I happen to be one of those people who likes to have a good soak in the bath sometimes and think about life's problems, and recently was no exception as I started to compose a blog entry in my mind about this latest issue (Of course I can't avoid it now, because last night at the B4L social I got pounced on by BrightonRegencyLabourSupporter , Neil Harding,before I even had a chance to put my bag down and take off my coat, and asked for my views on this).
Fact is, I'm sacred, for the same reasons Iain Dale was a bit nervous of mentioning this. You just know some people are going to be offended no matter what you write and say. Well sometimes one has to make a stand, so if you are offened, then I apologise but these are important issues to consider, which I most certainly did before realising the bathwater was getting tepid. After all, it's good to be in hot water sometimes.
So here are some things for people on both sides of the argument to consider:
1) The Bible does mention homosexuality in negative terms in some passages (although there is some debate on this). But it bangs on far more incessentally about how important it is to help the poor, to be honest in your financial dealings, to love your neighbour as you love yourself (something to consider here), and many other such things.
2) This issue is part of a larger battle. There are two types of opponents here among the Christian community. The first are homophobic, the second are not and yet try and follow what they believe the Bible tells them, and are struggling to get a balanced perspective on all this. Many who oppose on this issue wonder what the next battle will be on where they feel they are compromising their beliefs. They feel frightened and scared as the gay community are, albeit from a different perspective, and feel very defensive. Many Christians always feel they are a minority in society, whether it appears they are or not.
3) I have two very dear friends of mine who are a lovely couple. They are devout Christians, very morally conservative. Thoughtful, conscientious, and just happen to be lesbians. Now I have been thinking about them and wondering if I had children and I wanted them to look after them whilst I was on holiday, would I trust them! The answer is a swift unequivocal yes. What does this tell me about the issue in a nutshell!
4) Some argue that the lack of a male or female presence in bringing up a child is damaging to the child. What about children who have been brought up by single mothers, and yes single fathers. Also worth considering is that, seeing as we are all different, a no of gay and lesbian couples will want their child to have the presence of someone from the opposite sex to their own in that child's life. Something akin to an Aunt or Uncle figure
5) Adele's point here is also worth considering:
Any exemptions should only be for internal doctrinal matters such as baptism and confirmation. It should not be lawful to refuse lesbian, gay and bisexual people services offered to the public such as hospices, schools and adoption services.
The phrase "offered to the public" is somewhat critical here. What the relevant adoption agencies should ask themselves is what sort of couples do they cater to already?
Now I really don't want to use this post as a manifesto or polemic. I just simply want to use this as a piece to carefully consider what is behind the relevant arguments. I hope I have done that.
And now I must get ready for work. Will post on the B4L social tonight or tommorow.