Hilary White

‘Gay marriage’ will destroy Tory party’s chances in 2015 election: poll

Hilary White
Hilary White
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LONDON February 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A ComRes poll released this weekend has shown that Prime Minister David Cameron’s insistence on pushing through same-sex “marriage” will almost certainly cost him the government at the 2015 election. The poll, commissioned by the group Campaign for Marriage, has indicated just how damaging the issue has been for the Conservative party. It found that 20 per cent of Conservative Party voters agreed with the statement, “I would have considered voting Conservative at the next election but will definitely not if the Coalition Government legalises same-sex marriage”. 
 
The numbers, while suggesting that a small majority of party voters support same-sex “marriage,” also show that the party has lost enough support that it will be impossible to win the next general election. 
 
The marriage bill, described by the government as a “small change” and by homosexualist activists as “sweeping,” was introduced Friday the 25th with a first vote in the House of Commons set for tomorrow. 
 
The Daily Telegraph reported this weekend that well over half of Cameron’s own MPs will vote against him in tomorrow’s vote. About 200 Tory MPs, including six of the 12 party whips and at least four Cabinet ministers will oppose the bill, leaving about 120 planning to support it. This will be nowhere near enough to defeat the bill, however, but is an indication of how deep the disillusionment with Cameron’s leadership has grown within the party.
 
The Telegraph reports that among the Cabinet ministers who will either vote no or abstain are Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, Welsh Secretary David Jones, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, and Iain Duncan Smith, former party leader and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
 
Cameron’s defenders in the government have dismissed the ComRes findings, saying that the greater danger to the party would be to ignore the societal trends on homosexuality. This seems to support the opinion of the 62 per cent of voters of all political stripes who told ComRes they believed Cameron’s motivation for supporting gay ‘marriage’ has more to do with making the party seem “trendy and modern” than with “equality.”
 
Opposition to the plan to re-write the marriage law continues to grow within the party. A letter delivered to Number 10 this week was signed by 20 senior party chiefs who accused Cameron of “betraying” the party faithful. They said the changes are coming “without adequate debate or consultation” and have resulted in ordinary members leaving the party “in droves”. Cameron has allowed less than ten days for the bill to be debated after it was introduced last Friday. 
 
The 20 leaders of local Conservative Party Associations spoke to the Daily Telegraph outside the Prime Minister’s offices today, calling him “wooden-headed”. They said they had warned him that “long-held religious and personal freedoms and the right to free speech” will be “adversely affected”, as well as of “significant damage” to the party for the next general election. They said that ordinary party members had been left “angry, disillusioned and deeply puzzled” at the proposals that were brought out without warning and were not found in the party manifesto at the last election or in the government’s plans announced in the Queen’s Speech. 
 
Critics of Cameron’s leadership have long held that he threw away the party’s chances of a majority government in the last election over his support for Britain’s continued relationship with the European Union and refusal to allow a national referendum. But one of the 20 party association chiefs said that the grassroots are more angry with Cameron over the marriage re-write than they were over Europe. 

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The Telegraph quoted Ed Costelloe, who last month resigned as chairman of Somerton & Frome Conservative Association over the issue. Costelloe said, “We are also shocked by the way in which it being it is being pushed through with so little regard for proper scrutiny. The Government seems intent on restricting debate at every stage both in the public consultation and now in the Parliamentary process.”
 
Another local leader said that party members are increasingly concerned that the bill will talk about equality but in practice will merely place the desires of a small minority above the civil rights of others. Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of think tank the Bow Group, warned of teachers, civil servants and marriage councillors being sacked for their views. 
 
Meanwhile, Cameron’s loyalists are lining up to support the plans. Foreign Secretary William Hague said he supports the measure as long as there are protections for objectors. “I think as times have changed, civil partnerships came in, within a remarkably short period of time those things become accepted,” he told the BBC. “I think the same will happen with this.”
 
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, described by the Telegraph as “a close ally” of Cameron, said, “Religious freedom is not just for heterosexuals – we should not deny anyone the right to make a lifelong commitment to another person in front of God if that is what they believe and that is what their church allows.” 
 
Education Secretary Michael Gove on Friday attacked critics of the bill who have warned that teachers will be compelled to promote homosexuality as normal in the classroom or face the sack. Gove wrote in the Daily Mail, “I have complete confidence in the protection our law offers freedom of conscience and speech. There is a significant difference between expecting a teacher to explain something and requiring them to promote it.”
 
The Com-Res poll found that one in six teachers were preparing themselves to “reluctantly” teach about homosexual “marriage”. The Coalition for Marriage warned that as many as 40,000 teachers could face dismissal if they refuse to violate their conscience on the issue. 
 
Gove’s comments contradict information coming out of his office last week however. An unnamed source in Gove’s department admitted to the Daily Telegraph that, under the European Union agreements, the British government has little power to protect citizens from litigation by homosexual activists. 
 
“A senior source” said the UK is not “in control” of its own legal situation and that the ultimate decision will “inevitably” be made by the European Court of Human Rights.
 
The source said, “We have had legal advice; the problem is that there is this inherent uncertainty about such matters.”
 
