In the Lancashire Telegraph [Straw] writes: “ A central principle common to all world religions is the idea that we should behave towards others in the way in which we would expect others to behave towards us. Christ devotes much of his teaching to this theme, building on the Old Testament injunction that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves.”

“’Judge not, that ye be not judged’, and ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’, are two of his most powerful, and enduring, messages about how individuals, local communities, and whole societies, should live peacefully, and happily, with others.”…

He writes: “I happen to be, in the modern jargon, ‘straight’. It doesn’t make me a better person.

“I didn’t choose to be straight. It’s how I am. It would be no different if I were gay. I would neither be a better, nor a worse, person because of it. It would simply be how I was…

“I know of no-one who is married who feels threatened by the idea that another couple, same sex, wishes to cement their love for each other by marrying.

“Why should this not be a matter of celebration, rather than of prohibition?”

He ends asking: “How on earth do these church leaders square their present stand with those biblical injunctions about treating others as you would expect to be treated yourself?”