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Coalition for Marriage ‘scraping the barrel’

31 August 2012


From Mr Richard Ashby

Sir, - The Coalition for Marriage will really have to better than the meaningless survey results (which I can find on neither the C4M nor ComRes websites) (News, 24 August). One has to ask who these 569 "churchgoers" surveyed are, and what particular qualifications they have to enable them to judge whether the European Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) will or will not "force gay marriage" on reluctant churches.

This line, which was also taken by the Church of England's response to the Government's consultation, has been comprehensively undermined by legal opinions from those expert in the fields. Why do C4M think that their survey is more valid? Is this the best that they can do? They are really scraping the barrel.

Cardinal O'Brien throwing his toys out of the pram and refusing further dialogue with the Scottish government is further proof of the paucity of the arguments of those against equal marriage, while Lord Ashcroft, a significant Conservative Party donor, is questioning the belief that the issue will lose the Tories votes, and suggesting that it will draw more young people into the Party. Another report shows that, stripping out the postcards and petitions, almost two-thirds of Scotland is in favour of same-sex marriage.

I must also take issue with Mr Burr (Letters, 24 August). The Archbishop of Canterbury may well have listened to those opposed to the consecration of Dr Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading, but he gave in to a cabal of the noisy and the bullying. One might also say that he gave into the blackmail of those who threatened and still threaten to withhold their Parish Share from their dioceses over the issue. This is not the "authentic Christian leadership" that Mr Burr seems to wish for.

It seems to me that those who oppose equal marriage have comprehensively lost the argument, their words seem increasingly threadbare, their influence with the Government is increasingly marginalised, and their standing within the Church is diminished by their mean, narrow, and carping words, which alienate those who believe that all are created equal, and that in Christ there is neither male nor female, but all are one in him.

11 Jubilee Mews, Prinsted, Emsworth PO10 8EA


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