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« Mort Kondracke: Bush's Iraq Policy, Flawed As It Is, May Still Succeed | Main | John Leo: Deaniacs are today's McGovernites »


Alex W

Bravo! It is utterly baffling that the liberal left have managed to latch on to gay marriage as one of "their" issues, and even more disconcerting that in the US it seems to be a wedge issue dividing the Left and Right. Conservatives ought to support gay marriage as a natural off-shoot from their support for marriage in general - the very fact that gay people are clamouring for the stability and commitment of married life ought be celebrated rather than sneered at.

Selsdon Man

Agreed Alex but should gay married couples be allowed to adopt children? I have gay friends who have paternal instincts.

Tony Brown Love


Tony Brown Love



Thank you, Tony Brown Love, for your thoughtful, reasoned, and well written responses. (That was sarcasm, Tony. Look it up, as we say in America.)

As a gay, American conservative, I mostly agree with the points raised in this article. However, the gay marriage issue was largely decided in the 2004 election here in the US. And the decision was a definitive "NO" in the 11 states in which it was on the ballot. In my own state of Missouri, gay marriage initiative was defeated with a 75 percent against vote. I think the issue is largely dead here.
In fact, I question whether it was even a real issue. I wonder if it might have been a largely symbolic call to arms for liberals and religio-populist conservatives on whom the Republicans rely for election victory. Notice that it has hardly been mentioned since the elections last November.
Civil partnerships may be a great idea, and could recognize civilized gay people, and encourage them to live more better lives.
But, I'm not sure that that is really on the radar of the activists on either side of this issue here in the US.

Midnight Blue

Hello Tony Darling!

Lets just clear up a few points from your deranged homophobic postings.

Aids is not a gay disease, you can get it just as easily as I can - in fact look at some figures, the aids virus showed a % fall among the gay community last year and a % rise among the straight community. Are you safe Tony - are you?

Your other points are based on lack of knowledge, prejudice and utter ignorance so I'm not even going to credit them with a response.

You go and be sick dear! I'm going nowhere!

Love You!


While midnight blue is trying to make a response to Tony's post (which I did not see) perhaps it would be better not to be as provocative? I think it would be sad if an important article like this descended into mud slinging.

Midnight Blue

Hey Boy

I suppose it is a bit provocative, you are right that the article is incredibly important and I hope I haven't trivialised it in any way.

I was responding to a nasty and hateful post which was directed at people such as myself, not at the original post.

It certainly wasn't my intention to sling mud anywhere! Apologies if it came across Like that!



I do note with some sadness that the usual posters (who are often prolific) have not posted on here. This is, as Matt says, a very important article. If the usual suspects (Hellyer etc.) are interested in policy, moral direction and purpose perhaps we should see a long, constructive debate on this thread.

I am upset that a post on Theresa May quitting the leadership election brought 128 posts and this has had less than 10 so far.

Selsdon Man

Editor, I am pleased that you pasted over hateful remarks. Do you still stand by these remarks that you made in your article "Pursuing Permanaent Values" on the Conservative Christian Fellowship web site?

"The Times has become the self-appointed champion of the libertarian right. Editorials have attacked the Shadow Cabinet's support for the retention of Section 28 as intolerant. Inaccurate news stories have attempted to bounce the Party into changing its position. Peter Riddell has repeatedly called for a Conservative Party that is enthusiastic about homosexual lifestyles and single parenthood. Tim Hames has attacked anyone willing to support marriage or tradition - Ann Widdecombe has been a particular victim of his columns. Michael Gove pens tributes to the social liberalism of Michael Portillo. Anyone daring to question Steven Norris' suitability for high office on the basis of his "tabloid form" is damned. Alongside photo profiles, the words of the gay Tory businessman, Ivan Massow, are treated with reverence. This is the same Mr Massow who told BBC's Newsnight that Tory traditionalists needed to be stamped out; a cancer that needed to be removed. So much for tolerance, Ivan.

Conservatives should not be alarmed by the hysterical attacks from The Times and other agents of the London media. We have to thank God that these people are not representative. One has only got to turn on the television to see a soap with the same preachy liberal agenda. If homosexuality and abortion were represented as broadly in national life as they are in Brookside, EastEnders and Hollyoaks we could probably close down half of the country's maternity wards."


Boy is right about the paucity of comments - this is an issue that goes to the heart of tolerance and morality in party policy. I do wonder though about the use of the term marriage. In the US marriage is historically less associated with the "sacremental" than in UK - common law marriages, civil ceremonies have a longer history and many religious ceromonies don't take place in churches. In UK marriage was formalised as a CofE ceremony under state management. The more socially conservative find the term marriage threatening when associated with gays - so allowing a civil registration of such partnerships under a different term is a good compromise. Tolerance does cut both ways - we need to accept that religions and social conservatives have the right to their beliefs but also as a party accept that supporting that tradition doesn't mean not providing through civil society support to alternative arrangements, and where these can add stability to society positively promoting them.

James Hellyer

"If the usual suspects (Hellyer etc.) are interested in policy, moral direction and purpose perhaps we should see a long, constructive debate on this thread..."

I'm not sure how relevant this is to UK politics. We already have civil partnerships that seem to address all of the points that Brooks raises, ad indeed most of Carpenter's ten principles (barring of course the fact that the state here does not subsidse marriage). By having passed this legislation, the debate has been defanged in our body politic.

Martin Sewell

I do not pretend to have considered the issue of gay marriage in depth, and I can see the value of commitment.

In fairness to Senator Santorum, whose book is a very inportant contribution to family policy debate, the main thrust of his argument appears to be that the heterosexual marriage with offspring is a cornerstone of society. Collateral to that position he appears to say that gay adults are free to make arrangements for themselves within Civil Society but that there is no compelling reason to extend the role of the state (which he generally wishes to limit)into that area of human life.

Within the logic of the small state conservative there is a sufficient reason to make an exception for traditional marriage, but insufficient reason to extend it. It is a position more "anti-state" than anti-gay.

Angelo Basu

I find it difficult to understand in what practical way homosexual marriage would weaken heterosexual marriage. Would I love my wife less or feel the value of the marriage bond to be any weaker because two men or two women could marry? Would anyone who already valued and honoured the institution of marriage?

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