Former Archbishop Of Canterbury Bashes PM David Cameron’s Marriage-Equality Support

Lord Carey, England’s former Archbishop of Canterbury, is back in the news with an article attacking Conservative Party PM David Cameron for endorsing same-sex marriage.

In the Daily Mail on Sunday Carey wrote that gay marriage “threatens to fatally weaken what is still one of our country’s greatest strengths—the institution of marriage.”

For thousands of years, the union of one man and one woman has been the bedrock of societies across cultures, all around the world. Marriage is now an integral part of the modern world not because of a government diktat, or a church decree, but because it has stood the test of time—and proved to be the fundamental building block for every stable society.For many centuries, Britain has known much more stability than most other nations on Earth, and marriage has been essential to our national welfare. It keeps families together. It is clear that family breakdown has a personal and societal cost – from children damaged by the experience of growing up in a broken home to the older people who are left lonely and isolated because of the break-up of their families in middle age…

Marriage is the glue that binds our country together. When a couple marries, they are not just joining with one individual, but connecting two families—and in doing so creating a support network far better than anything the state can supply.

Setting aside the factual inaccuracies in his argument—that marriage has always been a love bond between one man and one woman—Carey lays out how wonderful and essential the institution is but is steadfastly unwilling to allow a sizable segment of the population to embrace it.

He also includes that favorite straw-man argument of religious homophobes: that extending rights to LGBT people will result in the persecution of the faithful.

We know what will happen, for we have already had a taste of it—it will encourage religious discrimination. A marriage registrar from Islington believed in traditional marriage, and was disciplined by her employers for it. The elderly owners of a B&B believed in traditional marriage, and were successfully sued for it. Numerous Roman Catholic adoption agencies believed in traditional marriage, and were closed down for it.

Carey—who, in January, came to the defense of a British therapist suspended for practicing reparative therapy— knows as well as we do that those people weren’t penalized for their beliefs, but for forcing others to adhere to them.

Can a Jewish innkeeper require all his male guests to be circumcised? Can a Muslim taxi driver insist his female passengers don a burka when then get in his cab?

Apparently, the ex-archbishop has taken a page from his cronies across the Atlantic. Carey is joining the newly formed Coalition For Marriage, which would take the marriage-equality debate out of the hands of the legislature and into some kind of public vote, where he assumes bigotry and ignorance would win the day.

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  • Kev C

    David Cameron has a government to run. And real people care about jobs. Get a job, Bishop, and stop pestering people just because your dictionary is out of date.

  • Robert in NYC

    He’s going nowhere. It’s a bit rich him saying its the greatest power grab in history. Hmmm, let me remind you Carey….your cult was founded on adultery and divorce by serial adulterer Henry VIII, in fact power grabbing was also one of its founding elements. The majority of the British public support marriage equality. The last poll in 2009 indicated 61% and I’m sure it’s a lot higher in 2012. The UK has one of the lowest religious attendance rates in the western world, so these idiots can rant all they want, nobody will be listening to make any impact let alone influence the outcome of marriage equality in the UK. Expect more irrational rants when the marriage equality consultation begins next month.

  • iDavid

    And I bash douche Carey’s pedophiles-in-hiding support.

  • randy

    I just get so sick and tired of these people saying that marriage equality will destroy marriage. How? Are straight people going to stop getting married? If gays get married, that will cause more divorce? How does that happen? No one, and I mean NO ONE ever asks them these follow up questions. Can ANY BODY in journalism do their job and actually interview these crazies?

  • Andy

    @randy: Randy, it’s very simple. Gay marriage will tempt the large number of people harboring same-sex desires.

  • Robert in NYC

    Randy, they can’t even produce the factual evidence to support their claims and predictions. Marriage equality is now legal in 10 countries yet not one of their predictions has come to fruition. As for the polygamy card, that one has been played over and over, biblical in nature and who invented it? Why, heterosexuals of course. It was legal in Utah up until 1893 when the Mormon cult abandoned it. It still thrives in a handful of Islamic countries, up to 4 wives at a time, but we never hear any condemnation of that from these holier than thou bigots.

