholic and other Church`s positions on homosexuality and have yet to receive a single reply or condemnation.

The current Pope wrote the following in his “Letter to the Bishops of the  Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons” whilst Cardinal to Pope John II who approved it:

“At the same time the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions. These were described as deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, as being “intrinsically disordered”, and able in no case to be approved of ……….. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.

In 2003 the Vatican urged “Catholic politicians to actively campaign against legalising gay marriages which it said were evil, deviant and posed a grave threat to society.” And indeed the Catholic church recently urged members to oppose the UK gay-marriage proposals , being heavily involved with the Coalition for Marriage petition.

Is it not rank hypocrisy for these people to condemn Unionist politicians and not their own church?  Shouldn`t the Catholic church be reprimanding these so called Catholic politicians?  Richard Dawkins may well have been correct when he called for some “Catholic honesty“.

Further to that we have the same politicians erroneously attacking DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots over a so called `gay blood ban`.

SDLP health spokesperson Conall McDevitt has said that comments made by the Health Minister Edwin Poots regarding blood donations from gay men are both repellent and unscientific:

“The Health minister’s comments on the Politics Show, while not surprising, remain shocking, particularly his assertion that the ban should not only be retained but extended to anyone who engaged in sexual activity with prostitutes or anyone on the African continent. Once again, these views risk the perception that the minister is confusing personal prejudice with prudent policy.

“We are yet to see any significant evidence to support Poots’ views. On the contrary, the prevailing opinion among UK medics is that there is no higher risk associated with the blood of gay men, hence the decision to reverse the ban in Britain.

“The Minister’s comments perpetuate a tired mythology of cultural promiscuity in the gay community which troubles me as an advocate of a more accepting, shared society.

Kieran McCarthy Alliance MLA said:

“I am very disappointed that the Health Minister is refusing to allow gay men to donate blood. He needs to realise that it is unacceptable to discriminate like this.

“We should be encouraging people to donate blood, not telling perfectly eligible people that they are banned from donating blood.

“This is about equality, by banning gay men from donating blood, Edwin Poots is denying them their human rights. I would ask him to reconsider his decision on this issue.”

Sinn Fein`s Phil Flanagan ‏tweeted “So Edwin Poots wants to maintain his ban on ‘gay blood.’ Sure why not lock ‘them’ all up in a compound. That’ll ostracise ‘them’ about right”

SDLP`s Claire Hanna ‏tweeted “Min Poots claims new studies support his gay blood ban. Interesting reliance on research from the guy who thinks the planet is 6000 yrs old”

Sinn Fein`s Paul Maskey  MP tweeted “Maybe Edwin should visit the Falls Park today and tell the many African people, their blood is no use here. Asylum and Refugee week.”

Fergus O’Hare ‏former Sinn Fein councillor tweeted “Edwin Poots says anyone who has had sex in Africa should be banned from giving blood. That rules out most Africans I reckon. Sack the idiot!”

And NUS-USI’s (University of Ulster) Adrianne Peltz said:

“If Mr Poots cannot bring himself to treat everyone equally on blood donation then how can he expect the community to have confidence in him as Health Minister.

“He has had every opportunity to end the ban on gay men donating blood, but his abject failure is disgraceful.

“It’s time that Edwin Poots considered his position as Health Minister. His intransigence on this important issue of equality has brought shame on Northern Ireland.

The SDLP`s Conal McDevitt is wrong on his assertion that gay men can freely give blood in Britian and wrong on his assertions regarding high risk categories and evidence. The reality is that the UK still retains a ban on sexually active Gay men.

To give blood they must abstain from sex for 12 months.  The reality is the Republic of Ireland and other European nations ban sexually active gay men from giving blood just like Northern Ireland.  The reality is that the Give Blood website lists male gay sex, drug use, sex with prostitutes, sex in Africa as high risk behaviour.

The NHS website states

“All groups that are excluded or deferred from blood donation have been assessed as being at a statistically increased risk of carrying blood-borne viruses…….The criteria are based on complex assessments of risk and must by their nature be based on evidence and statistics that are recorded at a population level.”

