The Times backs gay marriage

The TimesBritish newspaper The Times has given its backing to gay marriage following an outspoken attack on same-sex marriages by Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

The Catholic Cardinal had already been outspoken in his opposition to gay marriage during a consultation on the issue in Scotland. He described the idea of gay marriage as a ‘grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right’. O’Brien drew wide-spread criticism though over the weekend for an article he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.

In the paper the Cardinal wrote that gay marriage would ‘shame‘ the UK in the ‘eyes of the world‘ despite the fact that a number of countries around the world have already legalised gay marriage. O’Brien also compared the legalisation of gay marriage to the legalisation of slavery. On Monday he defended his comments on BBC Radio Four, on the Today programme, in which he said it was ‘time to call a halt now to what you may call progress in society’ and said that ‘society would be degenerating even further than it has already degenerated into immorality

On Monday, following O’Brien’s article in the Sunday Telegraph, The Times newspaper came out in support of gay marriage. In an editorial article the newspaper argued that gay marriage would give gay couples the equal rights they deserved and would strengthen, not weaken, the institution of marriage. ‘Recognising the validity of homosexual relationships serves the public good too. It has encouraged gay couples to commit to enduring partnerships, in which many show a devotion, care and disinterested love that do far more to create ordered domesticity than government programmes could ever achieve.’ the paper wrote.

The paper continued: ‘Stable gay relationships are a part of national life. If marital law cannot accommodate them, the purpose of marriage will eventually be brought into question. Gay marriage will be a notable but still evolutionary social reform. And the marriage contract has changed historically to take account of shifting mores. Earlier ages considered that allowing women to own property was against God and nature. Changing the law abolished a gross injustice and thereby enhanced the legitimacy of marriage. It is time to lift another form of discriminatory treatment. Reforming the law would enrich the lives of same-sex couples who wish to marry in order to affirm by rite that they love and are loved in return. By that commitment, they will enrich the society and culture that their fellow citizens share.’

The Coalition government at Westminster will hold a public consultation on gay marriage later this month. The SNP led administration in Scotland has already held a separate consultation on the issue. The leaders of the main political parties (David Cameron, Alex Salmond, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband) have previously voiced their support for gay marriage. If the UK were to legalise gay marriage it would join the likes of Spain, Canada, Iceland, Belgium, Norway, Holland and Portugal.

(Via Pink News)
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