Dear Boris

The following letter was something I recently sent to our esteemed London Mayor, the incomparable Boris Johnson. Boris had just come out in support of gay ‘marriage’ in an article in the Independent. I got an e-mail from the Coalition for Marriage asking me to respond to Boris’ remarks. I’m sure I was one of thousands to whom Colin Hart wrote. But it felt personal! And so I thought I should write. I did so in support of C4M and because I thought that Boris was off beam in his remarks. And so I fired an e-mail off almost immediately. It’s not the best crafted e-mail he’ll ever receive.

If you want to chase up the reasons for my opposition to gay ‘marriage’ you can find some of them them here and here. It’s not the only thing I want to campaign on. It’s not the main thing I want to campaign on. But it’s something that I want to campaign on. I’d far rather be known for being for the gospel than being for marriage. But I’m not going to duck the social implications of biblical truth on this important ethical issue of our time. I may end up on the ‘losing’ side eventfully but I’m going to fight until it’s over because I think it matters.

Anyway, here’s the letter (I’ve corrected the original spelling mistakes and grammatical howlers – I said I wrote it in a rush!)

I voted for you at the last two mayoral elections. I encouraged others to do the same. But if you carry on canvassing for gay marriage it’ll make me think again. I’m hugely disappointed by your position on this issue. It puts you out of kilter with what most Londoners think.

Let me briefly have a stab at explaining why I’m making such a fuss and I’m unlikely to ‘get over it’ when it comes to this issue.

Marriage has traditionally been understood to exist between one man and one woman. That’s marriage. And everyone understands that.

Gay marriage isn’t marriage. It needs the adjective ‘gay’ to describe what kind of ‘marriage’ it is because the word ‘marriage’ doesn’t! Gay marriage is also an oxymoron; like a two story bungalow. The word means two people of the opposite gender in a public and exclusive commitment to one another.

Why do we need to redefine marriage? Why can’t we call a long term exclusive relationship that exists between two people of the same gender something like, say a ‘civil partnership’. It’s not discriminatory to deny something like this to gay couples who want it. They’re simply disqualified on the basis that they don’t fulfil the definition of the word.

I like it most when you concentrate on improving our public services and don’t wander ‘off piste’ into social policy.

with every best wish


You could write too if you were so minded.

3 thoughts on “Dear Boris

  1. Lauri Moyle October 24, 2012 / 1:00 pm

    Did you write to Chucka? If your view is what it is it would make sense to write to him, since its a bit “off piste” for Boris, unless of course he starts to run for leadership of the Conservative party…

    • theurbanpastor October 24, 2012 / 2:26 pm

      Hi Lauri
      No i’ve not written to Chukka Umana. He’s my MP. But I guess he’s not quite got the public profile of Boris (though it’s growing, isn’t it!) and he’s not part of a party that’s traditionally been more ethically conservative. Thanks though, perhaps I will!

  2. Tim Chapman November 2, 2012 / 11:56 am

    Did you get a reply? Here is what his office wrote back to me.

    “Many thanks for your comments following the publication of the Mayor’s article on gay marriage in The Evening Standard and The Independent. The Mayor is concerned that some opponents of gay marriage may have given the misleading impression that he was advocating the imposition of gay marriage on religious institutions. He was not and has said publicly that he never would do such a thing. In the article he clearly makes the case for marriage as a state institution, and does not argue for any diktat to religious institutions.
    The Mayor believes that the joy of living in a free society is that we are all free to offer our own opinions; you, him, anyone. His views on gay marriage are just that, his views. He recognises not everyone will agree with them. He also recognises this is for some people a very difficult issue.
    But he believes it must be right that in a free society the approach of the state is one of equality, otherwise we undermine the very foundations of that free society. That means treating everyone in the same way, whether you share those views or not.
    The Mayor thinks that it would be wholly wrong to impose gay marriage on any religious institution. He is clear that if anyone attempted to do so he would strongly oppose such a move. He was merely advocating the fact that in so far as marriage is a legal and secular recognition, by the state, of a union between two people, then that institution should be open to all.
    Thank you for taking the time to write.
    Yours sincerely

    Lucy Brant
    Public Liaison Unit

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