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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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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