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MP Sarah Newton did not endorse "offensive" claims made by opponents of gay marriage

By WBMiles  |  Posted: January 14, 2013

Opponents of gay marriage campaigned on the streets of Cornwall

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Opponents of gay marriage have been out on the streets in Cornwall to spread their message.
Activists for the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) group urged people in Truro, Camborne and Liskeard to lobby their MPs against plans to allow gay marriage in places of worship.
The proposals, introduced by the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition, would mark a major change from civil partnerships which have been able to take place since 2005.
C4M's national campaign director, Colin Hart, said: "Our local activists are fired up to make sure voters have their say. We have identified these three marginal Cornish seats as key, together with 62 others nationwide. MPs can expect local voters to be pressing them on where they stand on the redefinition of marriage.
"These plans are unpopular and divisive. The voters were ignored by the politicians, this was in no party's manifesto and the public consultation was a sham. The Government should concentrate on reviving the economy and delivering better public services, that's what ordinary people want – not playing politics with marriage."
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, has said she personally supports proposals to allow gay marriage – but will let her constituents influence how she votes on the issue.


Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton has submitted a formal complaint to the campaign group Coalition for Marriage over leaflets distributed in her constituency.
This photo has been used without Mrs Newton's permission, and the MP said it gave the false impression that she was connected with the campaign.
Mrs Newton said the use of her picture had led to believe she endorsed the "offensive" claims made in the leaflet handed out in Cornwall.
She said: ''I am appalled that the Coalition for Marriage have chosen to use a photo of me without permission, apparently to give residents the impression that I support the claims made within their leaflet. I am further concerned that, despite a request to desist submitted by my office, the group are continuing to distribute these leaflets. ''Whilst I respect the right of individuals and groups to oppose equal marriage proposals, I condemn the language the Coalition for Marriage have used in their publication. This language falls short of the standards of respect and tolerance that all members of the community are entitled to, and has caused offence to a considerable number of my constituents."
Mrs Newton and the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, are holding public meetings in Truro to discuss gay marriage on Friday. A morning meeting will be held at Diocesan House, Kenwyn, Truro from 10am to midday and an evening meeting will be held at the Chapter House of Truro Cathedral from 6pm to 8pm.

FURTHER UPDATEIn response to Sarah Newton's concerns C4M national campaign director Colin Hart said: "As part of our campaign against the undemocratic government proposal we are urging ordinary people to contact their local MPs.
"We are doing this by delivering three million leaflets across 65 constituencies. We have used publicly available pictures and have included the contact details of the MPs to aid this process. "We have decided to take this action because no member of the public has ever been able to cast a vote on this issue as none of the main political parties included plans to redefine marriage in their manifesto, and just days before the General Election, David Cameron ruled out introducing gay marriage.  "Given Mrs Newton's statements saying that she wanted to listen to the views of her constituents we fail to see what the problem is. We have written to Mrs Newton to reassure her about this matter, as she may have been misinformed about the nature of the leaflet."

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  • barrtribe  |  January 15 2013, 12:25PM

    Just aside for those that say the government/law will not force people to marry same sex people. Read this partiulary the case lost by-:Registrar Lillian Ladele. First registrar's next the church. http://tinyurl.com/ax5uxdp

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  • Canuread  |  January 14 2013, 10:26PM

    I just cannot believe this!!! Sarah Newton will not be voting for the wishes of the electorate. Just the wishes and values of herself!!!! What's happened to our democracy?? Frightening!!!!

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  • barrtribe  |  January 14 2013, 8:13PM

    lol shagrats your very funny. Sad ; but funny. and you will be judged according to your words and actions. Not by christians of course we are called to love you. Thats the beauty of christianity we are not the ones who are asked to judge you. According to your words you will be judged and found wanting. I understand that satanism at its extreme requires blood sacrifice but this is still never enough to apease you God. There is a price to pay for all sin that is why we have a justice system. In the Old testament men tried to appease God with blood sarifice but it was never enough as man continued to sin. So God gave himself up as the ultimate ongoing sacrife for all in the form of Jesus christ. Without the acceptance of his gift you can never atone; no matter how good you are, because it's about what God did not what we do. By all means carry on making your statements it means very little to a follower of christ; infact it just invoes a feeling of pity and sadness for your soul. Again apologies if any offene is caused that is not my intention. If you saw a man hanging off a cliff by his finger nails would you walk by or offer a helping hand.

  • shagrats  |  January 14 2013, 7:26PM

    I worship the great lord satan and I would just like to add my point, in that if the gays and lesbians of this world want to have their day in church then I feel it only right that I do as well. This fight is not just about outdated ideas about personal sexuality but also everyones right to make a mockery of the church and all it stands for.

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  • shagrats  |  January 14 2013, 7:23PM

    I worship the great lord satan and I would just like to add my point, in that if the gays and lesbians of this world want to have their day in church then I feel it only right that I do as well. This fight is not just about outdated ideas about personal sexuality but also everyones right to make a mockery of the church and all it stands for.

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  • barrtribe  |  January 14 2013, 7:20PM

    They are not campaigning against people who are gay they are campaigning against gay marriage. There is a very big difference.

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  • AnGof2012  |  January 14 2013, 7:15PM

    The so called Christian Church of Engerland. A made up religion based on the sex drive of an English king kneeling before something there is no proof of at all. Who could ever believe it? And they have the cheek to campaign against gay people? What next? Camps, compounds?

