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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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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