Media summary – 13th March

Includes reports on C of I conference

Archbishop upbeat on same-sex forum
Irish Times –  Archbishop Alan Harper said its two-day General Synod conference on human sexuality at the weekend could have been “a bear pit”, but that “just didn’t happen”.

Respect key in C of I gay ‘marriage’ debate
Belfast Telegraph – The weekend conference by the Church of Ireland to discuss human sexuality was a timely event, given the growing awareness of same-sex relationships and the national lobby in favour of gay ‘marriages’.

Legalising gay marriage unjustified, say archbishops
Guardian – Archbishop of York and two Catholic archbishops say that move would be a dangerous and unjustified change in the law. Some of the most senior bishops in the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Britain have united to warn that legalising gay marriage would be a dangerous and unjustified change in the law.The archbishop of York, John Sentamu, said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I happen to believe that to change the law in the end would be forcing an unjustified change.”

Tory voters oppose gay marriage says survey
Independent – David Cameron’s call for the introduction of same-sex marriage is out of step with Tory voters, according to a new poll.

Half of the party’s supporters are against the move in principle, with just 35% in favour.

However, research by ICM for The Sunday Telegraph found the wider public backed it by a margin of 45% to 36%.

Tensions have been rising over the controversial issue since Britain’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, branded the proposal a “grotesque subversion of a universally acknowledged human right”.

The Government will launch a consultation next week, with the Prime Minister signalling he wants new laws in place by the 2015 general election.

According to the poll, nearly four-fifths of people think it is wrong to fast-track legislation, while only 14% say it is right to do so. Among Tory supporters, the number against prioritising the change rose to 88%.

Catholic gay marriage anger grows
BBC – Roman Catholics in England and Wales are being urged to stop same-sex marriages in a letter from senior archbishops being read in 2,500 parish churches.


Law on same-sex marriages mean churches ‘will be forced to conduct gay weddings’
Daily Mail – A law to allow same-sex marriages will force Christians to conduct gay weddings in church, it was claimed. An analysis of equality law by Church of England lawyers suggests assurances from David Cameron and his ministers that no church will be compelled to provide such ceremonies are worthless. Lawyers for the Church of England argue that the Equality Act will force the Church to conduct gay weddings

UK Equality Minister: Church’s opposition to same sex marriage is ‘Dark Age’ homophobia  
Pink News – Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat minister for equality has said that the language the Church of England and the Catholic Church has used is homophobic and that the views that the leaders are expressing belong in the Dark Ages.

Mrs Featherstone told the Sunday Times: “This is about love and commitment and things that are good for society and families; it is a matter of celebrating love and commitment.” She added :“I have heard homophobic language used in connection with this very loving and progressive step.” She said the language use “belongs in the Dark Ages”.