Overwhelming majority of Oxford Union students would be ‘glad to have gay parents’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

In an Oxford Union debate on Thursday evening, the subject of which being gay parenting, the motion passed with a large majority.

The traditional Thursday evening debate, on the topic “this house would be glad to have gay parents”, took place, and the motion was carried with 345 votes to 21.

Arguing for the motion, the winning team of the debate, was PinkNews.co.uk and Out4Marriage founder, Benjamin Cohen, gay rights activist, Richard Fairbass of the band Right Said Fred, and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah of Black Pride UK.

Debating against the motion was Peter D Williams of Catholic Voices, anti-abortion activist Anthony McCarthy and anti-equality activist, Lynette Burrows.

Scott Lively, a staunch anti-gay evangelical Christian, was scheduled to speak at the debate, but was unable to attend because of an administrative oversight which meant he did not travel to the UK.

He was replaced on the ‘against’ panel by George Hargreaves, the leader of the Christian Party.

Arguing for the motion, PinkNews.co.uk founder, Benjamin Cohen, said: “When I get married to my gay partner I will have a wedding, like my parents did, not a ‘gay’ wedding”.

Ms Burrows said as part of her argument against the motion that Benjamin Cohen would be a “pretend father’ and criticised the motion as “sinister”. She went on to say that it would be a “travesty” for any child to have same-sex parents. She also implied that it society should go back to a time when gay people were considered “sodomites”.

Scott Lively will speak in two weeks time at another debate on a different topic.

In a decision which some found controversial the Oxford Union had previously announced that BNP leader Nick Griffin would “not be turned away” if he decided to attend a scheduled debate on gay parenting, despite Mr Griffin’s official invitation being withdrawn.

The invitation to speak at the Thursday evening debate was originally extended to Mr Griffin as a potential speaker against the motion.

However, the invitation had been withdrawn after it emerged that the Union member who extended it did not have the proper authorisation to do so.

The Union also drew criticism over its decision to invite American author, attorney, and activist Scott Lively. Mr Lively recently termed homosexuality “the issue of the End Times”, and said it would lead to events such as in Noah’s flood.