ConservativeHome or CatholicHome? Liberals or Liabilities?

I spent most of yesterday standing up for gay equality on ConservativeHome, which is supposed to be a website for us grassroot Tories. However, UKIP trolls hijacked the debate on whether the Catholic Church and other religious organisations should be allowed to discriminate against gay men and women, especially on adoption. Their postings were really bigoted and hate-filled. If they had indeed been Conservatives, I would have torn my membership card up!

Sure, there are some rabid homophobes amongst our ranks, but the good news is that such people are either dying off or defecting to UKIP. But the Lib Dems, of all parties, seem to be jumping on the anti-equality bandwagon. I discovered today that one of their MPs, Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge) has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) to support an opt-out. He was joined by his Lib Dem colleague Colin Breed (Cornwall South East), two Labour and three Conservative MPs.

I issued this press release to the gay press today.

It's never easy or edifying to criticise one's own party and I've been joined by Norfolk Blogger, a true liberal and independent thinker.


Norfolk Blogger said...

I could add that Younger-Ross is hardly what I would call "mainstream" Lib Dem, whilst Colin Breed voted agains the equal age of consent.

That said, at least we as a group of Lib Dem bloggers all seem to be singing from the same song sheet.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Incidentally, it's not nice being linked as a Fib Dem. It doesn't do your blog justice and undermines the strength of your arguments.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

OK, I'll change it. Sorry.

Tony said...

I can understand the strength of your personal feeling on this matter Justin. But do you not think calling CH 'CatholicHome' as if to be Catholic is in itself offensive, does anything to help matters?

Of course homosexual men and women should be treated equally in the provision of goods and services. But in this case the Catholic leadership is saying that due to its moral teaching it would not like to be compelled to place children with homosexual couples.

I could understand there being outrage if Catholics were campaigning for homosexuals to be prevented from adopting children from any agency full stop. But that is not the case as you know. Catholic agencies appear to explain their position to homosexual couples sensitively and refer them to secular agencies to pursue their aim to have a family.

Do you not think that in a society where people should have the right to hold views and beliefs as long as they do not incite or lead to harm, that the right of Catholics to hold their position is every bit as valid as the right of gay couples to adopt?

The storm that has blown up over the right, of just 12 small adoption agencies, to only work with single people or conventional couples feels completely out of proportion to the effect any exemption would have. If some Catholics believe that they should not place children with gay couples then why can't their right to follow their religion peacefully and without malice be respected?

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Hello, Tony. Perhaps it would have been better to have called the title 'Taliban Home'? It seems to me to be the case that gays want equal rights and the Catholic Church wants special rights - to discriminate. What would stop other organisations from suddenly becoming religious so that they did not have to comply with the law?

Tony said...

Hi Justin. I think the issue for me surrounds the adjectives used in conjunction with 'rights'. Equal rights, special rights. But that's just me.

Personally I fully agree that protections should exist to prevent people being discriminated against for what they are, be it black, female, gay, etc. But I also think people should be allowed to retain the right to choose how they provide any service they offer.

I do not think it is right for government to legislate in a way that forces a person to choose between following their accepted and known moral code or breaking the law. Surely it is wrong to legislate against what is in someone's head providing it does not incite hatred or violence.

Again, I sympathise with your case for equal rights, but I also sympathise with an established and recognised religion to have rights too. It is a heartbreaking situation.

Glad I found your blog btw. I will be dropping in from now on. Keep up the good work in Tottenham (and come on you Gunners ;-)

Tom Papworth said...


How can you be sure that the ConHome bigots you denigrate are UKIP supporters?

Or is that just a euphemism for all right-of-centre thinkers who no longer fit in the Cameron camp?

Newmania said...

Hmmm Justin , so you feel then it should be illegal for somone with authority in the care of children to express the view that mother and a father would be preferable. There is no evidence one way or the other but caution is surely not unreasonable .You do not speak with a knowledge of all gay men any more than I do for hetrosexuals .
I think the vast majority of the country would agree that this is somewhat illiberal and yet a small motivated pressure group has hi jacked the political process , not for the first time this month.

