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LONDON, April 2, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Gay “marriage” has little to do with “equality,” being in reality the result of “an aggressive secularist and relativist” mindset that intends to abolish the very foundations of western societies, according to George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. The result, he said, will be the “alienation of a large minority of people who only a few years ago would have been considered pillars of society.”

Lord Carey said in an op-ed in the Daily Mail over the Easter weekend that it is “a bit rich” to hear Prime Minister David Cameron call upon Christians to “stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation” when it is he who is doing the most to push that agenda forward. Carey cited a ComRes poll that found more than two-thirds of Christians in Britain believe they are becoming a “persecuted minority”.

While such beliefs may be premature, he said, “the Prime Minister has done more than any other recent political leader to feed these anxieties.”

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“I am very suspicious that behind the plans to change the nature of marriage,” Carey wrote, “…there lurks an aggressive secularist and relativist approach towards an institution that has glued society together for time immemorial.”

“By dividing marriage into religious and civil the Government threatens the church and state link which they purport to support. But they also threaten to empty marriage of its fundamental religious and civic meaning as an institution orientated towards the upbringing of children.” 

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He noted that, despite the government’s assurances that clergy will not be coerced into participating, the legislation contains no legal protections for laity who conscientiously object. These would include civil marriage registrars and teachers who would face the sack “if they cannot express agreement with the new politically-correct orthodoxy”.

John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, whose organization has been leading a campaign to defeat the government’s plans, applauded Lord Carey’s letter, calling it a “trumpet call” that must “resound in all sections of society, throughout Britain”. 

Smeaton said the bill “discriminates against children by institutionalising motherless and fatherless families”. Smeaton also blasted the “time-serving ‘Catholic’ politicians who are prepared to betray families and children for generations to come for their short-term political advantage”. 

While most pundits agree that the gay “marriage” bill will almost certainly become law, its unpopularity with the Conservative grassroots supporters is also almost equally certain to spell electoral disaster for the party. A YouGov poll found that two-thirds of members believe the Conservatives are now a divided party. At second reading in the House of Commons, 134 Conservative MPs, a majority, voted against the bill. 

At the end of March, the Daily Mail reported another high-level Tory defection to the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Councillor Roger Arthur, deputy leader of Tory-controlled Horsham District Council and an aide to Cabinet minister Francis Maude, cited the Tories’ “obsession” with gay “marriage” as well as massive spending on international aid. The party has “altered out of recognition,” Arthur said, adding, “UKIP is the real Conservative Party.” 

UKIP is the only party to actively oppose the government’s bill, saying it will restrict the rights of religious people to openly express and live according to their beliefs. 

Ann Widdecombe, a former Tory MP and convert to Catholicism, has said that the plan to install “gay marriage” has been the most damaging scheme the party has proposed in its recent history. Widdecombe, a noted social conservative, said last week that the party has already “sacrificed” any chance of a majority victory at the next election “on the altar of gay marriage”. 

Widdecombe wrote, “Equality? No. This Bill was conceived for purely political reasons and marriage has become David Cameron’s plaything.” 

She added, “Those who, while privately opposing the measure, voted for it out of loyalty or ambition should now explain to constituents the profoundly unequal nonsense that is being created by this ill thought-out Bill and should attach that explanation to their election addresses when they begin the scramble for votes.” 

Other party members blamed the gay “marriage” plan for the dashing of Tory hopes in a recent important by-election in the Hampshire town of Eastleigh. The Conservative candidate for Eastleigh, Maria Hutchings, came third behind the Liberal Democrats and the libertarian UKIP. 

Tory MP Stewart Jackson commented, “This is the price that has to be paid for gay marriage because of the drastic unpopularity of it with activists and supporters, who have been less inclined to get out and campaign on the streets because of it. The issue has been a direct recruiting channel for UKIP, and there’s anecdotal evidence across the country for UKIP.” 

After the Eastleigh loss, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the loss was due to Cameron’s “obsession” with the issue: “The Conservatives failed here because traditional Tory voters look at Cameron and they ask themselves ‘Is he a Conservative?’ and they conclude ‘No, he’s not’.”

The party has lost the support of large donors and has seen a nosedive in local party association memberships as well as resignations of senior activists. 

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