Matthew Offord is the Tory MP for Hendon. In May 2010 he was elected with a majority of just 106 over Labour’s Andrew Dismore.
There are his views on equal marriage.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve never done this before, but I think it’s time for a quick “fisking” of Mr Offord’s remarks.
“My own position is that I will not be voting for legislation that extends marriage for same-sex couples. Having waited many years to get married I acknowledge the value the commitment brings.”
You think YOU’VE waited many years to get married Matthew? Imagine how long a gay couple might have waited.
It is my strong personal, moral and religious belief that the institution of marriage is to provide the foundation of a stable relationship in which those two people of the opposite sex procreate and raise a child. That is physically not possible for same-sex couples so I don’t see the point of introducing a law to allow this.
So marriage isn’t valid without procreation? What about those who can’t conceive? What about those who don’t want children? Marriage is not entirely about childbirth, and hasn’t been for quite some time…
I strongly believe in same-sex couples having the right to a civil registration, in order that they receive the same benefits as opposite-sex couples but not marriage.
Matthew wants same-sex couples to “receive the same benefits as opposite-sex couples” – all except the benefit of getting married that is.
To many this might seem like a trivial matter, particularly since the introduction of Civil Partnerships in 2004 means that same sex couple already enjoy the same rights that married couple do.
Apart from the right to get married. Keep up Matthew.
However the institution of marriage is woven into the fabric of our nation – it affects our courts, inheritance rights and even our schools. And it is the effect on our schools, children and teachers that is worrying so many. Close to 100,000 people have signed the one man, one woman equals marriage petition.
Because that’s how policy is decided now – once 100,000 people sign a petition then the issue is settled. Thank goodness for that then, because once we find the other 50,000 who want Clarkson as PM then we’ll be home and dry.
In regard to education, Section 403 of the Education Act 1996 places a legal requirement on schools to teach children about “the importance of marriage”. If marriage is redefined, schools will have no choice but to give children equivalent teaching on same sex marriage, even those children of a very young age, including those at primary school.
WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN? The underlying tone of this suggests that somehow learning about same sex couples might have a negative effect on children. It neglects, however, the positive impact children learning about same sex couples would have in terms of lessening the likelihood of homophobic bullying in schools.
Also, I may be getting on a bit, but I don’t remember marriage ever coming up when I was at school. Now that either means a) it did but had absolutely no impact on me so I can’t remember or b) it didn’t happen.
I guess there may be a c) teachers are brainwashing our children, but in the reality-based community we ignore nonsense like that…
So what will happen to parents who because of religious, or philosophical beliefs take their children out of lessons? It is simply inconceivable in today’s world where political correctness runs a mock in our institutions, that there would not be profound consequences for those who hold traditional views. Parents who object will be treated as bigots and outcasts, possibly excluded from being on the PTA, or from being a governor.
Hold your horses Matthew. You’ve made a big leap of faith from same sex marriage here. You’ve even fallen back on the old “PC gawn mad” stuff which is “running a mock”. Although Matthew, let me be as strident as you for a moment – those who would pull their kids out of lessons for fear that they might hear about loving same sex relationships are, by my definition at least, bigoted in this regard. Sorry.
Discriminated against and persecuted because they hold views that have been enshrined in our laws and have been the cornerstone of our society for two thousand years.
Don’t make me list some of the frankly ludicrous laws we’ve had in the last 2000 years Matthew. Don’t make me do it….
And what of the teachers who object to teaching about same sex marriage. Will they face disciplinary action? How will it affect their careers? Will same sex marriage be covered under such subjects as citizenship forming part of the main curriculum taught to our children and tested through examination? These are just some of the questions that the Government has so far failed to answer.
Yes Matthew, there will be a “Big Gay Test” at the end of term*. Honestly this is all getting very silly. Again, at school I don’t ever remember being forced to take a compulsory citizenship test – does anyone else?
I do not believe that same sex marriage would serve to enhance British society or its values.
One of the great problems with using the phrase “values” in a British context is that what those values are is rather contested. Often it’s shorthand for “my values”. So Matthew, here’s what I think of when I think of “British values”. Fair play. And blocking equal marriage seems distinctly unfair to me.
MATTHEW OFFORD MP
* – Note to Matthew, there will NOT be a “Big Gay Test”. That was a joke.