The irony here is that Sinn Fein and the SDLP wish to harmonise NI law with UK law rather than the Republics.

So let us hear these Sinn Fein, SDLP and Alliance politicians condemn these institutions and accuse them of bigotry as they have readily done so with Ken Maginnis and Edwin Poots!

  • Ceist

    Well you see one is a politician and the other is a religious institution. Not really like for like are they?

  • ranger1640

    Kilsally, get your tin hat on, and head for the bomb shelter, I fear you’re in for a few exorcists.

  • Framer

    Impressive research and largely accurate, but the Poots decision not to change the donation rules where gay men are concerned is based on prejudice.
    Knowing that, makes anything he says or researches – and we seem not to be allowed to see the research he has commissioned – intrinsically suspicious just like Iris Robinson’s advocacy based on the advice of her psychiatric expert (since also found wanting in the hypocrisy department).

  • GoldenFleece

    This is actually a very good post. Nationalists parties are pretty silent when it comes to the CC and homosexuality.

  • Mick Fealty

    Agree Framer. even the current practice in GB which is marginally ahead of NI is behind the research on risk.

  • dwatch

    I doubt if there is a priest who would be foolish enought as Ken Maginnis and go on the Nolan Show.

  • glenda lough

    Some of my gay male friends were a bit disappointed with Ken Maginnis who apparently fits the profile of a ‘hot older male’ and ‘bear’. But for some reason or other they seemed rather relieved that Mr Poots didn’t like them.

  • Mark

    Thanks for making me think about that image for a split second Glenda .

  • Maoildeirg

    With regard to donating blood it would be reckless in the extreme to ignore or deny the risks posed by anal sex.
    Virtually everyone that I know thinks that homosexuality is not normal and that it is the consequence of conditioning in the formative years of the lives of young children. It is a condition that is virtually impossible to change. People are not born to be deeply religious or to be mass murders in the same way that people are not born to be homosexuals.

  • Dec

    Glossing over Kilsally’s notion that all Nationalist politicians are church going Catholics (sorry Roman Catholics), you’ll note that none of the politicians listed above lambasted the Free Presbyterian Church’s attitude to the gay community presumably because a member of that church didn’t make an arse of themselves on TV (last week, at least). To attempt to turn this into a sectarian issue is idiotic and reveals plenty about the internal thought processes of the author of the thread.

  • anne warren

    Surely it’s a question of separating Church and State?

  • South Down Stoop

    So even bigotry is cross community now?

    Surely we can just agree that:

    1) When the Catholic Church make a mess of either homosexuality, the torrid history with vulnerable children or half a dozen other things, the DUP and UUP will be first to throw a punch.

    2) When senior members of UUP/DUP act in a similarly bigoted way, ie Poots, Jim Wells or Maginnis, it’s the nationalist politicians turn.

    So sectarianism scars political discourse as well as good ol’ religious conservatism. Although it bears pointing out that there are many pro-LGBT Protestants and pro-LGBT Catholics who can separate private practice of faith with public policy.

    Unlike Wells, Poots or any of a string of negligent nationalists in NI and the Republic.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘…Nationalist politicians falling over themselves to condemn Ulster Unionist peer Ken Maginnis and DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots as homophobic bigots.’

    Well yes, but it isn’t just nationalist politicians. I mean, it started with Nolan, and spread to the leader-writers of all our major newspapers, ‘liberal unionism,’ the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, and frankly, general ‘respectable’ opinion.

    So while nationalist politicians have indeed joined the chorus, they are only part of a much wider backlash against Maginness’s comments.

    Trying to turn this into a unionist v nationalist discouse, in which the reactionary extremes of unionism are presented as victims, won’t wash, when the vast majority of unionists would agree with the substance of what the nationalist politicians – among many others – are saying.

  • I am normally one of the last persons who would want to defend Sinn Fein but I just dont go along with the suggestion that Sinn Fein politicians are homophobic, sectarian or hypocritical just because they openly criticise Ken Maginnis but choose not to openly condemn the homophobic view of the Catholic Church.

    The are, after all, politicians and entitled to conduct themselves sensitively in relation to an institution which is of importance to many that support them.

