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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Proposed redefinition of marriage.

The following is a copy of the letter that I have sent to my Constituency MSP, in advance of the final vote on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill which is scheduled to take place on Feb.4th.  A slightly amended version has been sent to each of the 'List' MSPs for my Constituency.

This is not copyright, so anyone who wishes to contact their own representatives should feel free to make use of the information contained therein.  However, please do not simply 'copy and paste'!  Use the info, but write in your own words.  Doing so is much more effective!

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Dear Mr Pentland,

Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill
As the final, Stage 3, vote on the above Bill approaches, I am writing, again, to solicit your help as my elected representative in the Scottish Parliament.

It continues to be my sincere desire that this Bill be defeated, and I would respectfully remind you that almost 54,000 people have petitioned that marriage not be redefined, but continue as "The voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others." (http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/M/Marriage.aspx).  Those polls which, it is claimed, have supported the redefinition of marriage have, as far as I can make out, been so worded as to lead responders to believe that they are being asked if couples of the same gender should be treated with equality.  No one denies that right to those couples, and it is already fully available through current Civil Partnership legislation.  However, it is my contention that there is confusion, here, between the concept of equality and that of equivalence.  A particular apple may be equal to a particular orange in terms of its volume, weight, and even nutritional value.  However, it is never going to be the equivalent of that orange - regardless of what any law of the land may say!

I would further submit that, under Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, para. 3, which states that "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.", this Bill ought not to be enacted as only in a heterosexual relationship can procreation take place, and that "... natural and fundamental group unit of society ..." be maintained.  Indeed, a new Canadian study - published in the October, 2013 Review of the Economics of the Household - has found that children raised by same-gender couples are greatly disadvantaged.  The economist, Douglas Allen, states that previous studies that have indicated that there is no difference have been biased and unscientific.  He has argued that the subjects are 'self-selected', using samples of high-income, highly educated, same-gender couples, compared to random samples of heterosexual couples.  He has avoided any such charge by using Canadian census data to survey more than 300,000 individuals!

In the event that the Bill does become law, I would submit that it is absolutely essential that certain amendments be accepted.  These include strong safeguards for both individuals and organisations who seek to uphold marriage in its traditional, heterosexual, form.  I have already been a victim of such discrimination when my unequivocal support for traditional marriage, purely on my personal blog (see below) led to my services as a volunteer Chaplain to the former Strathclyde Police Force being dispensed with.  Others in the public service could find that they are without a job!

I would also strongly urge you to support any amendment that would protect those who apply to be foster-parents, or adoptive parents.  It is insufficient that the Scottish government give assurances and/or guidance.  We know that similar assurances provided by the Westminster government with regard to the now enacted Bill in that place, are already being challenged. 

It is also an undeniable fact that such enactments are rarely an end in themselves.  You will, for example, be well aware of the terms of the 1967 Abortion Act.  That Act, that permitted a pregnancy to be "... terminated by a registered medical practitioner if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith ..." followed by four specific sets of circumstances (Section 1,1, [a]-[d]), is now used, by the vast majority of women who present themselves for the procedure, as a belated form of 'contraceptive' or, we are discovering, as a means of gender-choice.  This present Bill would, undoubtedly, also lead to increasingly liberal interpretations, and to further demand from the small minority, of a small minority, who are pushing this present agenda.

I am aware that you did not vote against the Bill at Stage 1, but I implore you to do so at Stage 3.

Yours sincerely,

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Those who believe in prayer - and who pray, believing! - are urged to keep this matter before the Lord over the next week and a bit.

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