Alex Massie Alex Massie

A storm of nonsense: gay marriage opponents lose their wits – Spectator Blogs

My word, the latest kerfuffle over gay marriage runs the gamut from dumb to dumber. Here, for instance, is Cristina Odone:

He may get away with bullying a great many – perhaps the majority – into accepting his proposals. But in doing so Cameron will create a less liberal and tolerant society. Those who have held fast to their principles, will have to accept what the majority wants. But will the majority respect what the minority believes in? Not in Cameron’s Britain, they won’t. The moment the vicar or priest refuses to celebrate a gay marriage in their church, the aggrieved couple will see them in court — in Strasbourg. Here, at the European Court of Human Rights, Christians will once again be thrown to the lions as their opponents will strive to set a precedent: equal rights means equal access to religious marriage ceremony. Anyone who stands in a gay couple’s way will be persecuted by the law (and those strident gay rights lobbyists who tolerate only those who see everything their way.)

As people of principle will be forced to go against their conscience, David Cameron will smile and play the charming host, welcoming Britons to the new age of intolerance.

Oh really? ‘Tis true that the courts are an arena in which weird dramas take place and no-one should necessarily suppose the outcome of any putative legal challenge to these putative restrictions. Nevertheless, it might be worth recalling that the churches already impose restrictions upon whose marriages they will recognise. And yet despite this no-one has yet thought to petition the courts in an effort to bend the churches to their will.

Indeed, to the extent that a religiously-defined estimation of marriage has been damaged in recent times it has been counterfeited by the churches themselves, not by outsiders demanding clergymen officiate at homosexual unions.

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