  • andnowwhat

    Well said Seymour.

    One does not even need to look to nationalist or republican politicians to see the nonsense of the article, the conflict between Irish clergy is headline news this last few months.

    Unlike the leviticus obsessed, RC’s take their faith with such spoonfools of sault our souls must all have suffered strokes.

    Who could be more ultimately “nationalist” than the Taoiseach and we all remember how ferociously lambasted the church.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s not just SF Seymour…

    Dec (& andnowwhat),

    Killsally has a point when you consider that no northern Irish nationalist party substantially crosses the party line on many social teachings of the Church.

    It took an Westminster Minister to bring in civil partnerships.

    This is a controversy of manners, not policy. Worse, the communal venting against Ken communicates a false commitment to change. Worse still, the case against the Octogenarian peer has been hardened for self aggrandising reasons.

  • DT123

    Surely the point is ,that Ken was giving his personal opinion and all unionism/Protestantism is villified.Yet the RCC has pretty much the same view ,yet this view is not held against their members.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, maybe not “worse still”…

  • Seamus Clarke

    Fergus O’Hare is an ex-Sinn Féin councillor? That says it all anout this mess.

  • ayeYerMa

    Framer and Mick – a lot of nonsense. The NI and Scotland (and ROI) policy on blood donation is more in step with that of the western world than the changed policy in England and Wales. A comparison of policy here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSM_blood_donor_controversy

    Given that NI is more self-sufficient in terms of blood than England and Walses then why increase the risk?

  • sherdy

    Ken hadn’t the wit to learn the lesson from Iris Robinson’s experiences: don’t be suckered on to the Nolan show, again raising his favourite topic.

  • ayeYerMa

    Another point on Ken is that he has been badly misquoted. He was surely discussing gay marriage and the rot that destroying traditional society values can lead to.

    Marriage is between a man and a woman, and in an era where we have an epedemic of social breakdown, teenage pregnancies and single mothers, marriage is an essential cornerstone to rebuilding FAMILIES and in turn society.

    Homosexuals already have civil partnerships and are already treated equally under the law. With the introduction of “hate crimes” homosexuals are in fact also now treated preferentially under the law (as the recent PSNI case highlights). Given that homosexuals already have such an abundance of legal protection, and that homosexuals cannot create families, then why is it necessary for homosexual-rights-lobbyists to try and destroy the cornerstone of the family – marriage?

  • SK

    “Surely the point is ,that Ken was giving his personal opinion and all unionism/Protestantism is villified”

    ____________

    That’s bull.

    People have merely pointed out that homophobia is more prevalent amongst unionist representatives than nationalist ones. Far more prevalent in fact.

  • Dec

    ‘Killsally has a point when you consider that no northern Irish nationalist party substantially crosses the party line on many social teachings of the Church.’

    The difference with Unionism is that there appears to be no shortage of their representatives who are happy to appear on Nolan stating homosexuality is one rung down from bestiality or announcing in the House of commons that it’s worse than child abuse.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    actually a really interesting post – especially the medical info. You should be a journalist that man!!!!

    Good stuff Kilsally.

  • glenda lough

    With the important exception of my own contribution to this discussion I feel that a lot of prejudice is being expressed here. Members of the unionist minority can’t help the way they are, it isn’t a matter of choice; they were born this way. Ok so they hang around in garden centres and meet together in ‘lodges’ named after a species of ‘fruit’ -surely a post-modern ironical reference if ever there was one. But they don’t harm anyone much, tend to live in their own areas and even have their own bars and, indeed, places of employment. Unionism is completely acceptable if it takes place between consenting adults. So live and let live. Ok?

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Did you actually read the post Glenda?

  • Dec – I was going to include reference to other denominations but since most of the churches have the same stance as the RC church I decided to stick to the fact that most of these politicians probably sit in the pews on Sunday whilst not believing Catholic teaching which members are obliged to believe. If you don`t believe the teachings then you are not Catholic and you shouldn`t be taking communion. The point remians that the RC church has been very active with regards opposing gay marriage, sending letters to every Priest, sending petitions to Catholic schools, promoting the Coalition for Marriage petition – yet not a squeak until a unionist politician does the very same, whereby he is a bigot.

