UK Catholic Church to call its members to oppose gay marriage this weekend

Vincent Nichols - Archbishop of WestminsterThe UK Catholic Church will call on its members today to oppose the governments plans to legalise same sex marriage.  It is said that a letter to be distributed in churches calls on Catholics to reject the government’s “profoundly radical” plans.

“We understand marriage to be a call to holiness for a husband and wife, with children recognized and loved as the gift of God,” the letter reads.

“We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations.”

A video of Archbishop Vincent Nichols of the Diocese of Westminster reading the letter was released Friday on the Internet.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Poll says UK Voters in favour of gay marriage

Gay MarriageA new poll that was commissioned by the Sunday Telegraph has revealed that more people support the government’s plan to introduce same sex marriage than are opposed to it.

The ICM Research Survey discovered that 45% of those asked were in favour of same sex marriage whilst only 36% were against.  The rest of the people asked didn’t know.

Another poll was carried out by YouGov for the Sunday Times and that found that 43% of people surveyed were in favour of gay marriage, 32% of people only supporting Civil Partnership and only 15% opposed to both.

A change in marriage legislation to allow same sex couples to marry is about to be consulted on and Prime Minister David Cameron publicly backs the move. He has said that Churches and other groups will not be forced to hold same sex  marriage ceremonies with more than half of voters agreeing with him on this and suprisingly 26% of people saying that Churches and Synagogues should not be allowed to opt out.

The Roman Catholic faith has been extremely vocal on its stance on gay marriage with Britain’s only Catholic cardinal, Kieth Patrick O’Brien calling it a “grotesque subersion of a universally accepted human right”.  This was followed by a now discredited poll conducted by Comres by Catholic Voices which appeared to suggest that 70% of the public are against gay marriage.

The consultation is not about if gay marriage os introduced but how gay marriage gets introduced and in reality it is simply a name change from Civil Partnership to Civil Marriage although it is still unclear whether previously Civil Partnered Couples will legally be married or continue within a Civil Partnership.

The move to same sex marriage is supported by the main political parties including Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, Lib Dem Deputy Prme Minister Nick Clegg, Labour Leader Ed Milliband and Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas. UKIP, desperate for public support, has accused the Prime Minister of “…picking a fight with the millions of people whose religious faiths do not recognise same-sex marriages…”

Reading Pride says Balls to Homophobia

Reading-Pride-FundraisingFollowing the Football Associations recent announcement that 3 footballers have been charged by the Football Association over alleged homophobic comments on twitter, Reading Pride has announced that it will be holding a major football tournament for LGBT players and supporters at this year’s Reading Pride Festival which will take place on 8th September 2012.

The tournament has the backing of the Gay Football Supporters Network and will be one of the first such examples at a UK Pride Event.

The issue of homophobia in sport, and football in particular, is one the Reading Pride Charity has worked on with a number of organisations locally and nationally in recent years to highlight and tackle.  The subject has been discussed recently nationally following a recent BBC 3 documentary entitled ‘Britain’s Gay Footballers” where Amal Fashanu, niece of Justin Fashanu, attempted to discover why there are no openly gay professional footballers.

The Tournament has been organised by Robert Otterwell who told us that ” The recent documentary is a very timely reminder that despite the progress seen in recent years in many areas of LGBT rights, there remain parts of our society which are effective no-go zones for openly gay people, with sport being a prime example; we hope that by incorporating a football tournament as a key part of Reading Pride 2012 we can show that sport is played and enjoyed by the gay community as much as by everyone else, and begin to break down barriers and stereotypes in this area.

The Football Association has been asked by the Government to come up with an action plan to tackle a variety of race and homophobia-related issues within two months of the recent summit to discuss the issue that took place at Downing Street.  Reading Pride supports this announcement and the FA’s decision to charge footballers Federico Macheda, Nile Ranger and Manny Smith.

Reading Pride Trustee and LGBT Campaigner, Jamie Wake, said that ‘The government’s recent summit and the Football Association’s charges against 3 footballers demonstrate that whilst progress to stop LGBT discrimination is slow, it is still progress that is being made.  If we can tackle the issue of homophobia in football, together we can achieve much more than trying to tackle discrimination through political channels.’

The Reading Pride Football tournament and details of this year’s Circus themed Reading Pride Parade and Festival will be launched at Reading Pride’s launch weekend which will take place over the weekend of 16/17/18th March at all 3 LGBT Venues in Reading including the Wynford Arms, The G (Formally Granby) and The Rising Sun.  Further details can be found at www.readingpride.co.uk.