Soapbox Narvel Annable: Let's hope for same-sex marriage progress in 2013
I'M shocked by immoderate language from senior clerics, Bishop Mark Davies and Archbishop Vincent Nichols – who hijacked Christmas to spit fire at the gay community.
The Bishop used deeply offensive and twisted logic, while the Archbishop accused the Prime Minister of "Orwellian" practices with regard to same-sex marriage plans.
Over the past 37 years, I have enjoyed a loving relationship with a man, Terry Durand, now my civil partner. We're grateful to David Cameron and Nick Clegg for the continued support in respect of total equality and say: "Please press on". It should not be forgotten that, before 1967, all homosexuality was illegal in the UK.
Transgressors risked more than a jail sentence, with violent inmates inflicting their own unspeakable punishments on men whose only crime was to share same-sex attraction.
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And there was a culture of cruelty at a school I attended 55 years ago, where you were graded by ability to inflict pain and suffering on others.
A sadistic schoolmaster choreographed situations where I suffered excruciating humiliation, causing emotional damage which will follow me to the grave.
If not tattooed on my body, traumas inflicted by that ruthless Church of England regime are burnt into my psyche. Cruelty has a cost and I am now paying.
In December 1957, my parents took the view that, due to a perverse nature, I brought opprobrium down on my own head.
I wouldn't and couldn't fight. Male Annables were fighters, giving a good account of themselves with bare knuckles in the school playground. I dishonoured the family.
I was the boy who didn't like football. In working-class, coal-mining Heanor, this was unheard of.
Rough Heanor lads were supposed to make things. I made nothing. Tortured children tend to do badly in school.
At the end of the 20th century, gay progress in the form of a better press and slow decline in homophobia made it possible to be a little more open about the reasons for being a bachelor.
Little-by-little, constantly testing the water, I was always ready to make a quick retreat.
I sincerely hope the Coalition Government will not retreat from gay marriage in 2013.