Saturday 25 May 2013

Take courage from this performance as fight on same-sex marriage rages on

Make no mistake: the fight over same-sex marriage is not over simply because one house of the British parliament has voted for a bill. It will rage on, into the House of Lords on 3 June, in our communities and all over the world, just as the abortion battle rages on decades after the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967 and after the Roe v. Wade judgment. Our voices must be heard and we must have the courage to make them heard.

In that regard, over recent months SPUC has received a wealth of messages (see a selection below) congratulating Anthony Ozimic's performance back in January on ITV's This Morning programme on the subject of same-sex marriage and schools  (see below or view it on SPUC's channel on YouTube). Not only did Anthony hold his own against what was a three-against-one cross-examination, but the gap in the viewing public's opinions narrowed during the debate from 80%-20% to 60%-40%. As Fr Timothy Finigan, leading Catholic blogger, commented:
"In such an arena, arguing alone against three opponents, this was a highly significant swing. At the end, even the presenters had to acknowledge this and managed to admit that the debate was "interesting.""
So we should take courage from this proof that we can convince other people of our cause and that we mustn't be intimidated. As the vote in the House of Lords looms on 3 June, please contact Katherine Hampton in SPUC's political department to find out what you can do.

From clergy:

Fr Timothy Finigan, Catholic priest and leading Catholic blogger:
"Anthony Ozimic fights 3-1 pounding and wins on points: Calm, dispassionate and devastatingly effective ... Congratulations to Anthony for this sterling defence of marriage and to SPUC for their determined campaign on this issue."
Fr Neil Brett, Catholic priest:
"Anthony’s performance was outstanding. All the answers were ready without sounding over-prepared. I was trembling for him while watching the onslaught, but he didn’t put a foot wrong. One of the techniques of these bullies is to feign shock when you say something they dislike. He handled that very well. What they obviously didn’t like was the change in voting. Genuine shock!"
Fr Andrew Southwell, Catholic priest:
"Anthony was superb. To be faced with three hostile individuals on public television and to remain calm and focused was brilliant."
Fr Chris Findlay-Wilson, Catholic priest:
"God bless Anthony. He was magnificent. The Holy Spirit was with him. ... I just wish I could be as calm and collected under fire!"
Fr Daniel Kelly, Catholic priest:
"[I] would like to congratulate Anthony Ozimic of SPUC for his incredible defence of marriage!"
Fr Robert Farrell, of the Dominican Order:
"Please thank Anthony for very convincing defence of marriage. Well done!"
Fr Philip Miller, Catholic priest:
"Well done, Anthony - this was a very tricky setting for a debate, and you did well."
Br Pius Collins, of the Norbertine Order:
"Well done, Anthony! Keep up the good work."
From a Catholic deacon:
"Bravo on your "This Morning" appearance, you flew the flag eloquently and well ... Thank you Anthony for representing the views of so many so bravely."
From bioethicists:

Professor Luke Gormally:
"Anthony was excellent – very calm and very lucid ... Anthony came across as splendidly lucid and as so calmly confident about the truth he had to communicate that he was undistracted by the evident hostility of those challenging him, remaining measured and courteous throughout. A heartening and impressive performance."
From Catholic Church officials:

Edmund Adamus, director of pastoral affairs, Catholic archdiocese of Westminster:
"What was striking about the manner in which the online poll reduced in minutes from 80% in favour of teaching children about homosexuality to 60% was the fact that the impact of Mr Ozimic's insistence on the rights of parents as primary educator not the state or state sponsored agencies is what I believe is the true measure of how the viewers woke up to the harsh reality menacing their families because it's a message they rarely hear. It was clearly the intent of the programme presenters and other guest to demonise Ozimic's views thereby suppressing authentic debate. They were thwarted precisely because Ozimic stayed on message about parent power and its genuine moral authority. A sleeping giant in our culture."
John Deighan, parliamentary officer, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland:
"Anthony was excellent. What a terribly hostile environment they created yet he remained calm and articulate throughout. I noticed that he greatly swung the vote which started out heavily against him and swung by 20% in his favour despite the strong bias of the three against him."
From journalists:

