TUESDAY THOUGHT: Trevor Colman MEP
LET me declare right away that I have no strong feelings either way on gay marriage, but some things about this matter are puzzling. On February 5, 2013 the House Commons voted by 400 to 175 in favour of allowing same-sex couples to be married.
On the afternoon and evening of the vote there was much argument from both sides. David Cameron, however, the chief proponent of this legislation, did not involve himself in the debate in the House but made a number of statements from Number 10. He said "It is right that gay people should be able to get married too. Yes, this is about equality but it is also about making our society stronger".
When the vote was called, Jon Snow on Channel 4 news described it as "a momentous night in British legal, cultural and political development". Sure enough the Bill was voted through.
As far as I can gather, no politician or member of the press mentioned the following. In November 2013 there will be a vote in the European Parliament on "the Stockholm Program" which compels member states to recognise and uphold the "effect of civil status documents of another EU state". The report deals with the issue of cross-border harmonisation within the European Union and implies an EU-wide de facto recognition of same-sex marriage.
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Paragraph 40 of the report stresses the need to ensure mutual recognition of official documents issued by national administrations despite the obvious risk of undermining the sovereignty of the member states by shifting the definition of "marriage" from family law, which is an exclusive competence of member states, to procedural law as defined under the Stockholm Program.
Once the Stockholm Program is implemented, a member state's refusal to acknowledge the married status of a same-sex couple becomes illegal. Same-sex marriage is already recognised in some member states, such as Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Sweden, but not in Britain and France or a host of other countries.
Is it coincidental that David Cameron's recognition of gay marriage should surface a few months before the imposition of EU legislation demanding precisely that? Can it be that not one MP in the whole House of Commons was aware of the Stockholm Program or that all the British journalists, all TV and radio channels and every British newspaper editor were similarly ignorant?
Or is this yet another example of the arrogant manner in which our politicians (and media), when dealing with EU influence on Britain, distort and manipulate the truth?
What do you think?
Trevor Colman is UKIP MEP for the South West, which covers Bristol