“These are all under the control of nine guys in Strasbourg, it is just fundamentally uncertain because Britain isn’t in control of this.”
 
Backbench Tory MP David Burrowes told the Telegraph this weekend, “This policy is dangerous and wrong. There are those who think that voters who are upset about this policy will have forgotten this by the next election. That’s a dangerous game to be playing.” 
 
Tim Loughton, the former Children’s Minister, said that with this issue, the government “seems to want to pick a fight with its own supporters.” 
 
“This is a wake-up call to just how damaging an issue gay marriage is for the Conservative Party. Many stalwart Conservative supporters are feeling pretty bruised by this issue which came out of nowhere,” he told the Telegraph. 

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Louisiana judge orders state to recognize gay ‘marriage’

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By Kirsten Anderson

A Louisiana judge on Monday ordered state officials to recognize the out-of-state “marriage” of a lesbian couple and allow one of the women to legally adopt her partner’s child.

Angie Costanza and Christy Brewer were “married” in 2008 in California, but Louisiana’s marriage protection amendment, passed by 78 percent of voters in 2004, prevented the state from recognizing the couple’s union.  The pair sued in 2013 to overturn the law, in part because Costanza wanted to be listed as a parent on Brewer’s son’s birth certificate. 

Initially, Judge Edward Broussard dismissed the case without a hearing, but the couple appealed.  On Monday, Judge Edward Rubin took their side, ruling that Louisiana’s marriage protection law is unconstitutional in three ways:  According to Rubin, the ban on same-sex “marriage” violates the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, as well as the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th amendment.

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Rubin’s decision comes just weeks after U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman declared Louisiana’s marriage protection law constitutional – the first federal judge to decide in favor of a same-sex “marriage” ban since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year. “There is simply no fundamental right, historically or traditionally, to same-sex marriage,” Feldman wrote in his decision. 

However, because this case is being tried in the state courts, Rubin’s decision will take precedence over Feldman’s, pending appeal.

The state plans to appeal Rubin’s ruling to the state Supreme Court.  Meanwhile, the federal case is also moving forward.  Ultimately, it is expected that the question of whether statewide bans on same-sex “marriage” are constitutional will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court sometime in 2015. 

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New archbishops in Chicago and Madrid: Ratzingerians out, ‘inclusiveness’ in

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By Hilary White
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Chicago's Archbishop-elect, Blase Cupich

Pope Francis announced Saturday that he is appointing as archbishop of Chicago a prelate best known in pro-life circles as the man who ordered his priests in 2011 not to participate in local 40 Days for Life prayer vigils. The media and Church watchers describe him as “progressive,” “inclusive,” and “left-of-center.”

The appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich, current head of the Spokane diocese in Washington, to America’s third most prominent see – an appointment which Vatican watchers predicted would signal the pope’s priorities for the direction of the U.S. Church – has been widely praised by liberal Catholics and opponents of Church teaching but met with concern by many Catholic activists.

The archbishop-elect gave a sense of his approach to the U.S. “culture war” in an interview Sunday with Chicago’s CBS affiliate, in which he suggested he would be open to giving Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians and a person wearing a button in favour of same-sex “marriage.”

“As long as they’re in church, are willing to hear the word of God, be open to Christ’s call of conversion for each one of us, then I think that that’s sufficient for me,” he said. “We cannot politicize the Communion rail and I just don’t think that that works in the long run.”

Cupich will replace the ailing Cardinal Francis George, known in the US as a “Ratzingerian” for his strong defense of Catholic orthodoxy, particularly on issues of sexual morality, but who is suffering from cancer and is overdue for retirement at age 77. The archbishop of Chicago is also normally granted the “red hat” and made a cardinal, which would make Cupich eligible to vote in upcoming papal conclaves. Cupich is scheduled to be installed in Chicago November 18.

The Chicago appointment mirrors that of another outside the US in recent weeks. Rome announced August 28 that Carlos Osoro Sierra, 69, will be installed as the new archbishop of Madrid, Spain’s capital city and largest archdiocese. But the story in Madrid has less to do with the new appointee and more to do with the would-be appointee who was demoted.

Until just before the appointment, most Vatican watchers expected the prominent post to be given to 68-year-old Vatican Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, dubbed the “little Ratzinger” for his orthodoxy in line with Pope Benedict XVI.  When LifeSiteNews interviewed Cardinal Cañizares in 2009 at the time of his appointment as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, he noted that denying communion to pro-abortion politicians was a charitable act.

Leaving his Vatican post, he was considered a natural for the Madrid spot. But instead it went to the archbishop of Valencia, and Cañizares is to fill that vacancy instead.

The former archbishop of Valencia is known for his strong “liberal” leanings and he will be replacing Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, 78, who, like Cañizares, is also known for following the lead of the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

El Pais wrote of the new appointee that Catholics of the Madrid archdiocese, accustomed to the “hieratic” Varela, will be seeing “an entirely different model.”

“Shortly after the announcement of his appointment, the most repeated words to define his figure were ‘dialogue’ and ‘moderation.’”

