1. Normalisation of civil partnerships and blurring the lines with marriage: This arrangement is perfectly normal - it is not a fringe event in society. Indeed, Tom uses the presumptuous language of marriage even though 'gay marriage' has not yet been introduced by the State ('The two brides looked gorgeous in white'.)
2. The personal touch: Tom's lesbian friends had a civil partnership. It was a lovely day, but he's saddened on his friends' behalf because they aren't properly married. Everyone feel sorry for the two ladies who can't get married. Their love isn't properly recognised by the State because they're not married in the same ways as heterosexual folk. It was painful that they couldn't say they were married. Why is it that Tom says he was saddened, but does not say that they were saddened. Tom says, ' It's the language of contract law. It made me both sad and furious.' Anyone would have thought this civil partnership was about him. If they were saddened, he would surely say so, no? Still, saddened they may be, but do we make law on what different people think will make different people happy? Or, do we order it for the good of society? The State doesn't allow thieves to grab what they want from Curry's either, even though they want the plasma TV screens but perhaps cannot afford them. I want goose at Christmas but can't afford it. Poor me. Change the law to allow me too cook my goose though some would argue I'm doing that now. Oh, 'but gay marriage is different to theft'. No, no it isn't. Gay marriage is theft. Marriage belongs to man and woman. What the gay community cannot obtain naturally by virtue of the condition of homosexuality, they wish to acquire by robbery.
2. The appeal to fairness: Tom moans, 'These two wonderful women wanted to tell the world they loved each other; what they got instead was Blairite third-way nonsense designed to avoid offending religious conservatives.' The secular viewpoint of marriage, which is attractive even to Christians, is to see marriage as a 'celebration of our love'. Traditionally, few people have made marriage law according to the 'celebratory principle'. It has been made for the common good of society and the procreation of children. It is tempting and seductive to see marriage as 'a celebration of our love'. It isn't. It is the lifelong union of man and woman in matrimony in a relationship of fidelity, mutual love and respect, harmonious with nature, ordered for the begetting of children. Anyway, why is he calling Civil Partnerships 'Blairite'. If it wasn't for Tony Blair, we wouldn't be in this almighty mess and people would still believe 'civil partnerships' to be something that happens in the business world when one accountant or lawyer starts a new firm with a friend. He's still crying bitter politically angry tears at his friend's civil partnership while everyone else presumably had a 'lovely day'. Do his friends realise just how self-centred he is?
3. What is marriage, anyway? Tom opines, 'Obviously, for some religions, marriage is about procreation. That's up to them – I don't like the idea that it means infertile couples' marriages are in some way lesser, but I don't get to tell each church what their marriage ceremonies are intended to achieve.' Eerie propaganda time. Tom is saying that for 'some religions', like the Christian one, for instance, marriage is about procreation. Notice how Tom doesn't say that he disagrees with that statement because if he did he would have to say that marriage is about prolonging bachelorhood. Instead, he insinuates that the Church is nasty for snidely talking behind infertile couples backs about how terrible they are for their infertility like two-faced jackals in Keeping Up Appearances. Show me the document where the Church condemns infertile couples and I'll eat this laptop. No, what the Church, in fact, teaches, is that deliberate sterility by artificial contraception in marriage is sinful, because marriage is ordered towards the procreation of new life and couples are co-creators with Almighty God in the bringing forth of new human life. The Church even teaches that natural family planning can also be abused to attempt to bring about the same effect. What the Church does not do is condemn the infertile. That is a total distortion of the Church's teaching.
5. 'But lots of weddings, nowadays, are not religious.' That is true. Is Tom arguing that it is only on religious grounds that marriage is currently between one man and one woman? In North Korea, where there is barely any religion whatsoever, I notice that even in the atheist paradise for which Tom longs, the State still believes marriage to be between a man and a woman. Bad example, perhaps, but it shows that even non-religious cultures, or 'State worshipping' cultures still hold a traditional view of marriage. Tom could say that the State there is way too over-powering. Well, quite, Tom. I suppose if it wanted to, it could re-define marriage for its citizens. Secondly, just because a lot of weddings today are not religious, it does not mean that marriage should be redefined by the State because the State is not the final arbiter of an institution which preceded all States and will outlast all States. Marriage is grounded firmly in natural law and the common good. I hate that phrase, but it is true. In the Catholic Church, all that a priest does is act as a witness for a marriage. The sacrament is conferred by the spouses themselves upon each other. The State, too, is merely a witness for a binding contract between a man and a woman, in civil weddings. The role of the State is passive in marriage. Tom desires it to be active beyond its legitimate and democratic remit.
