Thursday, 10 January 2013

A letter to my MP regarding same sex marriage

Following the request of Archbishop Vincent Nichols that we should make our objections to these proposals known to our MP, I have sent the email below to Angie Bray MP for Acton/Ealing. I was spurred into action last night when a friend forwarded to me her own email on this matter. So I thought that maybe some of you would also be inspired to do likewise.

Those of you who would like some further reading on why this issue is so enormously critical and how the equality argument is a fallacious red herring may want to read this Catholoc Voices Briefing paper:

http://www.catholicvoices.org.uk/sites/default/files/InDefenceOfConjugalityCVBriefPaperMarch2012.pdf

I emailed our MP at this address:
angie.bray.mp@parliament.uk
Her website is here:
http://www.angiebray.org.uk/contact/
For those of you elsewhere you can find your MP's contact details here:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/


I encourage any of you who haven't done so yet to make your feelings known to your MP.

I don't think it needs to be a long letter, in fact shorter letters are probably much better. No doubt our MP's hardly have time to be reading through multiple explanations of the ins and outs of this issue.

If you don't have the time yourself, a simple letter asking them to defend the current definition of marriage would suffice.

I am posting my letter here, not because I think it's in any way a model letter. There are so many things to say about this issue and I decided to just stick to a couple of points. But I'm hoping that it might galvanise some readers to do likewise.

Lets send a message to our parliamentary representatives that we are taking note of where they stand on this issue.


Dear Ms Bray

I am an Acton mother of six children whose ages range from three to twenty two years old.

I am a life long Labour voter who voted Conservative at the last election on account of Labour policies which I felt were harming the family and as a natural consequence of that, harming children and young people, upon whom the future of our society depends.

I am now realising that the party I thought would work to restore the respect and support which is owed to the most fundamental and critical cell of society is, in actual fact, now deepening the harm that has been done to it.

The fact that this is being imposed upon us with no mandate whatsoever, without any prior manifesto commitment, and without heeding the numerous petitioners against is beginning to feel as though we have a government which believes itself to be ruling by divine right.

Since when has any government had an interest in formally ratifying romantic love between persons?


Marriage has been properly understood to be uniquely deserving of societal recognition precisely because it is the union of a man and a woman which is apt to result in the next generation.

And we know that growing up within the stable bond of marriage between its mother and father provides the best possible environment for any child.

Redefining marriage weakens societal respect for the family because redefinition hinges solely on romantic love between persons and disregards the prime needs of children to be raised with both their parents.


Marriage is hard, and our divorce rate more than attests to this. I believe that over romanticising marriage and overlooking its conjugal nature is a terrible mistake and a symptom of a rather infantile generation that has failed to grow up.


Past generations understood that marriage was about more than themselves. This generation is in danger of losing sight of this.

The government appears to be compounding the error.

I hope, for the sake of future generations, you will defend marriage and resist attempts to redefine it.

Yours sincerely

 

10 comments:

  1. I didn't read anything in your letter and your arguments that is incompatible with civil recognition of same sex marriages. I am sure they are no threat to your marriage or anybody elses.

    Of course we all know the attitude of the Catholic hierarchy to hopmosexuality. I am only grateful to see so many Catholic MPs and individuals willing to stand up in support of this change

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  2. I didn't read anything in your letter and your arguments that is incompatible with civil recognition of same sex marriages. I am sure they are no threat to your marriage or anybody elses.

    Of course we all know the attitude of the Catholic hierarchy to hopmosexuality. I am only grateful to see so many Catholic MPs and individuals willing to stand up in support of this change

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  3. I was passed on this blog and was rather upset by it's content. Having looked at your lovely family picture on top of the blog it made me wonder how you would feel if one of your children announced that he or she wanted to get married to someone of their own sex. Many of us want the best for our children and this takes precedence over anything Archbishop Vincent Nichols has to say on this subject. We would want our children to have the same rights as anyone else and yes, Catholic parents do have children who are gay.

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  4. Hi Dean

    Thank you for your comment.
    I didn't actually say that I felt that same sex marriage posed a "threat" to my marriage. Neither did I make reference to any religious values. Although I am a Catholic,and it is true that the church opposes the proposed change, it seems to me that the case for maintaining the current definition of marriage is one that does not rely in any way on faith based arguments but by a rational appeal to the common good.

