British Prime Minister David Cameron is setting himself up for a most almighty clash with the British religious establishment this week, as he prepares to amend the laws on marriage.
The leaders of all three main parties support government plans to afford same-sex couples the right to civil marriage, plus permission to wed in churches and other religious buildings. While the proposed law is designed to allow churches and congregations the flexibility of opting in or out of officiating same sex ceremonies, it is nonetheless opposed by the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
Orthodox Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the London Beth Din also oppose any alterations to the traditional definition of marriage. The United Synagogue, of which Rabbi Sacks is the spiritual leader, maintains that “marriage from time immemorial has been that of a union between a man and a woman”, and as such “any attempt to redefine this sacred institution would be to undermine the concept of marriage.”
Yet progressive Jewish denominations, along with Congregationalists, Unitarians, and Quakers, have been leading the push to host same-sex weddings in their places of worship. Liberal Judaism was the first branch to back the Coalition for Equal Marriage – the umbrella organisation lobbying in favour of same-sex marriage – asserting that, “as Liberal Jews, we want to support positive celebrations of life that help the individual to revel in life’s joys as well as to support them through life’s difficulties.”
The Mitt Romney world tour is over, and now it’s time for President Obama’s team to put its own (negative) spin on the globe-trotting GOP candidate.
The Obama campaign put together a press call today with senior advisers Robert Gibbs and Colin Kahl, to poke some fun at Romeny’s gaffes and to remind angry reporters that the presumptive Republican nominee avoided taking any questions from the press during his seven-day tour of England, Israel and Poland.
Obama’s campaign main message to the press was that Romney “failed his audition” for the role of commander-in-chief and leader of the free world.
According to Gibbs and Khal, the trip, to three friendly countries, was an easy opportunity for Romney to burnish his foreign policy credentials, but, they argue, he blew it.
“He couldn’t even handle the low bar that his campaign set for him,” said Khal.