“During the 12 years he has been the head of the Catholic Church [in Madrid], Rouco Varela has too often mixed faith and politics, with an overdose of intransigence. Defending the (exclusively traditional) family and attacking laws that recognize the right of women to abortion are the main workhorses.”

Catholic News Agency’s Vatican-watcher, Andrea Gagliarducci, wrote that the appointment marks a “new course for Spain’s bishops.” He is described in the Spanish press as “affable,” “friendly,” and “extremely gregarious.” 

As for Cupich, David Gibson of Religion News Service described him as “a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church’s progressive wing.”

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Vatican watcher Rocco Palmo, author of the “Whispers in the Loggia” blog, wrote that the appointment is “the most shocking major move the American hierarchy has seen in the last decade and a half.” Another Vatican veteran, John Allen Jr., wrote for the US Catholic online magazine Crux that Cupich so closely mirrors Pope Francis’ theology and style that he could be called the “American Pope Francis in Chicago.”

On his blog, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, known for his icy relations with the pro-life movement, shared his excitement over the “new breeze” brought by Cupich’s appointment. The bishop noted that Cupich “admires deeply the ecclesiology and vision” of leftist prelates such as former San Francisco Archbishop John Quinn and former Galveston-Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza.

The news of Cupich’s appointment was met with praise in the mainstream press. According to The New York Times Francis has “set the tone” for US appointments by “replacing a combative conservative with a prelate whose pastoral approach to upholding church doctrine is more in keeping with the pope’s inclusive tone.”

It has also been praised by dissident Catholic groups such as the homosexual activist group New Ways Ministries. Last year, the group issued a roundup of evaluations of the various leading members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who were set to elect a new president. New Ways praised Cupich for his intervention in the 2012 debate leading up to a referendum on “gay marriage” in Washington State. Cupich’s only intervention was a pastoral letter in which he asked voters to uphold traditional marriage, but also called for a “more civil and honest conversation about Catholic positions on equality.”

“I also want to be very clear that in stating our position, the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility toward homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity,” Cupich wrote.

Cupich stood out from his fellow US bishops in his response to the abortion-funding Obamacare. Though he joined his other bishops in condemning the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic employers cover abortifacients and contraceptives, he encouraged Catholic Charities in his diocese to act as an Obamacare navigator and help people sign up for coverage that could fund the destruction of unborn life.

He also condemned the line of other US bishops when they threatened to shut down Catholic social services. “These kind of scare tactics and worse-case scenario predictions are uncalled for,” Cupich wrote in a letter to diocesan employees. “I am confident we can find a way to move forward.”

Today the anti-Catholic organization Call to Action issued a press release saying they are “relieved” at the appointment. “At a time when numerous U.S. Bishops are choosing to fight ideological battles, Pope Francis’ selection of Cupich demonstrates a desire for a humbler, more pastoral church.”  

Call to Action, like New Ways Ministries, works to overturn Catholic doctrine, particularly on sexual matters, from within the Church, and has received the censure of the US bishops for their activities. They wrote, “The choice of Cupich shows promise for a church which can be closer to the people. Catholics in Chicago and beyond yearn for a faith rooted in the Gospel call of love and justice over rigid orthodoxy.”

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Rick Perry: Joan Rivers’ death shows Texas is right to require abortionists to have admitting privileges

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By Kirsten Anderson

In the wake of the high-profile death of comedienne Joan Rivers due to complications from throat surgery at an outpatient clinic in New York City, Texas Gov. Rick Perry pointed to the tragedy as an example showing the necessity for his state’s one-year-old law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.

"It was interesting that when Joan Rivers -- and the procedure that she had done, where she died -- that was a clinic,” Perry said at a Texas Tribune event on Sunday. “It's a curious thought that if they had had that type of regulations in place, whether or not that individual would be still alive.”

Many observers have criticized the governor’s remarks, noting that Rivers’ surgery was performed in a fully licensed ambulatory surgical center by a doctor with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, as is the current standard for abortion facilities in Texas, but died anyway.  However, the painstaking investigation into what may have gone wrong at the New York City clinic reveals that while all surgery carries risks, ambulatory surgical centers are required to take every precaution to ensure the safety of their patients, in contrast to more loosely regulated abortion clinics, where injuries and deaths are rampant, and often covered up.

While 32 separate medical associations have signed a joint agreement stating that anyone “performing office-based surgery must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a transfer agreement with another physician who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, or maintain an emergency transfer agreement with a nearby hospital,” abortion businesses have fought such regulations tooth and nail, arguing that requiring abortionists to maintain admitting privileges is too burdensome and will cause clinics to close their doors.  

Abortionists have also opposed tougher safety restrictions forcing them to adhere to the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers, arguing that upgrading their substandard facilities to meet hospital-grade requirements is costly and unnecessary.  But proponents of such regulations point out that the tiny parking lots, narrow hallways, and lack of elevators common to most abortion facilities are serious impediments to getting lifesaving help to women in case of emergencies, delaying paramedics who can’t park their ambulances or maneuver gurneys through such buildings.  In addition, licensed ambulatory surgical centers must have and properly maintain state-of-the-art resuscitation equipment, and train employees in their use – something abortion clinics have repeatedly been cited for failing to do.

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