I can`t say a two daddy arrangement from time to time would concern me ,but on balance I do not like the specila priveleges given gay men currently. others , , the over 40 , the white , christians are discriminated againsras are we all in some way.There can be no question of an exception on religious grounds though .Next the pagans will want to rape Virgins and the Muslims will be at ther stoning antics again.

No ; on democratic and Libertarian gronds I am unconvined and somewhat bridle at the thick fog of thought comtrol that is descending around the whole subject.
You appreciate that such are the controls already in place that for a white hetrosexual couple to adopt it is already virtually impossible and we are discussing tiny numbers.

I notice you are getting very chummy with the Liberals Justin. I suppose that makes you pretty mainstream as a Cameroon.
I feel however it is an unheaslthy abberation and you would be well seved to take cold showers whenever the unnatural urge comes upon you.( To be Liberal that is of course)

Mr. Norfolk is, whats more, a Liberal who has denied susggestions that his orientation is other than hetrosexual. IN OTHER WORDS HE IS GAY !

So not a reliable touch stone on this particular issue I would say

sillyjustin said...

Justin - I wish you would stop going on ConservativeHome. You are one of those people that screams 'BIGOT!' at anyone that is not 100% in accord with your views. Very much as left wing people do. Oh hang on, I forgot. You are very left wing arnt you!

I have no idea why you think people in the Conservative Party share your views at all. What do you imagine the blue rinse brigade makes of your beliefs? Go on! Have a wild guess!

tottenham_watcher said...

Have you read Roger Scrutton's article in today's Telegraph?

I am sure you will love it!

(But is guess he's not a real Conservative is he?)

Newmania said...

Justin I like you and would not wish to offend you. I hope you don`t think you have to shout "Homophobic "at me because i raise , what appear to me ,reasonable disquiet about actual legislation in this area.
Answer ?

Gavin F said...

There has been considerable discussion on this topic, but for me it quite black and white.

The Catholic Church is seeking a special exemption to a law that is designed to prevent descrimination. We have many such laws preventing discrimination against a variety of groups (on grounds of race, gender, disbaility, age, religion, etc) and there would be an outcry if any organisation tried to exempt themselves from such laws. Allowing such an exemption to one group of people against another group of people is setting a dangerous precedent and would send out a very worrying message to the bigots in our society.

I am sure that the vast majority of gay men would agree that having a child brought up by its natural parents, or by another heterosexual couple, is the ideal situation. However, more and more children do not grow up under such conditions and sometimes - just sometimes - a gay couple can offer the best solution for the care of a child. Neither does being gay prevent you from being a natural parent to a child, so adoption is not the reasons why some children are brought up by same sex couples.

In this instance, the Church is seeking to put its own dogma before the best interests of the children in its care. In my view, that is totally unacceptable and not at all Christian!

Serf said...

I think that the Church is protecting its religious freedom and that as long as there are agencies that do offer gay men the chance to become adoptive fathers, it shouldn't matter.

A free society is one in which people are free to think and act in ways that we may not be happy about (with the obvious limits).

I understand why you feel offended by this row, but I do think you should hesitate before endorsing the State's right to tell people what to think.

newmania said...

I am sure that the vast majority of gay men would agree that having a child brought up by its natural parents, or by another heterosexual couple, is the ideal situation.

No they do not , thats what most other peole think but not most gay men. That is essentially what the discussion is about. This moderate point of view is now illegal. You have not undersytood the onus of this legislation

Oliver McCarthy said...

Dear Mr Hinchcliffe,

Re: Your statements about homosexuality

Don't you think there's a point in politics when people should just agree to disagree? Some people, like you, think that homosexuality is OK. Other people, like me, think that it's wrong. Why should everyone be forced to agree with you?

And another thing! Why do you go around calling people who disagree with you 'homophobic'? Have you ever thought that maybe the people who disagree with you disgree with you because they think you're wrong? It's not necessarily because they're afraid of you.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver McCarthy

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Thank you for all your postings. I think I've made myselfself clear - I certainly have on ConHome...

Norfolk Blogger said...

Newmania, I am not gay, but probably unlike you or some homophobes, I am not going to be upset by someone saying something that isn't true. I have lots of friends of all sexual preferences. However, my wife would be rather surprised to see what you wrote and would probably disagree strongly with your assertion that I am gay !