  • gaygael

    Homosexuals already have civil partnerships and are already treated equally under the law. With the introduction of “hate crimes” homosexuals are in fact also now treated preferentially under the law (as the recent PSNI case highlights). Given that homosexuals already have such an abundance of legal protection, and that homosexuals cannot create families, then why is it necessary for homosexual-rights-lobbyists to try and destroy the cornerstone of the family – marriage?

    Really ayeyerma? Are you being deliberately ignorant?
    LGB&T people are not treated equally under the law. The difference is on the basis of sexual orientation.
    Here are some very pertinent examples;
    1) My brother and his partner can get married. My partner and I can’t – I am treated differently on the basis of my sexual orientation
    2) My sister and her partner can jointly adopt. My partner and I can’t – I am treated differently on the basis of my sexual orientation
    3) My other brother can give blood. My partner and I can’t. I am treated differently on the basis of my sexual orientation.

    Lets try some more for the truely stupid.
    1) How many kids get kicked out of their family homes for being heterosexual?
    2) How many people get bullied in the workplace/school for being or being perceived as heterosexual?
    3) How many people in opposite sex relationships get assaulted for holding their partners hands?
    4) How many people feel that they have to hide their hetrosexuality in case they are discriminated against?

    In all of these the difference is on the basis of sexual orientation – you are being willfully ignorant

  • SK – The ASA recently ruled that opposing gay marriage IS NOT homophobic
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9329317/Opposing-against-gay-marriage-not-homophobic-says-advertising-watchdog.html

    And the courts have already ruled that quoting scripture as per Sandown Free Presbyterian advert in the News Letter is not homophobic either
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12818480

  • Mick Fealty

    I think what we’ve discovered is that NI is far more socially conservative than publicly acknowledged. That some Westminster MPs have no clue what the UK government s up to.

    And that if you hit unionist really hard for backing something you tacitly support someone on the Internet will come to precisely the same conclusion you have yourself.

  • Dec

    Killysally

    It’s one thing to oppose gay marriage (whether you agree or not), it’s another to compare it to bestiality on live television .Personally I find the Catholic church’s views on homosexuality only slightly less ridiculous than their belief in an onmipotent sky fairy.

  • Dec

    I meant Kilsally, of course.

  • Mick Fealty

    Kilsally,

    Good to see you post again. One tip, twitter now lets you embed tweets in word press, which might aid reading the post above.

    Some good material in there…

  • SK

    Okey dokey, Kilsally, many thanks for the non-sequitur.

    The fact remains, however, that both unionist parties have form when it comes to this kind of homophobia, as well you know.

    Iris Robinson reckoned they were “viler than paedophiles”.

    Ken Magginess is more moderate, believing them to be on a moral par with sheep worriers. I suppose that’s progress.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘…octogenarian peer…’

    According to Wikipedia (an august source), the bould Ken is a mere 74 years young.

    And still looks like he’d kick the arse of a man half his age.

  • socaire

    Gaygael, your long post should tell you something – you are not the same because you are and want to be different. The marriage club is for heterosexuals – if you can’t/won’t conform then find another club. I can’t accuse the Orange Order of exclusivity if I am not or don’t want to be a Protestant. And why should the minority tail wag the majority dog?

  • Mick Fealty

    You have to add on three years for each he spends in the Lords.. 😉

  • dwatch

    1) “My brother and his partner can get married. My partner and I can’t – I am treated differently on the basis of my sexual orientation”

    Gaygael, The constitutions of the main Churches here ( Catholic & Protestant ) do not approve of Gay Marriage according to their canon Church laws,and to my knowledge have never approved since their formation.

    So why would you want to force your Church to change these old canon laws to suit you and your partner? In fact if as you say, or believe that your Church is treating you and your partner with such discrimination why are you a parishioner to begin with?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Then he’s a nonagenarian!

  • andnowwhat

    Dec (& andnowwhat),

    “Killsally has a point when you consider that no northern Irish nationalist party substantially crosses the party line on many social teachings of the Church.”