Edward Pentin, "Rome Reports":
"I thought Anthony handled the issue superbly."
From bloggers:

Laurence England, of That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill
"...Anthony single-handedly, against three opponents, reduced public support in the live opinion poll for same-sex marriage to be taught in school by 20%... Anthony was able to do the one thing that people at home who are uncomfortable with the LGBT agenda feel unable to do - that is - he spoke his mind ... Anthony's defence...was a defence mounted in defence of children."
Cum Lazaro, a Scottish Catholic blogger:
"Anthony did extremely well under enormous pressure: I could feel myself getting extremely worked up just watching it, and he managed to remain cool and articulate. Very well done. Particularly impressive as the question posed seems to assume that same sex marriage is already here and the only question is what to say about it in schools. ... I hope that Anthony's intelligence and reasonableness undermined that picture."
Dylan Parry, of A Reluctant Sinner:
"Yes, well done him! It must be very difficult to keep calm in such circumstances."
John Kearney, an English Catholic blogger:
"Anthony showed wonderful skill in his presentation. He refused to be pulled into side issues into which the opposite speaker tried to draw him with what was obvious contempt for anyone disagreeing with her. I am sure if the poll had gone on longer we would have had the same result as the Guardian had in an all day poll several months ago. The pro marriage ahead, gradually being overtaken by the anti marriage."
Tonia Marshall, of Attracted to the Light:
"He did a fabulous job and under heavy fire."
umblepie, an English Catholic blogger:
"Congratulations to Anthony Ozimic. He made his points clearly, calmly, and dispassionately, leaving his three prejudiced opponents beating the air, unable to offer any constructive statements, other than a final, insincere 'how shocking!', from the young woman presenter."
From pro-life activists:

Christine Hudson:
"What an asset Anthony is to SPUC. He is able to think on his feet and give cogent, reasoned answers - and he did not come across as a homophobe bigot - even though they tried their best to make him look like one. Very well done!"
David Ashby:
"Anthony did extremely well faced with three people arguing against him. Well done!!"
Dr A.Majid Katme, Muslim pro-life/pro-family activist:
"Excellent interview...excellent answers by Anthony Ozimic (SPUC) on ITV now regarding the teachings of gay marriage in schools! HE IS THE WINNER"
Dr Daniel Toye, GP:
"Very good. Was like Bruce Lee fighting off three baddies at once. Argumentative kung fu!"
Dr Peter Saunders:
"Good on Anthony for keeping cool under heavy fire. Clear, calm and every word he spoke was true."
Dr Tom Rogers:
"Just seen Anthony Ozimic's consummate performance on the Good Morning Show, Anthony, very well done! - he did so well maintaining a calm and reasoned line of truth in the face of such shrieking, hysterical bigotry. Felt proud to be associated with SPUC - keep up the good work."
Graham Moorhouse:
"Enjoy watching Anthony Ozimic going head to head with three daft liberals on gay "marriage" and win without breaking sweat - absolutely masterful!"
Jenny Ingelbrecht:
"Well done Anthony! It's obvious the presenters were biased, but he answered so well! Amazing that he managed to swing the poll so massively from just a short interview!"
Kevin Rowles:
"Please congratulate Anthony Ozimic on his ‘This Morning’ appearance – I just saw it on YouTube. It was particularly brave of him to speak as this show has a reputation of being little more than a vehicle for daytime smut"
Lisa Hamilton:
"You did a great job Anthony. Thank you for giving a voice to THOUSANDS of us whose voices are muted by the media minority."
John Marechal:
"Congratulations to Anthony on his calm defence of marriage against three excitable opponents. I was most impressed by the way he handled the attacks."
Mark Lambert:
"Have you seen this? Anthony Ozimic is a hero! Takes some courage I'd say, and he stayed so calm throughout!"
Nicolas Bellord, lawyer:
"Anthony Ozimic is a brave man. I wonder whether any of us could have done as well."
Paul Kilbane:
"Well done Anthony, I don’t know how you stick it, they were awful. I hope the whole issue and fights such as yours on TV, makes pro-lifers even more determined and resourceful."
Richard Carvath:
"Well done SPUC. Thank you to Anthony Ozimic and to all SPUC people for the important work you do. You are heroes and lifesavers".
Rhoslyn Thomas:
"Anthony did a job that few people could do! Great work once more from SPUC ... Well done to Anthony and to SPUC for being a loud and clear voice on this issue. He did very well and stayed calm throughout, though, I imagine, it is difficult to do so when you have Holly Willoughby gasping and shaking her head at you."
Robin Haig, SPUC chairman:
"Just watched the interview (ambush) again and appreciate how well he presented the case. Great stuff."
Sandra Rickell:
"Well done Anthony Ozimic re his i/v on @itvthismorning I've never seen such biased interviewing & he remained calm & reasoned ... That's why I admired Anthony Ozimic so much, he was attacked from 3 sides but gave reasoned arguments"
From supporters:

