Monday, 14 January 2013

UPDATED Same sex marriage - Coalition for Marriage activists inspire people to contact their MPs

Regarding the story in thisiscornwall on the opponents of gay marriage taking to streets of Cornwall, I was moved to agree with the Coalition for Marriage (C4M - I'll not be linking to them) national campaign director, Colin Hart, regarding letting voters have their say. 

There is a clear consensus amongst the voters of this country that same sex marriage is not only okay, but something we as a nation should aspire to. He asks us to contact our MPs and let them know how we feel on the matter.

Brilliant idea!

Contact your MP and let him/her know both how you feel about same sex marriage, and if they are prepared to take a definitive stance in favour of it.

I did...


Andrew George MP
St Ives

Monday 14 January 2013
Tris Stock
TR** ***

Dear Andrew George,

I have just been reading the following item on same sex marriage on thisiscornwall  and was moved by the words of C4M's national campaign director, Colin Hart, who said:

"Our local activists are fired up to make sure voters have their say. We have identified these three marginal Cornish seats as key, together with 62 others nationwide. MPs can expect local voters to be pressing them on where they stand on the redefinition of marriage."

I couldn't agree more.

Equality comes before division in a fair and just society, so allowing all people - regardless of their sexuality or gender - to enjoy the rights currently afforded to only one demographic, is the only reasonable course of action. And the majority of the British public agrees:

Three in five voters back gay marriage - The Guardian
Gay marriage: public say Church is wrong - The Independent 
Britons vote in favour of same-sex marriage - The Daily Mail

Will you join Mr Hart and myself in publicly supporting people's representation on same-sex marriage? Perhaps you could also take a clear stand in favour of same sex marriage?

Yours sincerely,

Mr Tris Stock


I have a reply from Andrew George MP:


Thank you for your recent email in support of equal marriage. I agree with you.

I am aware that this is an issue which provokes strong opinions and passionate debate.  I also acknowledge that there is an established view held by some people of what are perceived to be 'conventional' (and acceptable) and 'unconventional' (and unacceptable) relationships.  Personally, irrespective of my own nature, I am always pleased to celebrate both the public declaration of love and the commitment to an enduring fidelity between two adults, irrespective of who they are or what their nature is.  I do not take the view that there are first order relationships and second; nor that there are superior and inferior marriages.

I will look carefully at the outcome of the Government's consultation into their proposals and monitor the debate carefully.

On balance, I believe that the Government is right, providing it can reassure those that there will be no compulsion for any church to be mandated to permit or to undertake on their premises a marriage ceremony to which they would wish not to give their consent/blessing.  I note that the Church of England claim that any such exemption "could be challenged" by some litigious and theologically campaigning homosexual under the European Convention on Human Rights.  However, I am not convinced that this is likely; especially given the Convention's commitment to respect/defend religious freedom.  The Church has often refused to marry divorcees and a local church can deny marriage to those with no parochial connection.  I am not aware of any church being taken to a European Court to have those practices challenged.  Therefore I would not expect this to be either.

I hope you will find this response helpful and that it clarifies for you my own approach to this matter.

For your information, I have received many letters/emails from constituents who vehemently disagree with my/the Government’s view on this matter.

Once again, thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to contact me on this matter.  If you have any further questions or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact me.

With good wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew George MP  

File Ref: 12/13.1/ag/jr

Andrew George MP
18 Mennaye Road
Cornwall    TR18 4NG
Tel: 01736 360020

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