    Mick; And nor do they pronounce on public policy based on their Sunday hobby and rightly so. Those saying that Ken likened homosexuality to beastiality or obviously wrong but he did say that he is not comfortable with them being around the young (check the audioboo) which is something that I find worse than the other thing.

  • Mick Fealty

    Then I’m mistaken twice Billy. At least!

  • galloglaigh

    Is this not a really good case of ‘what about themins’ syndrome?

  • andnowwhat

    Socaire.

    Right enough, I’m sure Gaygael loved getting bullied at school and work.

    Wise up

  • socaire

    Mebbe he was the daddy?

  • socaire

    I can honestly that I never witnessed anybody being harassed at school/work because of gender challenged behaviour. I never saw such a rush of neo-liberals to defend the indefensible.

  • andnowwhat

    Well, I’ve seen people get a hard time at my school including one who wasn’t even gay but “seemed” it.

    That’s a W Belfast secondary, 1974-79

  • socaire

    School agers pick on people for many reasons red hair, BO etc The daoine aeracha should get over it. By the way one of my best friends was (is) gay and we fell out over politics not orientation.

  • gaygael

    @dwatch – i’m not taking about the church, rather the state which professes to treat all citizens equally. And it doesn’t. I am a secular atheist. In addition, there are faith groups that wish to celebrate marriage for same-sex couples , such as the quakers, liberal and reform judaism to name a few – why should any other faith group be able to dictate what they can and can’t do? Catholicism does not recognise divorce. the stae does and this is the nub

    @andnowwhat – i was never bullied at school or work on the basis of percieved or actual orientation luckily – but many lgb ond non lgb kids get homophobically bullied

    @socaire – i am not gender challenged and if you want me to be your daddy .. i’m sorry but i have a beautfiful man that i’m very happy with

  • andnowwhat

    Sorry my mistake Gaygael and glad to hear it didn’t happen to you at school.

    Nice dodge by Poots in Stormont today on gay adoption.

  • dwatch

    @dwatch – i’m not taking about the church, rather the state which professes to treat all citizens equally.

    Gaygael, I thought the issue on debate was about religious Gay marriage as the state at present does not control religious marriage, nor does it have any authority over enforcing any Church to hold a Gay Marriage.

    Furthermore the state already approves of civil marriage.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Dwatch – the debate is for same sex civil marriage. At present, there are only civil partnerships.

    On the wider issue, I can understand why those of a religious disposition see this as an attack on their values etc. This isn’t about rights. Gay couples will not be given any additional right due to this change. It’s all about normalization. I can understand why people who bemoan the collapse of the traditional family would resent this – and surely the next logical step is to use equality legislation to force churches to allow same-sex marriages. I can certainly see how the argument can be made. Churches will be performing a public service – and doing so discriminately – when it is legally possible for a church to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony. At the moment, that’s not possible so churches are not discriminating.

    I look forward to the cry that I’m scaremongering.

    However, I do support the bill. I think the ultimate result will be that there will have to be a separate mechanism for couples having a religious wedding to have a civil marriage also. The separation of church and state. It’s the only sustainable means of allowing churches to continue to discriminate as the religious marriage would have no meaning in law.

  • Banjaxed

    So Slugger is now satisfied to host a whataboutery rant as topic for discussion. The downward spiral beckons…

  • Mister Joe

    Some of the argument is a bit silly. We are going to force clergymen/women? to marry same sex couples? What will we do if they refuse? Send them to jail? Fine them? What if they refuse to pay a fine? Get real folks. It ain’t going to happen. Civil marriage ok; religious marriage will depend on the various churches.

  • Alias

    I don’t suspect that there is a sectarian motive to the perfunctory condemnation that is hurled at whomever falls foul of liberal doctrines. It is characterised by venom and hate on the part of the offended ‘liberal’ which might lead it to be mistaken for covert sectarian but that’s just the modern liberal for you – they’re a nasty bunch. I don’t think we need parity of contempt either.

    You do, however, have a political situation where one tribe claims that its civil rights were badly violated by the other tribe and that this violation led to a vicious civil conflict. True, civil ‘rights’ are entirely at the discretion of the civil authority so it would seem to be an odd matter to launch a sectarian murder campaign and it is this uncertain justification that leads one tribe to hype up the importance of ‘rights’ and to pour scorn of those who are seen to violate them or otherwise diminish their claimed importance.

    It helps the justification, of course, if it is the tribe that is alleged to have violated the imagined civil rights which is now claimed (by association) to have a disregard for other classes of rights (real and imagined). It could be claimed that is sectarian but I just see it as political. It’s essentially a propaganda value where one tribe depicts the other tribe as habitual violators/disregarders of rights but it would probably be sectarian if the condemning tribe gained a sense of smug satisfaction from seeing itself as superior to condemned tribe.

    But then again, there is only so many ways to split a hair…

  • andnowwhat – people are of course free to do whatever they wish – however if you have faith it is going to inform all parts of you life. This is particulalry true in this instance and goes back to the article referring to Richard Dawkins Catholic Honesty comments in that Catholics don`t actually seem to believe Catholic teachings yet will not actually say so publicly . Catholics are actually obliged at the very least to carefully and thoughtfully consider Catholic Church teachings when forming an opinion

  • Similar ill-informed remarks from the “African Caribbean Community Support Organisation in Northern Ireland described his remarks as “disgusting”.” and ” his community were “outraged” that someone at such a senior level in government was expressing such “backdated” views.” here :- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18502754

    The UK, NI, Ireland, US, Canada blood donation services all list sex in Africa as high risk.

  • Mister Joe – Metric Martyrs were convicted and fined for selling goods in imperial measurements, Christian B&B`s convicted an fined on grounds of discrimination for not providing double room, Black Christian foster parents who had fostered dozens children deemed unfit to foster..so yes that is the fear and is outlined very well over here:- http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2012/06/18/it-isnt-just-that-cameron-is-wrong-when-he-claims-we-wont-be-forced-to-conduct-gay-marriages-in-church-thats-just-what-hes-telling-his-constituen/

    “March 2012 ruling from the ECHR, in a suit by a French lesbian couple, Valérie Gas and Nathalie Dubois, that although there is no human rights obligation for any country to legislate for gay marriage, once a state has passed a gay marriage law it must be applied to all citizens equally including those seeking religious marriage.

    In the words of the judges in Strasbourg, “The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.” However, “where national legislation recognises registered partnerships between same sex, member states should aim to ensure that their legal status and their rights and obligations are equivalent to those of heterosexual couples in a similar situation.” According to Neil Addison, a specialist in discrimination law, that means that “Once same-sex marriage has been legalised then the partners to such a marriage are entitled to exactly the same rights as partners in a heterosexual marriage… if same-sex marriage is legalised in the UK it will be illegal for the Government to prevent such marriages happening in religious premises.””

  • andnowwhat

    Kilsally

    I can only speak from my own experience but those Catholics (the elderly excepted, of course) who take the bible seriously and literally are generally considered nut jobs in our community. I dare say that were it not given value to us by historical events over the centuries, it would be truly on it’s knees by now. A search through the 2 main Southern political sites will indicate the low tariff the church has down there.

    I have belief(s) but that is no one else’s business nor have a right to impose them on anyone else and I most certainly have no right (were I a politician) to form public policy on my faith

  • dwatch

    “In addition, there are faith groups that wish to celebrate marriage for same-sex couples , such as the quakers, liberal and reform judaism to name a few’

    Gaygael, if this be so then gays who wish to be married in a religious ceremony should join the Quakers or other so called faith groups you mention who approve of Gay marriage without trying to en force mainline Christian Churches to change their common law constitution?

  • andnowwhat

    Probably the easiest and best thing to do is to rip the OT out of all bibles.

