It was perhaps appropriate that the same-sex ‘marriage’ bill should have been passed by the House of Commons on the feast of St Agatha. According to her, admittedly late, acta, St Agatha was tortured by having her breasts cut off; praying later in her prison, she was favoured by a heavenly apparition of a man. The man explained that he was the apostle Peter, consoled her for her sufferings and healed her wounded body.

We speak of a country as the mother of her people. Marriage is the institution by which she nourishes those who are born to her, so that they may grow up strong and healthy. One of the properties of marriage, its indissolubility, had long been denied by our divorce laws. But now it is not simply a property, but the very essence itself that is denied. By formally denying the essence of marriage Parliament has as it were cut off from our motherland the maternal organs by which she may nurse her young. Who can heal her now? Only Peter.

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