Coffee House

Will Cameron’s EU speech help his drive for gay marriage?

25 January 2013

9:11 AM

25 January 2013

9:11 AM

The government’s gay marriage bill is published later today, after receiving its first reading in the Commons yesterday. How it’s received by the Tory party will be an interesting indication of just how powerful David Cameron’s EU speech was this week.

When Maria Miller unveiled the ‘quadruple lock’ to protect the Church of England from being forced to conduct same sex ceremonies, she did so into a febrile Commons. In the tearooms, MPs quarrelled or shook their head at the exodus of stalwart Conservatives from their constituency parties. But the Prime Minister’s speech gave the party such a shot in the arm on Wednesday that the atmosphere is currently very different. He has united his party on Europe for the time being, for sure, but there’s a possibility that by answering one major demand, he has diminished the damage wrought by his determination to pursue gay marriage.  MPs are now unusually keen to back his leadership.

That’s not to say that the divisions over same-sex marriage will melt into thin air: this isn’t a fairytale, and gay marriage remains an issue that many MPs oppose on principle. But the EU speech could well calm his MPs into maintaining those divisions without making attacks on the Tory leadership. As for the legislation itself, the big concern continues to be whether religious leaders really are protected from legal challenge: not every MP is convinced that this is the case.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Fergus Pickering

    Just look at the ten countries that allow gay marriage. Basket-cases every one of them. Sodom and Gommorah I tell you. Would you want your child to go to Canada? Or Holland? I mean to say.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Gomorrah! Sorry about that.

  • samanthaooh

    It doesn’t take a lot to cheer them up. Cameron’s EU-speech was unadulterated BS. As for Cameron and gay marriage; he’s had a soft spot for homosexuals ever since his days at Eton.

    • Fergus Pickering

      How silly. I suppose you are saying that the only homosexuals about are those that went to Eton. Didn’t work too well with Boris, did it?

  • Theodoxia

    I’m sure that most Conservative MPs are perfectly capable of distinguishing between a good policy which offers, possibly, to achieve significant improvement (renegotation of terms and an in/out referendum) and a thoroughly damaging policy (promoting homosexual “marriage”). As one of them pointed out to me recently, no political party keeps the same leader for ever; it is perfectly possible to keep the good policies and reject the bad ones.

    • Noa

      But with Cameron’s, how will one tell which is which?

  • Noa

    It shows his real priorities:-
    1. Publishing a Homosexual marriage bill today
    2. A referendum on the political status of the Falkland Islands on 10th March, 2013
    3. A full In out referendum in Scotland, but not England, Wales or Northern Ireland, for Scotland’s continued membership of the Union in 2014.
    4. A faux EU ‘referendum’ in 2017, maybe.

    Maybe Cameron and Clegg can fit in a Cabinet Debt/Deficit NVQ Level 1 course into this packed agenda?

    • Rob Broome

      Are you gay? If not don’t worry about gay marriage, it won’t effect you. It’s quite simple.

      • Noa

        You miss the point.

        For Cameron it’s more important to attract 5% of the 1% of the population that wants Gay marriage than listen to the voter majority that wants a straight forward referendum on the EU, or give the majority a say on the future of the Union.
        But you know that, don’t you?

        • Rob Broome

          No, it’s about principle. I’m not gay but I can’t see why they shouldn’t have the exact same rights and priviliges as myself. And making up gibberish statistics in your head does nothing to support your case.

          And as for the EU…what’s more straightforward than in-out? Because that’s what he’s put on the table (and is the only leader offering it who has a feasible shot at being PM post-2015).

          Also where is this great demand for a say on the future of the union? West Lothian question aside (And really this is caused by one party alone) it seems clear that the majority of the UK (even in Scotland) are happy in the union.

          • Noa

            Did I say you were gay, or that I care?

            Why do you think gays don’t have exactly the same rights and privileges as yourself now? Have you not heard of civil partnerships?

            My point is that Cameron’s policies are pitched not to address key issues of sovereignty and financial stability, but to the lowest common voting denominator.

            Which you demonstrate most ably.

            • Rob Broome

              It’s not about the votes. It’s the principle. If civil partnerships are the same as gay marriage why the need for a different name? It’s the same thing, you might as well call it the same. The only people affected by gay marriage are the gay people who want to get married. Maybe it’s just my libertarian streak but I’m not someone who wants to tell others how they should live their life if it doesn’t affect me.

              And how is this proposed referendum not addressing sovereignty issues? He’s seeking to return sovereignty from the EU on powers that were given up to them, he’s prepared to put whatever agreement he can reach to the public and if the public say it ‘s not enough and vote out, we’ll be out. He might not succeed in getting many powers back in the negotiations, that’s a very real possibility but then that would only strengthen the case for out which every person of voting age will decide.

              • Noa

                Marriage, between a man and a woman, is the biological and cultural building block of civilisation and all societies.
                Relationships between men and men or women and women are biological dead ends. Their acceptance or not is both a measure of the tolerance and decay of their host societies

                Call them what you like but such relationships cannot and will never be marriage. Such use of the term gives offence, and of course is intended to give offence, to the heterosexual majority who create and maintain society and value marriage as the cultural building bock of all societies..

                Your callow and erstwhile ‘liberarianism’ is nothing more than another manifestation of Leftist political correctness. Like mass immigration it is simply intended to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity’, further segmenting and completing the destruction of what was until recently a homogeneous and, structured society in an independent self governing United Kingdom.

                In choosing to ignore the real and present dangers facing us Cameron is actively pursuing New Labour’s Marxist agenda rather than the values and principles of Conservatism which people thought he represented.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Noa, your figures are garbage and you know they are. It’s the same as lying you know. LYING

          • Noa

            Fergus, just because you don’t like the figures doesn’t mean they are wrong. Are the ONS lying?
            And counting your gay school chums to obtain the percentage you think it is isn’t empirical evidence. You only succeed in deceiving yourself.
            But then you often do.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Before you get carried away with this vision of gay scots lads reclining on rose petals in the 60s tell me how many MPs do you suppose to be gay? It should be six, according to you, and 30+ according to me. Which figure looks more likely to you?

              • Noa

                As I keep telling you, but as you insist on doing, you cant draw general conclusions from tiny demographic samples.

                And, for all you or I know; all the buggers in the Commons, really are.

                But what would that prove?

      • FrankS

        Are you Gay? if so don’t worry your little head about marriage, it doesn’t affect you.
        You’re quite simple.

  • telemachus

    In which case I take it all back and endorse the Wednesday speech
    I’m off to my niece and her partners wedding in Boston , Heathrow permitting
    If Catholic Boston has this why not liberal tolerant England

    • Noa

      And I suggest a leisurely return afterwards. Take the Trans-Siberian, visit Uncle Joe’s tomb, buy yourself a Trabant for a spot of back woods exploration…

  • chan chan

    Who cares?

  • jazz6o6

    Will Cameron’s EU Speech help his drive for gay marriage ?

    Ah yes, of course how silly of me. It had nothing to do with the EU, it was all about Gay Marriage.
    Cunning old Dave eh !