    There’s nothing worthwhile in it anyway

  • gaygael

    @dwath and @kisally – you are completely wrong here. The opponents of equality are hiding bhind this mantra that in the future, LGB couples will use Human Rights law or other equality legislation to force churches to marry them. This is not the case. It is ridiculous to interpret this as such and cowardly to do so. If this was the case, my divorced cousin could force a catholic church to marry him (and they don’t recognise his divorce) – HE CAN’T
    To suggest otherwise is disingenuos at best and willfully ignorant at worst.

    here is a link to neil addision http://religionlaw.blogspot.co.uk/
    Says it all really

    I take expection to the use of ‘so called faith groups’ as well but that’s another discussion but to say of course the flavour or faith that you follow is the best one! Just like the favour of faith that a Hindu follows is the best, and muhammed’s the muslim and zachariah’s the jew etc

    I do not want religious marriage (personally) I want equal civil marriage that my non-religious siblings have the option of – Some LGB people want religious marraige and if their faith groups approve they will get it.
    We are on the winning tide of history and you ain’t gona stop us!

  • SK

    Ken’s latest words of wisdom, from the Bel Tel:

    “What people do in their own homes behind closed doors is one thing but when I see all these pinkies out demonstrating on the streets I find it offensive”

    Jesus wept.

  • separatesix

    There are plenty of homophobic nationalists, it’s just that their politicians woulden’t repeat such views to the media. I.e Why not do an opinion poll of 18-25 year old heterosexual Catholic males in NI. I’m sure they would express equally negative attitudes to homosexuality as Ken Maginnis.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Does the Catholic Church oppose gay blood transfusions outright … I believe not.

    Does medical opinion oppose gay blood transfusions outright… I believe not

    Does Edmund Poots oppose gay blood transfusions outright … I believe so.

  • dwatch

    @dwath and @kisally – you are completely wrong here.

    Gaygael, how can I be wrong when all I did in my last post was :ASK A QUESTION??????????

  • dwatch

    ” We are on the winning tide of history and you ain’t gona stop us!”

    All I can see you winning is attention seeking and a load of controversial publicity.

  • gaygael

    Gaygael, if this be so then gays who wish to be married in a religious ceremony should join the Quakers or other so called faith groups you mention who approve of Gay marriage without trying to en force mainline Christian Churches to change their common law constitution?

    @dwatch – as previously stated nobody is trying to force faith groups to conduct same-sex religious marriages unless they chose too – your arguement is a non-sequiter

    current civil partnership legislation also precludes any hymns or elements of religion – equal marriage will resolve this

    And like any minority group, as evidenced by the Equality commission attitudinal surveys – as we become more visible, there is a backlash
    ‘first you ignore us, then you ridicule us, then you fight us, then we win’ gandhi

  • dwatch

    ‘first you ignore us, then you ridicule us, then you fight us, then we win’ gandhi”

    First time I knew Gandi was a supporter of Gay Marriage.

  • Lionel Hutz

    If same-sex marriages are legalized, it is only a matter of time before churches are required to allow marriages to occur in their churches. That would be discriminatory – pure and simple.

    The divorce argument is neither here nor there. It doesn’t discriminate against any peoplewith a protected characteristic.

  • gaygael

    @lioneil
    the oppoenents of equality trotted out all the same arguements against civil partnership including churchs being forced to conduct them – it hasn’t happened and won’t happen when we achieve marriage equality

  • Lionel Hutz

    I’m not an opponent of equality. I support civil partnership and I support civil marriage. I do however support churches right to thief beliefs. I’m simply stating that churches being required to facilitate same-sex marriages is inevitable with the passing of this legislation. I say facilitate because I don’t think I a priest or vicar or what have you will have to perform a religious rite- that afterall has no legal or civil affect. But the signing of the register will have to open for all and the building and space and time will have to be open for all. It’s inevitable. To do otherwise would be to discriminate.

    The only way around it would be to separate a religious wedding from the civil marriage meaning that married would have their religious marriage and then go at some other point to city hall or whatever to sign a civil marriage.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Gaygawl,

    You said:

    “the oppoenents of equality trotted out all the same arguements against civil partnership including churchs being forced to conduct them – it hasn’t happened and won’t happen when we achieve marriage equality”

    But you also said

    “I do not want religious marriage (personally) I want equal civil marriage that my non-religious siblings have the option of – Some LGB people want religious marraige and if their faith groups approve they will get it.
    We are on the winning tide of history and you ain’t gona stop us!”