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  • barrtribe  |  January 14 2013, 6:44PM

    "@ by mygodlesslife. Some good retorts there :). I will answer your question nowing full well you will have an argument to rebut the scripture that the christian arguments are based on. As with many people including some Christians who are gay discount the old testament. This is at best misguided and uninformed . I am guessing that you may have been brought up in the catholic faith or very simlar; but it's only a guess. We all know that goals are achieved by the patient; in small increments. Just look at supermarkets. Go in with low prices; when the competion is gone then put up the price. Government does the same put in something that is totally unpaletable then push through something that is nearly the same but meets less resistance. I'm sure; being " familiar with biblical contexts" you will have an answer. Trouble is doesn't matter what human arguments are put forward for discounting the word of God. It's still the word of God.Mat 7v6. Leviticus 18.22, 20.13. Romans 1 v 26,27-end. Jude 1v7. 1 Tim 1v10, 1cor 6v 9,18,. These are just a selection as you can see there are some from old and new testament. Please do not use the argument that not all gay relationships are sexual that goes without saying. You can argue that being a non believer that none of this applies to you It applies to all! especially those who say are believers in/ followers of christ.But it's you choice to not believe. BTW no offence was mentioned. Gal 6v7. I appreciate that you may not be a threat to the christian way of life. As I hope no one reading this feels that I am theatening their right to choice. Problem is groups like Stonewall started off with a valid cause but are now overtly aggressive and unpleasant in their persuit of their goals. As christians we are called to love all; God is judge not man. Although as a christian we are called to Judge our fellow christians walk according to the word of God but in a way that encourages growth and victory and correction.Gal 6v1. Just to add , I do read replies with an open mind and relook at my beliefs and what scriture says when challenged, to re check on what my interpretation of scripture says. Problem is some scripture really is black and white; but must be read in context.

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  • mygodlesslife  |  January 14 2013, 4:52PM

    @ Bartribe I fear it is you that is missing the point, making straw men arguments you cannot possible defend. "The point of the debate is mainly about Christians being forced by a minority; to marry same sex people in church against their beliefs. " 1) There is a clear majority that favour same sex marriage, including a good proportion of Christians. This has been consistently shown to be the case in all but the Catholic's survey into it (which was woefully inadequate, but not unexpected). Also, the push for equality before the law is not about forcing Christians to marry same sex couples against their beliefs; it is about affording equal rights for ALL. If that were not a large enough mangling of reality, you show your ignorance of the proposed law by overlooking(?) the fact that the Government has no intention of forcing any church to accept same sex marriage. So saying that 'a small minority' is forcing Christians to (using your words) 'marry same sex people in church against their beliefs' is demonstrably wrong. 2) Almost in the same breath, you make this statement, 'People want same sex marriage fine its up to them'. Yes, it is, but I repeat, the proposed law does not force religious organisations to accept them. There will be churches that allow it, and those that don't will be undoubtedly swamped by the influx of this majority you speak of that oppose them. 3) 'I happen to believe it is wrong according to christian teaching and the teachings of islam plus a few others'. You are right on one thing, though; it IS against (the predominant) Christian and other religious organisation's teachings, which is why Government cannot force any church to accept such a scenario. Are you noticing a pattern yet? 4) 'The supporters of this bang on about their rights and freedom yet they want to take away the rights and freedom of those who do not support same sex marriage'. Yes, we bang on about rights and freedoms. Of course we do, because before anything else we can talk about, our rights and freedoms should be intrinsic and not subject to politicking. You speak of your rights and freedoms as if they are different from anyone else's; they are not. You are still free to disagree with same sex marriage all you want. I would even defend your right to be offended. However, being offended is not something we should - nor do - legislate. I find all forms of religious thought offensive, but I still strongly believe in the rights of those that do hold a religious belief, to be free from the persecution of those that really are out to get them. The thing is, no one is 'out to get them'. It is a smokescreen behind which certain people hide to give their arguments (such as they are) more kudos. The threat to your religious freedom does not exist from people like me. It exists only when the church you subscribe to falls into line with the majority of the population. Soap-box them, instead, and leave us proponents of same sex marriage fight for the an equality you clearly oppose. 5) 'If you dont want to follow the teachings of christ/ don't believe in christian theology why do you want to get married in church. It makes no sense'. They're pretty buildings? I don't know. A token of mutual love and commitment maybe? Whatever people's reasons, that is not a concern for you. The fact is, they have their reasons, and they have nothing to do with you, and do neither threaten your faith, nor minimise the importance you place on it. Your position, though, is to deny that which you take for granted. 6) 'The only thing it proves is that you are trying to tear christianiy down'. Really? How so? As much as I would like to see Christianity disappear, allowing same sex marriage in law does nothing towards that end. Running out of space here. So show me where Jesus said anything about same sex marriage or homosexuality? Beware. I am familiar with biblical contexts. I'll be waiting.

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  January 14 2013, 3:36PM

    Lafrowda wrote:- "Paddy Trembath "I would hazard a good guess that there are now a lot fewer now than before" Guess away, it is permitted. Figures & Jail population says otherwise, despite lowering the moral standard and removing behaviour that was once considered offensive & illegal from the statute book." All the figures and jail population shows is that we have got better at convicting offenders, that we have got better at reporting such offences, that we have got better at recognising such offences. Our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc, were no "better" behaved than us. In fact, they probably behaved slightly worse than us, but their behaviour was not reported or was not considered wrong at the time (eg rape within marriage). And, I can still see no logical connection between homosexuals wishing to get married, and the incidence of sexual offences in our society.

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      Should equal marriage rights be extended to homosexual couples?