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Monday, 28 May 2012

What happened to democracy?

It was in the Andrew Marr Show, on BBC television, that Mr Nick Clegg made the statement that Liberal Democrat MPs will be forced to vote in favour of allowing homosexual/lesbian marriage when (sic!) the legislation is considered by Parliament.  From the leader of a political Party that has the word "Democrat" in its name, that is hardly a democratic approach!  Indeed, it smacks of the sort of dictatorial attitude found in "single-party" nations, such as North Korea!

I have written to Mr Clegg - and sent similar correspondence to a number of his senior Party members - as follows:

Dear Mr Clegg,

Having heard your statement, made on the Andrew Marr Show, that Liberal Democrat MPs will be forced to vote in favour of allowing homosexual/lesbian marriage when the legislation is considered by the U.K. Parliament, I write to ask you to reconsider this position.

It is surely the case that, on an issue as emotive as this, and where there is indeed a matter of conscience, there will be some LibDem members who are not in favour of this attempt to redefine the universally-accepted concept of marriage as being the voluntary union of a man and a woman (or, in some cultures, more than one woman – but always male and female), for life, and to the exclusion of all others.  Your public statement would suggest that  there is in fact, no place for the supporters of traditional marriage within the Liberal Democrat Party.  This, one must assume, extends beyond the walls of the Palace of Westminster to the "ordinary" supporter around the country.

Even from a purely pragmatic perspective, I would respectfully suggest that this is a mistake.  The recent local council elections indicated that your Party has already lost a great deal of its support throughout the country.  I would suggest that taking such a hard stand on an issue as emotive as that of the "redefinition" of marriage would decimate even the rump that remains!   I certainly know LibDem supporters who are staunchly in favour of the retention of marriage as it has been for millennia!  I am not a Party member ( I am not a member of any political Party), but I have supported LibDem candidates in the past, especially at local level.  This is something that I would never be able to do again!

You also stated that this issue is not one of conscience because the Government would not be forcing clergy to marry homosexual/lesbian pairs.  You seem to have forgotten that such assurances are not worth the breath used to utter them!  Apart from the fact that every Government has gone back on pre-election, and Manifesto, promises, you have absolutely no control over the decisions of some future Government!  When "civil partnerships" were, so recently, introduced it was made clear that there would be no attempt to introduce homosexual/lesbian "marriage".  We already see how firm a comittment that has turned out to be!

In the light of the points that I have (I trust respectfully) made, I would urge you to reconsider both your, and the Party's, position.

Anyone resident in the UK, who wishes to follow my example, may feel free to use any of the points that I have made - although, preferably, in their own words!

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