Spiked Editor Brendan O’Neill: Same-sex marriage advocacy has been ‘ugly and censorious’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The editor of Spiked has accused same-sex marriage advocates in England and Wales of being “ugly and censorious” against people who oppose the legislation.

In an article published on Monday, Brendan O’Neill said it was “scary” how quickly equal marriage has become accepted in the UK, suggesting it signals we might be living in an unfree society.

He wrote: “According to PM David Cameron, the legalisation of gay marriage shows that Britain’s ‘proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth’ are alive and kicking. But this doesn’t feel true; it doesn’t gel with the tenor of the advocacy for gay marriage in recent years, which has frequently been ugly and censorious, and, in the words of one American observer who supports gay marriage, has displayed a ‘stunning lack of charity, magnanimity and tolerance.”

He also asked why same-sex marriage has comparatively moved more quickly into acceptance than the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual acts in 1967 and the 2000 equalisation of the age of consent.

“Somehow, the idea of gay marriage – which touches upon far more than what happens in private, pertaining to the institutions of marriage, the family and traditional forms of commitment – has turned from a lightbulb moment over a few activists’ heads into actual law in less than a decade. What’s going on?”

He added: “The conservative commentator Christopher Caldwell has a point when he says: ‘Public opinion does not change this fast in free societies. Either opinion is not changing as fast as it appears to be, or society is not as free.’”

Brendan O’Neill is known for his anti-gay views. Appearing before the Public Bill Committee of the House of Commons in February last year, he warned legalising equal marriage in England and Wales would amount to an “attack” on “million” of heterosexual marriages.

Earlier this month, he also used colonial racist language in an article attacking America’s Secretary of State for urging Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to understand that homosexuality is not a choice.

In February, O’Neill described LGBT protests in the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia as an “outpouring of ersatz homophilia”.

He said: “Welcome to the era of Queer Imperialism. How long before a Western nation goes so far as to bomb a country that is insufficiently gay-friendly?”