6. Who is the Church to tell me who I can marry? Tom writes, 'While churches should of course be able to decide who marries under their roofs, they should not be able to tell me which consenting adult I marry underneath the roof of a county council-designated venue.' How magnanimous of Tom to allow the Church to keep Her traditions! However, the Church isn't telling Tom who he can and cannot marry. The Church holds the view that marriage is between one man and one woman. Tom, I think you need to get over yourself. This is not about you. It is about the definition of the institution of marriage. The Church and indeed other Christian denominations, as well as other religions and people who still hold the Church's view without even being Christian, believe, quite rightly that marriage is an exclusive bond between a man and a woman. The definition was not created to make gay couples outcasts. It was created to unite man and woman. It isn't by nature a negative law. It is a positive law. Our forefathers never believed marriage was about persecuting gays and lesbians, but about uniting man and woman in matrimony.
7. The social impact argument: Tom asks for evidence that gay marriage undermines 'straight marriage'. That is not the argument. Liberals will find this hard to understand, but what we are arguing about is a point of principle, not statistics. Society is knitted together by families. The family, as the Holy Father recently said, is the 'fundamental cell' of human society. If you alter the definition of that cell, you alter the institution itself, you thereby radically alter society itself, for society's own destruction - not by God, but by itself. Undertaking a social project or social engineering of radically redefining marriage just because you do not yet know whether the outcome will be good for society, or bad, is, if you don't mind me saying, a little reckless. The principle from which we are working is that marriage is between man and woman for the mutual benefit of the couple and for children. Society, already ravaged by divorce, non-committal, transient relationships have created what has become known as 'broken Britain'. So, already, the liberal project has produced a pretty damning harvest. Few psychologists worth their salt believe that fatherless children are as happy and well-adjusted as children with fathers.
Few psychologists worth their salt believe that motherless children are as happy and well-adjusted as children with mothers. Children require the complementary love of mothers and fathers. In same-sex relationships, children are without either a natural mother, or a natural father, or, indeed, both, if adopted. If adopted, these children are not the product of the spouses, they are the product of other spouses. Whether you believe that children in gay 'families' are happy or not, they will always be deprived of the love of either a mother, or a father, in such arrangements. This is not the ideal for children and children should not be used as pawns in the battle for perceived 'rights' by the LGBT community.
8. If you don't agree with 'gay marriage' then you are homophobic: Tom writes, 'Is it homophobic to want to ban civil gay marriage? I think so, but I don't care what you call it.' Oh dear, this old chestnut. It's so tiresome. Tom, I am a homosexual man. I do not believe there is such a thing as 'gay marriage' because, for a start, you know something is odd when you take a word, like 'marriage' and you are forced to add a prefix to the word in order to change its meaning. Adding the prefix doesn't change the word 'marriage' itself. It contradicts it. Despite what liberals believe about Christians and Catholics and others who may not like all Church teaching, but agree with this one, this culture war is not a persecution of the gay community or homosexuals. The Church did not start this fight. The act of aggression against the Church and indeed, all of society, has been started by the LGBT lobby, Stonewall and all those supporters of the liberal agenda for a new vision of society in which marriage, sex, love and indeed children themselves are debased and devalued for the sake of a single cause grounded in the expression of a human sexuality rooted in the pursuit of pleasure alone and for its own sake.
It is a cause that will not stop until the Churches fall silent and society is compelled to agree with every tenet of a liberal consensus that by its very nature is tyrannical, extreme, immoral and geared towards a dictatorship of relativism that will, if unchecked, surely crush religious freedom and severely injure society more than it already is, from within. But hey, it doesn't matter how many arguments you present to counter someone like Tom Chivers, because if you don't believe that such a thing as 'gay marriage' even exists, or that it is a contradiction in terms, then you are just 'homophobic'. It is such a shame that writers like Tom are so blinded by their Christophobia, that any opposition to the militant Stonewall agenda in this country is to be immediately denounced as being born out of hatred. Tom, dear. It's not about you. It's not even about the gay community or your lesbian friends. It's about what marriage is and what marriage is not. Stick to the argument because at the moment, your arguments are not grounded in reason, but rhetoric filled with more prejudice than the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church can even muster against homosexuals.
9. The race card: Gay people are the same as black people. Tom writes, 'I'm sure people who didn't want black people educated in the same schools as white people thought they really did believe they weren't prejudiced, that you could be separate but equal. They were wrong. So are the churches seeking to ban gay marriage, not merely for their own congregations, but nationwide.'
Tom. Let's get this straight, if you'll excuse the pun. The Catholic Church, for one, was not standing shoulder to shoulder with the police in the deep south when black people made clear their political expression for human rights under the Christian leadership of Martin Luther King, the well known gay rights activist and LGBT hero. Of course, back in the 1960s, MLK believed that being black was just like being gay, didn't he. In fact, if you did a survey of the entire black community of America and asked the question, "Is being black the same as being homosexual?" do you know what response you would get? That Martin Luther King. He was always talking about how great homosexuality was, wasn't he? Err...no, wait. That can't be right. That doesn't sound right at all.
