Today at a rally outside Birmingham Town Hall, hidden on the fringes of the Tory Conference, a group led by former MP Ann Widdecombe protested about not having the ‘fundamental human right to dissent’ against same-sex marriage.
In other words Ms Widdecombe, joined by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, are petitioning for the safeguarding of the basic human right of the majority, to repress, bully and discriminate against the minority.
Lord Carey even went as far as to warn that those of faith could even begin to experience the persecution endured by the Jews in Nazi Germany if they dared to speak out, in the event of same-sex marriage laws been passed. The former Archbishop of Canterbury went as far as to say gay marriage could be the first step on the road to a totalitarian state.
“Remember that the Jews in Nazi Germany, what started it against them was when they were called names, that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state,” he said, before adding: “It’s part of a slippery slope where the unintended consequences could be shocking.”
With David Cameron widely expected to reaffirm his commitment to legalising same-sex marriage in his speech on Wednesday, the protests were designed to be a show of force by the bills opposition. Now of course there is bound to be opposition to such a divisive piece of legislation, and the Government must be congratulated on remaining on course to take such bold and historic action. But when Ms Widdecombe uses evidence from human rights lawyers that essentially amount to protection for bigots, her protests surely lose all credibility. One example was that of the hypothetical teacher, who would be sacked for refusing to teach students about same-sex marriage, whilst another cited the risks run by foster families whose belief systems didn’t tally up with the notion of two members of the same sex joining in matrimony.
Ms Widdecombe, what exactly would your personal stance be if we say that a teacher openly refused to teach students about Black history, or if a foster family refused to even consider any child to be entered into their care unless they came from purely Anglo-Saxon heritage? Would you consider that racist, or would it be totally acceptable under the guise of the individual’s right to dissent?
Consider for one moment the human rights of those faceless, nameless people who the same-sex marriage bill would apply too. What about the rights of those LBGT people who call the United Kingdom their home – as a minority, what do we have to dissent against? Or are we already exercising that all important human right to dissent, by ‘choosing’ to live this ‘lifestyle’?
Of course this kind of rhetoric has been emanating from the Church, for as long as the matter has been in the public arena. Even Lord Carey’s comments from earlier today are therefore no surprise. During his rant he also made it clear that he considering passing the bill an “action which strikes at the very fabric of society”. A society built around the union of a man and a woman.
It is no coincidence that Ann Widdecombe is a Roman Catholic, nor is it in anyway a stick to beat her with. The problem arises when an unmarried woman who has previous when it comes to matters of a homosexual nature – in 2003 she proposed an amendment opposing the repeal of Section 28 – attempts to use her degree of celebrity to gain momentum for the rejection of same-sex marriage under the pretence of an existing law, that was designed to enshire equal rights for all.
The issue of same-sex marriage is of course complicated and controversial. It does not need this kind of moronic hysteria accompanying it. Ms Widdecombe’s views reek of the old order trying desperately to cling on to the self-serving status quo, in the presence of a rapidly rising new dawn.
The Prime Minister needs to remain steadfastly committed to this bill, and announce his intentions during his speech to the party on Wednesday. After which Ms Widdecombe and Lord Carey would be recommended to take a seat, sit back and watch as the hordes of newly wed gays, very orderly and very neatly destroy the fabric of society.