    Square that circle!!! I mean where is that tide taking you. Doesn’t bother me but atleast be honest about it

  • ayeYerMa

    Gaygael, how can there be “equality” if you care comparing apples and oranges? Genetically a heterosexual couple can bring children into the world and hence marriage copperfastens the stability of their relationship in order to facilitate an optimum family environment – this is why marriage is considered special. Since homosexuals cannot create life in any natural way, what is all the fuss about, especially when homosexuals are already considered equal (if not more privileged due to “hate crimes”) under law with access to civil partnerships?

  • ayeYerMa

    Back to the point being made originally by Kilsally, and in the manner in which Unionists are oddly being singled out, I think this comes down to differing political culture with regards to honesty.

    A traditional Ulster Unionist would tell things as they are and not give a toss about political correctness nor what some 3rd party thinks. Nationalism has always cared more about playing the PR game to an easily fooled media, even if that involves telling quite a few porkies and not quite saying what they are thinking it is worth it as long as a bit of mud is thrown at Unionists.

    The foundation of this whole “peace process” has been coined as being based on “constructive ambiguity” and in the short-term favoured those who were prepared to bend the truth to put PR first. In my naivity a few years ago I would have said that it was in the political interests of Unionists to place such dishonest Unionists into power (and those such as Mike Nesbitt, Trevor Ringland and the entire Alliance party are dishonest Unionists). However, now that the professional dishonest peace-processing industry is winding down, it is now my opinion that honesty will eventually prevail in the long-term as all the lies built up over the years by the dishonest parties can only come back to bite them.

  • dwatch

    Any Gay couple who wishe to be married by a religious church ceremony can do so in any of these faiths listed below without needing the UK government to pass legislation enforcing other Churches (who may disapprove of Gay marriage) to do so. The Anglican Church is therefore correct to challenge David Cameron and Westminster regards his approval to legislate Gay marriage.
    http://www.google.co.uk/url?q=http://www.channel4.com/news/church-of-england-warning-over-gay-marriage&sa=U&ei=abviT5v1PMik8gO9qZnYDg&ved=0CBQQFjAB&usg=AFQjCNHZKiP1GVvh6wfNfgCBN2ewXBuV2g

    Faiths Allowing Same-Sex Marriages.

    United Church of Christ: The United Church of Christ was the first mainstream Christian church to fully support same-sex marriage and perform marriage ceremonies.

    Jewish: Reform Judaism embraces same-sex marriage and rabbis can perform ceremonies.

    Quaker: The willingness to perform gay marriages varies by meetinghouse, but there is some acceptance and performance of same-sex marriages among Quakers.

    Metropolitan Community Church

    Unitarian Universalist
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=which+churches+accept+gay+marriage&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&aq=0q&aqi=g-q1&aql=&oq=Churches+which+approve+of+Gay+Marriage+

  • FuturePhysicist – Think you will find your comments are incorrect. Poots is simply keeping the existing system which is used by an awful lot of countries around the world. The relaxation of the `ban` on the mainland will actually be of little use to anyone as you have to be celibate for 12month before giving blood if you are a gay male. The US bars people who lived in the UK for more than 6months in the 1980`s from giving blood (was that mad cow disease time?)

  • andnowwhat

    Ayeyerma

    Are you saying that couples who cannot conceive should be forced to hand back their marriage certificate?

  • I can’t understand for Balance why Thailand the Philippines and all of south East Asia for that matter, is not on Mr Poots list.

    But it is good to know that a bible-carrying bible-believing born again married Missionary couple doing the lords work in Africa cannot give blood here if home on furlough, If the have made love in Africa, thanks to Mr Poots.

    They might think it strange but I am sure the will be forgiving and understanding when they learn that it is a fellow Christian who will not let them do so.

    But then again is not giving blood for transfusion an ‘unnatural’ activity. We have no scripture for it.

    Forget the rhetoric, I believe the truth of the matter is the health minister just has no faith in the screening done by the blood transfusion service, should the rest of us?

  • Mick Fealty

    Asia may be covered by this: “Anyone of any race who has been sexually active in parts of the world where AIDS/HIV is very common. This includes countries in Africa.”