Nick Clegg replies to Coalition for Marriage with pithy tweet


And here’s a reminder of two very happy young men who were definitely not forced to get married…

* Newshound in training. I'm sweet and full of mischief, just like my stories.

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  • I love Richard’s face in the preview still of that video

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 29th Apr '15 - 10:43am

    It is fantastic, isn’t it?

  • I had never come across the so-called Coalition for Marriage, so I went to their website And thus found this Telegraph article —

    It illustrates that there are some leading bishops in the Church of England with views which show why Bishops from the CofE should be kept out of the House of Lords.

    It also reports that David Cameron says that equal marriage is his greatest achievement as Prime Minister.
    Although it does not mention his life-long support for West Ham FC.

  • Samuel Griffiths 29th Apr '15 - 1:11pm

    Good for them! All of them. Those standing up to the bigots – and yes I freely use that word without any issue – as well as those celebrating time together. I went to a wedding last year and so far the depths of hell have not opened, so as long as that continues to be the case my best wishes to anyone else taking advantage of the new law.

  • @JohnTilley

    Disestablishment of the CoE, one day! I have around four decades left, hopefully it will happen during that time…

  • matt (Bristol) 29th Apr '15 - 2:05pm


    There are plenty of good reasons for dissestablishment of the CofE and the removal of ecclesiastical peers but the specific views of the Bishops themselves are not directly relevant.

    As a nonconformist Christian, I would oppose the sloppy patchwork thinking and slow speed of reform that has led to the only serving rellgious leaders in parliament being English Anglicans, whatever views they express and whatever beliefs I myself might hold about marriage.

    But if successive governments of the country are daft enough to not manage to reform the House of Lords at multiple attempts, the bishops are entitled to express their views in the House of Lords.

    I have no truck with those liberal atheists who wish to see religious persons removed from political debate unless they echo versions of what liberal atheists are saying.

  • Stephen Howse 29th Apr '15 - 3:28pm

    When they say ‘true marriage’, what exactly do they want? A return to the days when you needed an Act of Parliament to get a divorce? A return to the ‘rule of thumb’? A return to women’s status as mere chattels of their husbands? A return to the concept of marital rape not existing?

    The fact is that marriage has evolved and will continue to evolve to reflect changing social norms and views. I believe David Cameron is sincere when he says he is in favour of equal marriage because of, not despite, his being a conservative – institutions either adapt or they die.

  • Kay Kirkham 29th Apr '15 - 3:40pm

    As a ‘Liberal atheist’ I have no wish to see any legitimate organisation removed from political debate. I do suggest though that everyone should respect the rights of others to live their lives by their own philosophy and not seek to impose their views on others. As Nick said in another context, he didn’t force gay marriage on anyone. He just sought to give people the choice.

  • matt (Bristol) 29th Apr ’15 – 2:05pm

    Matt, I think both the present Chief Rabbi and his predecessor have been appointed to The Lords, the difference with the CofE being that they are not there by right.

    I cannot remember if there are any Muslim clerics appointed to the Lords (as opposed to any Lords who happen to be Muslim).
    Given the relative size of the various religious groups in the UK in terms of practising adherents one might argue that there should be more Muslims than Anglicans.

    I do not want to see anyone removed from political debate. Once Bishops are removed from their automatic seats in the legislature they can stand for election or contribute with comments in LDV.

    I think they can even do the latter now so long as they don’t upset any of the LDV bosses. 🙂

  • matt (Bristol) 29th Apr '15 - 4:37pm

    “Once Bishops are removed from their automatic seats in the legislature they can stand for election or contribute with comments in LDV. ”

    I totally agree, and look forward to the bishops joining us on here. Maybe they’re here already,

    However, I was pointing out that you said specific bishops’ views ‘show why’ they should not be in the HoL — I still feel their views have nothing to do with it and their democratic legitmacy (or otherwise) everything to do with it. If they are appointed legitimately (which we both agree is at least open to question, to understate the case) they can say whatever is consistent within the reasonable rules of raitonal and civilised debate.

    Kay, Steven as to the main thrust of the article I myself don’t oppose state marriage being open to all in whatever form the state decides and church marriage as a religious ritual being open to those whom the churches agree to marry based on whatever an individual church finds mutually acceptable within their belief system. I think many conservative Christians are being led up the garden path by groups such as this onto a non-issue attempt to turn the clock back.

  • Nick Collins 29th Apr '15 - 4:38pm

    What is the definition of a” Liberal Atheist”: someone who does not believe in Nick Clegg, or someone who does not believe in Jo Grimond?

  • A return to the ‘rule of thumb’

    You know that was never a real thing, right?

  • matt (Bristol) 29th Apr '15 - 4:46pm

    Nick – someone who doesn’t believe in Gladstone, surely?

  • matt (Bishop of Brizzle)

    Fair enough matt, I was really concerned about their automatic appointment rather than their views.

    All this reminded me of The Vicar of Bray — first a Catholic, then a Protestant, then a Catholic and then a Protestant again.

    On checking him out I discover that his name was Carswell. Any relation to the UKIP man I wonder?
    He started off a Conservative, switched to UKIP, probably be Conservative again some time next month. 🙂

  • Matthew Huntbach 30th Apr '15 - 6:53am

    Well, I know more of the opinions of Catholic bishops than Anglican bishops, and from that I know that it has often been the same people who are at the forefront of the CFM who are pushing for what we would call “progressive” policies on other issues. While it is diplomatically worded, the statement from the Catholic Bishops Conference on the general election more or less says “vote left”, and there’s been quite a lot of anger in capital-C Conservative Catholic circles about that.

    The point is, it’s not so simple. There isn’t the straight left-right progressive-conservative spectrum in politics that many like to put everything in to.

    As a liberal, I like not just to hear both sides of any case, but I have this horrible tendency when surrounded by people who are only putting one side to want to put the other. It’s never done me any good, it’s far better to be a conformist to whatever is crowd opinion in the crowd you are in. So, here right now, I’m not even going to try explaining it as CFM sees it, all I can say is that I feel it is wrong to write off all these people as just “bigots” even if you disagree with what they are saying. In just the same way, I would argue in Catholic circles against those who try to push the line that anyone who supports gay marriage is someone who is an enemy of family life and wants to see family structure destroyed in order that all power over people should go to the state (from rightists) or to big business (from leftists). Yes comrades, that IS how it is often put, and perhaps you all need to know that.

    To be honest this was not an issue that bothered me much either way. However, I did feel that the situation where we had gay marriage and called it “civil partnership” was working, and was being accepted even by small-c conservative Catholics who initially opposed it. I felt that suddenly whipping this up and making a big issue out of it and claiming that those who wanted to retain a token distinction between same-sex and different-sex partnerships were all just bigots was a bit of a political ploy. The reason for the ploy was obvious. It was something the Cleggies could put forward to be able to say “See, we are not Conservatives, we have won this big victory for progressive politics” in response to attacks on them for just giving in and rolling over and becoming Conservatives on economic policy.

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