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Lincoln MP Karl McCartney defiant over his views on same-sex marriage

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: April 26, 2012

Karl McCartney

Making a stand: Lincoln MP Karl McCartney speaking during Prime Minister's Questions this week

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The MP for Lincoln, Karl McCartney, has defended his controversial comments on same-sex marriage which sparked outrage.

In a letter to one of his constituents seen by the Echo, Mr McCartney wrote that he refused to support the campaign for gay marriage.

He said he believed the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community had "exhausted the cause of equal rights".

The Conservative MP also said that the logical conclusion of gay marriage would be to allow bigamy and child marriage, "uprooting thousands of years of Christian tradition". He also added that his "conscience dictates" that he will not canvas other MPs to support the campaign for gay marriage and that "change is not necessary".

The comments caused uproar from LGBT groups across the country and a petition was launched to encourage Mr McCartney to retract his comments.

But Mr McCartney has since told the Echo that while he is not prejudiced against members of the LGBT community, he stands by his belief that "a religious marriage is one between an individual man and individual woman".

He said: "I strongly feel that society is made stronger by people's commitment to one another and when we make vows to each other.

"I also support the commitment and love between individuals, regardless of their sex or gender, and feel that it should be encouraged, supported and celebrated. I believe civil partnerships do this.

"I do, however, firmly believe that no institution should be forced to perform a 'same-sex marriage' against the will of that institution, whether it be a religious one or otherwise.

"Marriage, in my belief, is widely seen as a religious union and I will always support my long-held Christian and mainstream views on this matter."

The Government is currently consulting on same-sex marriage with a view to legalising it before the next general election in 2015. It has the backing of the leaders of the three main political parties.

Lucy Rigby, prospective parliamentary candidate for the Lincoln Labour Party, said Mr McCartney's views flew in the face of his own political party.

She said: "I thought Karl's letter was offensive, wrong and, to be frank, quite bizarre.

"When you receive a letter like that as a constituent, Karl reveals himself to be a holder of some pretty odd views and, to put it in context, he's even contradicted by his own party.

"People in Lincoln want a sensible and intelligent MP that gets stuff done – they don't want an extremist with these fringe views."

The Trades Union Congress has also hit out at Mr McCartney's comments on gay marriage with Rob Johnston, regional secretary of the Midlands branch, calling for the MP to apologise.

He said: "Mr McCartney's ill-informed comments regarding same sex marriage show bigotry of the worst kind.

"His attempts to link gay marriage to child abuse is ignorant and offensive."


Mr McCartney's full statement to the Echo...

“I am well aware that this issue locally has been organised and orchestrated by some of those within the Lincoln Labour Party.

“I, for one, hold the freedom of speech very dear. A principle my political opponents clearly do not and, in failing to do so, I am saddened that they have chosen to subject me and those dear to me to a torrent of abuse.

“With the next general election up to three years away, the Lincoln Labour Party really need to up their game. Personal vilification and castigation may give them some short-term publicity, but it is no way to run a serious political campaign – maybe some grown-ups being involved might help?

“The Labour Party in Lincoln have now stated that they believe there should be gay religious marriages and that anyone who does not hold that similar view to them is an extremist.

“I would imagine that many people of all faiths, and indeed those of none, in Lincoln and Lincolnshire will take offence at the suggestion that those who oppose the redefinition of marriage are extremists with fringe views.

“While I am aware that a number of people disagree with me, it is clear from both my postbag and the Coalition 4 Marriage petition available at c4m.org.uk , which over 460,00 people have now signed, that a significant body of opinion in our city and up-and-down our country share my views.”

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  • vpire  |  April 30 2012, 11:25AM

    I still don't get why some "people" are so against the gay community, when was the last time you heard of a gang of gay men beating up a heterosexual guy for kissing his girlfriend in the street? or a heterosexual guy being stabbed because the gay guys found him "immoral"? It's not just Christianity, but frankly, spouting so much hate directed at a community just because some halfwit wrote it in a book thousands of years ago makes no sense to me, I know who I'd rather take my life lessons from thank you very much.