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  5. Hello Anon

    Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry you were upset by my point of view.

    If any of my children felt attracted to their own sex I would love and support them, and of course I would want the very best for them.

    I want the best for other people's children too, which is why I would like to see the government working towards a culture which incentivises parents of children to commit to one another in marriage.

    I share your very honourable concern to see same sex attracted people treated with fairness and dignity. But I can't agree that changing the definition of marriage is a step in the right direction.

    The rights accorded to same sex couples in civil partnerships already provide them with legal protections to the same degree as a married couple.

    ( Why does the government have any role in formally validating personal romantic relationships at all anyway? )

    The current proposal to change the definition of marriage seems to me to be mere political showboating rather than any earnest attempt to create a society which fosters true respect for the dignity of all.

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  6. Thank you for e mailing your MP on this proposed damaging legislation, the results of which will be very difficult to undo once in law. It is not in the interests of society, families or indeed homosexuals to redefine marriage. It is alarming also that it is a Conservative Prime Minister who is seeking this major change. I also want to point out that it is always more effective to write and post a letter to your MP as he/she is not required to reply to e mails. Any readers then please make the extra effort to use snail mail in this case as well as e mail and above all pray that this ill advised move will yet be averted.

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  7. Did you get a reply from your MP?

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  8. I think any idea of this government being family friendly is mistaken. I wrote to my Conservative MP last year to protest about the extension of Sunday trading hours which I felt would adversely affect working parents, particularly mothers. His reply was not encouraging.

    I mailed in the pre-printed postcard we were given at Mass Sunday to my MP. Given that there are already Civil Partnerships I see no need to change the definition of marriage but I must say I haven't heard a single argument that convinces me marriage would be weakened as a result. Surely divorce is a bigger threat? Or the fact that so many people choose to raise a family without getting married?

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  9. "The fact that this is being imposed upon us with no mandate whatsoever, without any prior manifesto commitment"

    The Tory manifesto said they would consider same-sex marriage and the Lib Dems said they were in favour of it before the election. Those parties won a majority of votes and seats, and polls consistently show that a majority of the population are in favour. Of course, there is no requirement that a government is only allowed to introduce legislation mentioned in their manifesto anyway. If you dislike this legislation, you can always vote for a party that opposes it (the BNP, for example) at the next election.

    "Marriage has been properly understood to be uniquely deserving of societal recognition precisely because it is the union of a man and a woman which is apt to result in the next generation."

    Except that you don't seem to have any problem with existing marriages that are unable to produce biological children, such as those involving elderly, infertile, intersex, and transgender people. No, in those cases, "romantic love" is perfectly sufficient as far as you are concerned.

    "And we know that growing up within the stable bond of marriage between its mother and father provides the best possible environment for any child."

    How do you "know" this? Certainly not on the basis of scientific studies comparing same-gender and opposite-gender parents, which have failed to find any difference in outcomes for their children. No, you "know" it because of small-minded prejudice.

    "Past generations understood that marriage was about more than themselves."

    Are you talking about the generations that considered a married woman to be the property of her husband (which was legally the case in the UK until the mid 19th century)? Or perhaps the biblical generations that considered polygamy and forced marriages to be perfectly acceptable? Or the pre-Christian Romans, Native Americans, and some ancient Chinese and African civilisations, who all allowed same-sex marriage?

    "The rights accorded to same sex couples in civil partnerships already provide them with legal protections to the same degree as a married couple."

    This isn't actually true. There are numerous practical legal consequences of this supposedly "separate but equal" situation, including inequality in pension schemes and international recognition, a requirement for trans people to get divorced before they can obtain a gender recognition certificate, and people in civil partnerships having to "out" themselves every time they fill in their marital status on a form.

    I'm sure you are aware that, in past centuries, English marriage law discriminated against Catholics. Can you imagine if this discussion was about legalising Catholic marriage? Can you imagine other religious leaders accusing the government of being like the Nazis just for redefining marriage to include people like you? Can you imagine them comparing your relationship with your husband to child sex abuse? That's exactly what your religious leaders are doing to us. I hope you are proud of them.

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  10. Sincere apologies to those of you whose comments were not published earlier. I can only assume they dropped into spam. I've only just spotted them when I was rooting around my Blogger settings!

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