Updated again Tuesday afternoon
The Conservative Party annual conference is taking place in Birmingham.
Anglican Mainstream has issued this press release: Policy Exchange pulls out of Gay Marriage debate at Tory Conference Fringe
“Tory hierarchy reluctant for grassroots to discuss the issue?” says Anglican Mainstream
“Empty Chair debate goes ahead without them”
Top Westminster think-tank Policy Exchange has pulled out at short notice of a Tory conference fringe debate on gay marriage with Anglican Mainstream, the socially conservative ‘information network’ in the Church of England.
“We are very disappointed,” said Canon Chris Sugden, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream (AM). “We’ve invested a huge amount in this heavyweight event to debate Real Marriage against PE’s Gay or ‘Equal’ Marriage amongst the ordinary conservative public – and at almost the last moment they pull out. It looks as if the Tory hierarchy don’t want the grassroots discussing the issue”…
Policy Exchange issued a paper on equal civil marriage which we reported on previously, see What’s in A Name? A report on Equal Marriage. Earlier they issued this press release: Policy Exchange response to Church claims on same sex marriage.
And there was this in the Mail on Sunday by Jonathan Petre Lord Carey: Gay marriage could have ‘drastic’ consequences including risk of polygamy.
This does not refer to the above item but to a rally being held on Monday, see this report by Jerome Taylor in the Independent Welcome to the Nasty Party conference.
…About 900 people, the majority of them active members of the Conservative Party, will crowd into Birmingham Town Hall at lunchtime today to hear the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, the former Home Office minister Ann Widdecombe and others give speeches on why there should be no change in the legal definition of marriage to recognise same-sex couples.
The meeting will be ringed by a heavy police presence to prevent anyone getting in apart from party representatives and others with valid passes to the Tory conference. Several organisations, including the public sector union, the PCS, are holding what they call a “Picket the Bigots” protest outside the town hall. They accuse the rally’s organisers of wanting to turn back the clock on the rights won by gays and lesbians…
A spokesperson for Policy Exchange (PX) has told Thinking Anglicans that:
Anglican Mainstream reports STOP PRESS: Policy Exchange agree to debate and
Forty people attended a lunch time debate rearranged at half and hour’s notice at the Tory Party Conference on Tuesday lunchtime,
Policy Exchange reversed their earlier decision to pull out of the debate and agreed that David Skelton, author of their paper What’s in a Name? – is there a case for equal marriage? could debate with Dermot O’Callaghan, member of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland…