Some of you may know Matthew Offord, the Member of Parliament for Hendon, who beat Labour’s Andrew Dismore at the last election.
He cares an awful lot about dogs, and the human rights of their owners:
A Tory MP is invoking human rights laws to overturn a ban on taking his dog to work at Westminster.
Matthew Offord is taking the extraordinary action after officials told him he cannot bring his pet Max into his Commons office.
Mr Offord, who has been given a one-week ultimatum to leave the six-month-old Jack Russell at home, said: ‘This is a ridiculous rule. Max doesn’t do anyone any harm. He doesn’t bark, my staff have no complaints and he’s great for taking the stress out of the day.
‘If they try to push this, I will invoke the Human Rights Act because they’re breaching my right to a private, family life.
However, as far as gays, and their equally reasonable interest in, ahem, a private, family life – well, apparently, they don’t count.
Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding Same Sex Marriage.
My own position is that I will not be voting for legislation that extends marriage for same-sex couples. Having waited many years to get married I acknowledge the value the commitment brings. It is my strong personal, moral and religious belief that the institution of marriage is to provide the foundation of a stable relationship in which those two people of the opposite sex procreate and raise a child. That is physically not possible for same-sex couples so I don’t see the point of introducing a law to allow this. I strongly believe in same-sex couples having the right to a civil registration, in order that they receive the same benefits as opposite-sex couples but not marriage.
To many this might seem like a trivial matter, particularly since the introduction of Civil Partnerships in 2004 means that same sex couple already enjoy the same rights that married couple do. However the institution of marriage is woven into the fabric of our nation – it affects our courts, inheritance rights and even our schools. And it is the effect on our schools, children and teachers that is worrying so many. Close to 100,000 people have signed the one man, one woman equals marriage petition.
In regard to education, Section 403 of the Education Act 1996 places a legal requirement on schools to teach children about “the importance of marriage”. If marriage is redefined, schools will have no choice but to give children equivalent teaching on same sex marriage, even those children of a very young age, including those at primary school. So what will happen to parents who because of religious, or philosophical beliefs take their children out of lessons? It is simply inconceivable in today’s world where political correctness runs a mock in our institutions, that there would not be profound consequences for those who hold traditional views. Parents who object will be treated as bigots and outcasts, possibly excluded from being on the PTA, or from being a governor. Discriminated against and persecuted because they hold views that have been enshrined in our laws and have been the cornerstone of our society for two thousand years. And what of the teachers who object to teaching about same sex marriage. Will they face disciplinary action? How will it affect their careers? Will same sex marriage be covered under such subjects as citizenship forming part of the main curriculum taught to our children and tested through examination? These are just some of the questions that the Government has so far failed to answer.
I do not believe that same sex marriage would serve to enhance British society or its values.
MATTHEW OFFORD MP
Member of Parliament for Hendon
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Matthew Offord MP. A clown.
With any luck, he’ll be off at the next election.