  • Sohobod

    Carey and his ilk don’t stand much chance of getting their way, especially as it is a Conservative (the British Republican party) prime minister who is most enthusiastic advocate for full gay marriage.

  • rhenaiya

    maybe someone should start a religion that is based on lgbt beliefs, then we can enjoy the same rights and protections of the other pedophile apocalypse religions!

  • GayGOP

    Lord Carey is no longer relevant. He represents the evangelical wing, but he has no authority in the Church anymore.

  • Paul

    @rhenaiya: As a gay Christian, I’m pretty insulted by the idea that all religious people are murderous, anti-gay nutjobs. I came out two years ago (in the 8th Grade) at a small, private Christian middle school, and I have experienced (almost) nothing but support from other Christians… at least those under the age of 20. With old people, they tend to be a little more aprehensive about the whole thing, but I usually ignore them anyway.

    And it’s hardly like I’m living in some liberal, progressive bastion either. I’m in suburban Minnesota, and I’ve met three other gay people in my entire life. But being completely out and proud since I was 14 has done nothing to hamper my popularity at school. Pretty much everyone at my school likes me, and the few that don’t are for reasons completely unrelated to me being gay.

    So will you please stop stereotyping and writing off large portions of the population for having different personal opinions than you?

  • Sohobod

    It’s nothing to do with people’s personal opinions. People of faith can be decent and inclusive etc etc. It’s just that it’s far more difficult for them to be compasionate to people different to them if they follow a creed (Christian, Muslim, whatever) that says that their religion has a monopoly on the truth.
    I come from a country that is far far less religeous that yours and I kinda think that’s a good thing. We in the UK have fewer hang-up, and we don’t have nuts like Santorum or Bachman.

  • KyleW

    @Sohobod: Respectfully, I don’t know what UK you’re living in, but I think that we are one of the most repressed nations in Europe, so to say that we have fewer hangups is s little misleading. However, I absolutely agree with the rest of your post.

    I would further add, that chrsitianity itself is incompatible with tolerance given its declared position on homosexuality and non-believers. If you are a christian, regardless of how kind you are, or how you smile at gays, you are part of the problem.

  • Paul

    @KyleW: Christians aren’t some homogenous, single-minded blob. Every one of us has different personalities and hobbies and interests. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a single verse of the Bible that every Christian interprets the same way. So when you unilaterally declare “Christianity is intolerant towards gays and believers,” it feels a bit to me like someone saying “The Gay hates monogamy.”

  • Homer


    You are so lucky to have that as your experience.
    We have indeed come a long way. Indeed.

  • Steve

    The Archbishop says that the Government does not have the right to decide what marriages the Government will accept, and that the Government must defer to the Church. Of course, he is wrong. The Government absolutely has the power to accept whatever marriages the Government wants, even those that the Church would not accept.

    There is an uncomfortable duality involved in religious freedom. If you want to _have_ freedom of religion, you must allow others to have that same freedom. When you use force to impose your religion upon others, freedom of religion ceases to exist, and you no longer have that same freedom.

    A wise man would distinguish between the Government and the Church. Each may choose to accept whatever marriages it wants to accept. And, each may ignore the choices made by the other. That is, in the end, the only way that can possibly work. Whenever either Church or Government attempts to impose its will upon the other, the Church loses freedom, and both lose power.

  • Hugh7

    A recent poll found that of the 54% claiming in the UK census to be Christian, only a minority had set foot in a church or prayed for years, believed Jesus was the son of God, ever read the bible or, with four to choose from, could name the first book of the New Testament, or looked to religion for moral guidance. So who does this man claim to be speaking for?

  • Stacy

    I just wanna slap the **** outta people like this….ruin your country’s greatest strength the institution of marriage? The divorce rate in unbelievable…One in every three marriages between 1995 and 2010 ended in divorce…Mine the USA is worse, 52%…If that is one of your country’s greatest strengths then I would hate to see your weaknesses….. If you think same sex marriage is a threat to marriage then you need to wake up………cause according to those surveys, the greatest threat to marriage is DIVORCE! Allowing 2 people regardless of their sexual orientation can only add or lower those #’s and according to those polls, no one really cares if they get rise or fall since divorce is legal..

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