Tom. It is a gross injustice to equate the rich tapestry of human sexuality emanating from the Fall, to the injustice against the black community of the US and the UK. The overt political, economic and social oppression experienced by the black community of the USA was flagrant injustice. However, bad as this social injustice was, no white people in America were suggesting that, in the 1960s, black people couldn't get married. This, after all, is what the LGBT community are asking for: marriage. No, black people were denied employment rights and were told they were not allowed on buses and into bars because of the prejudice against them. Truth and right won the day and rights are largely guaranteed, though now we have not a man of Martin Luther King's moral stature, but a man of Barack Obama's moral stature, as President, who doesn't think twice about continuing the 20th century's love affair with abortion with such enthusiasm, that he's even prepared to see a higher proportion of black babies, than white babies, killed in the womb. That isn't wicked because he is black. That is wicked because he happens to have wicked policies. So wicked, indeed, that he desires to crush the Church's religious freedom because that is just what liberals do. Liberals like their definition of free choice. They don't like a definition of free choice which contradicts them. Indeed, Tom, they seek to 'outlaw' it and even 'ban' it, and that's just the exercise of conscience. Gay marriage is not yet in existence yet you twist facts to suggest that the Church seeks to 'ban' gay marriage. In order to ban something, it has to be happening, Tom, and as yet there has been not a single 'gay marriage' on UK soil.
Anyway. Back to gay rights. Right. Well, gay rights, if the cause exists, has triumphed. The rights accorded to homosexuals and lesbians are defended in the workplace. It is illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their sexual orientation. In fact, gay rights have triumphed so much in the United Kingdom that Christians who presumably don't have anything against homosexuals, but don't want its practice taking place on their property, are dragged into court and fined by the Crown. Despite the fact that the Church, the Catholic Church, at any rate, opposed Civil Partnerships, they are now the law of the land. This 'union', which the Catholic Church at Magisterial level, at any rate, strongly condemns, was, the Church was 'reassured', not the foot in the door for gay marriage. Suddenly...what do you know!? It was!
Could the State mislead people when it gives such 'guarantees'? Surely not! Not our beloved State! Despite those reassurances, the State desires to alter the very meaning of marriage. In principle the Church must defend marriage against those who seek to alter its meaning, for the sake of God and the good of man, woman, child and society, not because the Church hates gays but because the Church must defend Marriage. If two brothers or two sisters or a brother or sister wanted to get married, the State would, we assume, defend marriage against incest. It is not about persecuting those who commit incest, in that case, as with this one, but instead about defining what marriage is, and so far, Tom, you have failed to come up with any good reason why the definition of marriage should be altered other than it is your opinion and the opinion of the LGBT lobby.
10. The liberal clerk, surprise, surprise, agrees with Tom: Tom ends his piece by saying, 'A footnote: at the end of my friends' civil partnership, the celebrant, bless her, having taken the vows and seen the documents signed, said: "And on a personal note, may I wish you both a long and happy marriage." Amen to that.
Hmm...thankfully, Tom, a lady clerk wishing a lesbian couple a 'happy marriage', a happy marriage, or indeed a 'marriage' it does not make. Who does she think she is...the Pope? And yet, even the Holy Father, His Holiness himself, cannot alter the definition of marriage, Tom, because it is enshrined in the natural law, its uniqueness and complementarity between man and woman can be perceived as such, and, just to top it all off, God Himself on Earth defined marriage, and raised it up to a Sacrament no less, in Jesus Christ, just in case there were doubters, Who said...
Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. (Matthew - first Book of the New Testament! - 19:4-6)
Mr Chivers. What on Earth do you expect the Catholic Church, or any Christian denomination, to say in response to 'gay marriage', when on top of all of your flimsy arguments Christ Himself taught the Church that marriage is between one man and one woman? Are you calling Our Blessed Lord a homophobe too? I pray to God that you are not. I know He loves me, you see. 'Oh but Jesus didn't talk about lesbians!' Maybe not, but what He did talk about is marriage between man and woman, no ifs and, no buts (ahem). May I just say that while Our Lord didn't talk about lesbians, you managed to write an entire article about lesbians without using the word 'lesbian'. Anyone would have thought it was a dirty word, Tom. Shame on you.
Finally, if Austen and Jack want to employ these arguments in the upcoming battle against the evil forces of secularism in the United Kingdom, then, boys, its all yours. Now, go get 'em! Tom's getting married in a medieval barn. I hope that was her decision, Tom, rather than yours. I don't know where my fiancee and I will marry, but hopefully, it will be either in a Church or Cathedral. Gimme that old time religion! Yee-hah!