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  • gbrooking  |  April 30 2012, 9:41AM

    A new poll today backs up Karl McCartney views on gay marriage. The survey was for the Coalition For Marriage, which campaigns against same-sex couples marrying on equal terms to heterosexuals. Thirty-two per cent of this group said plans to allow gay marriage made them less likely to vote Conservative. Opposition to gay marriage is also strong among older voters, who are more likely than young people to turn out on polling day. Andrew Hawkins, Chairman of ComRes polling company, which carried out the research, said the Conservatives must win back disaffected 2010 voters in order to succeed at an election. David Cameron is under pressure from Mr. McCartney and a number of his own MPs to ditch the gay marriage initiative, after an "avalanche" of protests from Tory voters http://tinyurl.com/d827cfd

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  April 28 2012, 5:01PM

    ColinLincs - "This whole LGBT thing seems to be targeted at Christians." Is that possibly because Christianity is a mainstay of Mr McCartney's objection? "There are significant people from the LGBT community who have expressed disquiet about the negative effect this is all having." There are also significant numbers of people within the Christian community who recognise that the opportunity to do something that harms nobody but gives people in love the same rights as other people in love is no bad thing. For someone who claims to work all over the world, you have a remarkably parochial outlook.

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  • MrAWG  |  April 28 2012, 4:49PM

    KM seems to believe that allowing same sex CIVIL marriages - which is all that is proposed - will affect the Christian faith. How? It is a civil ceremony Karl, marriages are sanctioned by civil law not religious doctrine. He also makes a massive illogical leap when he says that same sex marriage would lead to child marriages and polygamy. How? That's the equivalent of saying if we allow people to keep pets it will lead to human/animal marriages. As they say in Singapore 'Wah lao eh, why you so chao ah beng one? Don't talk cock lah.'

    |   6
  • Dr_seuss  |  April 28 2012, 2:43PM

    lol if I listen very carefully I think I can hear the sound of his career ending

    |   9
  • Puriel  |  April 28 2012, 1:33PM

    Karl seems to think he's under an attack for political purchase. Karl, if you're reading this, I am a heterosexual atheist who lives (and votes) in Lincoln. I do not have an agenda, I merely think that your views, in terms of representing the people of Lincoln are bang out of order and you are a disgrace. Anyone should be able to marry. Why should they be treated differently. If the various religions need time to catch up with society, then so be it. We all know that they are moving towards a more enlightened (ironically) view on this. Unlike you it seems. Please resign and save us any more of your bumbling ineptitude. You do not represent me or anyone I know in Lincoln.

    |   5
  • Mr_Sneer  |  April 28 2012, 12:04PM

    "It isn't just the gay marriage and religion link, it is the very aggressive way that the LGBT agenda is being imposed on us all." What, exactly, is gay marriage taking from you? What is it that you can do now that you wouldn't be able to if gay marriage was equal to heterosexual marriage? Anything? Anything at all? "This whole LGBT thing seems to be targeted at Christians, who are seen as a bigoted enemy. What about all the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and other religions?" I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that most opposition to gay marriage is coming FROM Christians. However, I personally am against ALL religions having any influence on the state, including my own religion of choice Frisbeetarianism (the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck - many thanks George Carlin).

    |   1
  • AnnNom  |  April 28 2012, 11:58AM

    @ ColinLincs- Your quote "I grew up in a family with I think the first lesbians and homosexuals in Yorkshire" You mean that homosexuality in Yorkshire is a comparatively recent invention?

    |   3
  • Pete67  |  April 28 2012, 11:47AM

    by SwissToni__ - Friday, April 27 2012, 1:32PM. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind" - - - - - But could this not also be understood as ' Thou shalt not lie with mankind or womankind'? It all depends I would have thought on the way you read it. Then again if nobody slept with each other none of us would be here. I'm not gay myself, but I still fail to see why people should be put down for it. Remember some of our greatest heroes were (nobody complained about them).

    |   6
  • Lincoln_Fan  |  April 28 2012, 11:41AM

    @ColinLincs Quote '...it is the very aggressive way that the LGBT agenda...' This agenda to which you refer is no more than demanding the same rights that you have. Pretty radical eh? For crying out loud why are you so against a considerable minority having the same rights as yourself? How can two people of the same sex getting married in any way affect those who are already married? I see no evidence whatsoever in those countries which allow equal citizenship of equal marriage affecting existing marriages. Please base arguments on evidence.

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