As the religious debate on same-sex marriage continues to reach
fever pitch, Labour politician Jack Straw has publicly defended gay
Writing in the Lancashire Telegraph, the former Foreign
Secretary said that being born heterosexual does not make him a
better person - and that, as a result, he shold not be privy to
He also goes on to say that religions should operate on their
principle of mutual love and respect, which often appears lacking
in the debate on homosexuality.
"Given the key importance of these ideas to Christianity, why
are some church leaders - in the Roman Catholic and Anglican
Churches in particular - not practicing what Christ taught, on the
issue of people's sexuality?" he writes.
"I happen to be, in the modern jargon, "straight". It doesn't
make me a better person. I didn't choose to be straight. It's how I
am. It would be no different if I were gay.
"I would neither be a better, nor a worse, person because of it.
It would simply be how I was."
The comments come as religious leaders in Ireland are gathering
to discuss the validity of gay clergy - and just weeks ahead of the
UK government's consultation on same-sex weddings.
He added: "Because I am straight, I have a right to marry a
woman. But if I were a gay man, or a lesbian woman, in love with
another gay man, or lesbian woman, I can get to a half-way house
with a "civil partnership", but the law currently says that I
"Some Church leaders say the law should stay that way, on the
spurious grounds that the sanctity and importance of heterosexual
marriage will somehow be damaged. How, why?I know of no-one who is
married who feels threatened by the idea that another couple, same
sex, wishes to cement their love for each other by marrying."
Published yesterday, the comments have garnered both praise and
One man, Joseph Yossarian, wrote: "Not very often you'll hear me
say this Jack, but you are absolutely spot on. I had the pleasure
of attending the civil ceremony of one of your colleagues in the
house of commons.
"It was a happy occasion and only a cynic (such as
I) would feel the slightly sour taste of a former vicar not being
allowed to marry in a church."
"Not very often you'll hear me say this Jack, but
you are absolutely spot on. I had the pleasure of attending the
civil ceremony of one of your colleagues in the house of commons.
It was a happy occasion and only a cynic (such as I) would feel the
slightly sour taste of a former vicar not being allowed to marry in
Meanwhile, an anonymous poster responded: "I vehemently disagree
with you Jack and I believe that you have cynically used the words
from the gospel in such a way to justify your argument."