Dr David Jones:
"Enjoyed Anthony's calm and courageous performance and the look on the other panelists' faces at the end poll result. It surely must raise questions in their own minds because how did that narrowing of the poll happen despite their best efforts? What would have happened with a few more minutes? 50:50 or 60:40 the other way?"
Bruce Atkinson:
"Fearless...thank you, we need more of this."
Jim Wiltshire:
"In human terms alone Mr Ozimic's composure would earn him favourable points with any audience; the fact that he was making reasonable points based on history and research was not lost on the viewers either."
Laurence Coventry:
"Congratulations to Anthony on holding his own against such biased aggression from three others. He was accused of judgement, but they were as one-sidedly judgemental as you could imagine."
Leo Darroch:
"I was greatly impressed by Anthony’s composure in the face of such hatred – and, indeed, bigotry. ... It was a completely one-sided and partial attack on a guest who did remarkably well to maintain his composure and dignity, which was something that could not be said about the presenters."
Michael Ollerenshaw:
"Congratulations to Anthony Ozimic for his fantastic performance against the "gay marriage" enthusiasts of ITV. I don't know how he managed to keep his cool in the face of such hostility, but he did - and he was also able to make his own points clearly and effectively."
Mike Ryan:
"Anthony was really excellent on that dreadful television programme. Talk about putting Christians to the lions! He did extremely well to maintain his cool in the face of such blatant provocation."
Paul Endersby:
"Mr Ozimic stood his ground well. He was articulate and clearly in command of his subject, and he came out of it with dignity"
STE Bradley:
"This is just a quick message to say how great I thought he was on the show! The information that he expressed would probably rub most militant activist up the wrong way, but I was particularly impressed by how he justified everything that he had to say. I thoroughly enjoyed how he managed to shock everyone else in the segment with the information he presented but then also quickly silence them with justification for that information. I believe that this person is an asset to this organisation and you should, if not already, be very proud of him."
Valerie Findlay-Wilson:
"I've just watched the video of Anthony Ozimic debating on ITV: please pass on my congratulations and thanks to him, he did so well in the face of attacks from the other 3, he said so many good things in a good, calm way...Watching that is especially good for our 3 teenagers who are having to have these kinds of conversation at the lunch table - even in a Catholic school."
From a complaint to ITV:
"[H]ere was the gentle but firm Anthony - what a great defender for the cause of what millions of people believe, and even pedalling uphill all the way how impressed we were with his serenity, dignity, factual account of what would be excessive for a lot of impressionable kids in the School districts. All the best, and try to get people like Anthony on your shows more often. I'm sure the ratings would blow the roof off."
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