‘New chilling intolerance’ over marriage warns C4M

Jan 21, 2015

Coalition for Marriage has warned of the “new chilling intolerance in public debate” during a live TV discussion on same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland.

Dr Sharon James, speaking for C4M on the situation in England and Wales since the law was changed, raised concerns about “a new intolerance” which had developed, of anybody who still believes that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

She told the Claire Byrne Live show that the situation was “very disturbing” and that many who have conscientious convictions have been labelled as bigoted or homophobic.

She cautioned: “Overzealous school inspectors, for example, are trying to persuade Christian schools not to teach man-woman marriage, to dilute their core convictions”.

She told viewers about the sacking of a longstanding volunteer of the British Red Cross, Bryan Barkley, simply for believing in man-woman marriage.

Dr James added: “In Northern Ireland we have a family business, Ashers Baking Company, they declined to decorate a pro-campaign cake for a gay rights group and they’re being sued by the Equality Commission”.

“We see people with conscientious convictions being penalised and that’s very worrying”, she said.

Ireland will hold a referendum on the issue in May and Dr James says these examples should serve as a warning for others considering the redefinition of marriage.

Earlier this month Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny reiterated his support for same-sex marriage and said he would “campaign strongly” for it ahead of the country’s referendum.