Thursday 25 October 2012

Sitting on the fence

My MP has just replied to the letter I wrote recently.

Here is what he has to say:

Thank you for contacting me about the consultation on equal civil marriage. I understand that this is a contentious issue and one that you feel very strongly about and I have read your concerns carefully. Civil marriage is an issue that, on reflection, I personally would have preferred not to have been raised at this time.

That said, the Conservative Party are not proposing to make anybody do anything that goes against their conscience. Religious organisations will not be forced to host same-sex marriages. Indeed, current proposals would make it illegal for any religious organisation to conduct a same-sex marriage in a place of worship.

The Prime Minister, as you are aware supports equal civil marriage, on the grounds of the importance of commitment in strengthening our society. But the Government has rightly consulted widely on this issue before making any changes to the current position.

The consultation included a question asking people whether they agree or disagree with enabling all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony.

I will be reviewing the outcome of the consultation closely before coming to my own conclusions on this issue although I have to say that I am much reassured by the Government’s insistence that this proposal will have no effect on religious marriage.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

With best wishes,


It seems to me that he is sitting on the fence.

It also seems to me that he failed to address most of the issues raised in my letter.

I will write again - and keep you in the picture.

I will also encourage others to write: a heavy mailbag may pull him off the fence in the desired direction...


Unknown said...

Those in a position to do should also seek a meeting with their MP.

Ben Trovato said...

Yes, very important, and I may do that too. However, I do like the written record.

Recusant said...

He would have preferred it not to have been raised at this time, I see. Preferably after he's retired so it would be someone else's problem, perhaps? Can open, worms everywhere methinks.

Part-time Pilgrim said...

My MP did not sit on the fence at all. This is what I emailed in the summer:

"I have been meaning to contact you for some time to express my deep concern about Government proposals to 'redefine' marriage.

Marriage in this country has been understood to mean the lifelong commitment of one man with one woman, a conjugal relationship for mutual support and the procreation and raising of children. This understanding of the purposes of marriage has been beneficial in providing a stable context for family life. A misguided attempt at redefinition means that marriage may now be understood to be primarily a committed sexual relationship with children being relegated to an optional extra 'accessory'. As such it will be an attack on family life and therefore profoundly harmful.

Those who propose such a change claim that it is required for equality and to protect those who wish to enter into a committed same-sex relationship. Neither of these claims holds water. The legal rights of those who contract same-sex civil partnerships are identical to those who are married. If all are to be treated the same as regards committed sexual relationships why is there not proposal to extend marriage to include polygamy?

I hope you will be able to re-assure me that you at least, will not be supporting any legislation that proposes to change the current definition of marriage."

The response:

"Thank you for your email.

I very much agree with you about this issue. If there is a vote on this in Parliament I will be voting against gay marriage which I hope reassures you of my views.

If you ever feel that I can be of any help to you with anything at all please let me know."