The story manages to:Comments on this blog? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
a) smear SPUC as an ‘anti-LGBT group’
b) ignore all written materials SPUC has put out on the subject (all available at www.spuc.org.uk - an address given in the flyer)
c) grossly misrepresent the contents of the flyer itself.
Basic journalistic good practice could, of course, have avoided all these faults. SPUC was not consulted about the article or asked to comment on the false claims made. SPUC has contacted Pink News six times (four times by telephone and twice by email) since the article went online but has received no reply or acknowledgement of any kind.
As Pink News in general, and journalist Christopher Brocklebank in particular, have failed their readership so dismally, it is left to us to correct them.
Re a) above:
Pink News labels SPUC “a pro-life and anti-LGBT group”. This is half-correct and half-smear. We defend the right to life, and we defend marriage, opposing its mooted redefinition as a genderless institution. The campaign, and the organisation itself, are not ‘anti-LGBT’; they are simply ‘pro-marriage’. Presumably Pink News regards homosexuals such as Brian Sewell and Christopher Biggins as ‘anti-LGBT’ for their opposition to same-sex marriage? Perhaps Stonewall’s lengthy silence on same-sex marriage and chief executive Ben Summerskill’s airing of fears of the exorbitant cost of changes to legislation (£5bn) qualify them as formerly anti-LGBT?
Re b) above:
SPUC’s materials, ignored by Brocklebank yet locatable at our website within seconds, can be found here:
Pink News states:
“SPUC’s claim that same-sex marriages – if legalised – were more likely to lead to the abortion of unborn babies within those very marriages was not fully explained.”It is true that this was not “fully explained” - not least because no such claim was ever made! The flyer states the following:
"We must protect real marriage because it protects children in the womb. Statistics show that unborn babies are four to five times more likely to be aborted outside of real marriage.”In the hands of Brocklebank our statement is transformed into a claim about abortions ‘within’ same-sex marriages - as opposed to our concern at the harmful impact on future children of removing natural conception universally from the idea of marriage. Thus does Pink News set up a straw man for its readers. It’s a shame that the paper has such contempt for its gay readership.
Smears and outright misrepresentations - whether from Pink News, or from commentators who effectively support them - will not deter SPUC from this campaign: a campaign that puts the child at the centre of our concerns, not the sexual ‘rights’ of adults.
As Patrick Riley reminds us in his book 'Civilizing Sex':
“The very act of marrying implies children as the purpose and perfection of the state created by the act...Therefore man and wife ‘by themselves’ constitute a family, since in reality, if only in potency, there is no such thing as man and wife by themselves. When you say husband, you say father; when you say wife, mother.”
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