U.K.'s Blair, Straw Back Marriage Equality

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com March 11 2012 2:30 PM ET

Former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair and former cabinet member Jack Straw are taking on religion-based opposition to marriage equality in their country.

Blair, a convert to Catholicism, “has defied the Pope by making clear he ‘strongly supports’ plans for gay marriage,” London’s  Independent  reported Sunday. Pope Benedict XVI last week spoke out strongly against marriage equality, and several other Catholic and Church of England leaders have denounced current prime minister David Cameron’s plan to replace civil partnerships, available to U.K. gay couples since 2005, with marriage. Blair, as prime minister, introduced and supported the law that established civil partnerships.

Straw, in a Lancashire Telegraph  column published Thursday, questioned how the Catholic and Anglican hierarchy can oppose marriage equality when such opposition conflicts with Christianity’s Golden Rule. “How on earth do these church leaders square their present stand with those biblical injunctions about treating others as you would expect to be treated yourself?” he wrote. He also commented, “I happen to be, in the modern jargon, ‘straight’. It doesn’t make me a better person.”

Meanwhile, a conservative blogger calling himself “Archbishop Cranmer” attracted attention with a satirical post saying Straw was attacking Muslims for opposing marriage equality.