‘Horrid intolerance’ of traditional marriage supporters under new EDOs, columnist warns

Aug 10, 2015

A little-known Tory MP’s ‘clarification’ over the Government’s controversial anti-extremism plans has only added to concerns for those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman.

Writing in The Spectator, Melanie McDonagh expressed genuine alarm over Mark Spencer’s comments, which implied that Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) could be used to stop schools teaching that gay marriage is wrong.

She even warned, as C4M did back when same-sex marriage legislation was going through Parliament, that people in the public sector would be punished for holding traditional marriage beliefs.

“I couldn’t really see persecution ahead”, she wrote – but she continued, “I was wrong, wrong, wrong”.

She said that although EDOs are the “kind of thing most of us were automatically probably rather in favour of”, she felt like she ought to be ‘losing sleep’ over them.

McDonagh said, “the orders gun for those who oppose ‘British values’. And it turns out that one of those values is – surprise! – a commitment to undifferentiated equality between gay and straight relationships including marriage.”

In a letter to a constituent, Mr Spencer said that teachers were “perfectly entitled” to express their views on same-sex marriage, but only in “certain situations”.

McDonagh questioned: “What might those be, then? In classroom debates rigged to ensure that the approved notion of ‘tolerance’ should always win? In the privacy of their homes? In social education classes, but only if they also give the party line that gay marriage is completely normal?”

She added, “I worry that Mr Spencer is not in fact a satirist, that he does actually mean it, and what started out as a well-meaning if, to my mind misguided, bid to put gay and straight relationships on a par has turned from an attempt at greater tolerance to a new and horrid intolerance”.

C4M will be doing all it can to prevent these dangerous plans from side-lining those who believe in traditional marriage.