Marriage: at risk?

In March, the government launched a consultation about its proposal to allow same-sex couples to marry by means of a civil marriage ceremony.

However, the consultation paper does not come clean about what the government is really planning to do. Instead of admitting that its plans involve changing the meaning of marriage, the government refers 14 times to an intention to ‘lift the ban’ on same-sex marriage. But in reality, there is no more a ban on same-sex marriage than there is a ban on two-storey bungalows or three-wheeled bicycles! You can’t ban something that, by definition, cannot exist, and marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman.

If the government’s proposals become law, this could have serious implications for us all:

  • It changes the definition of marriage for everyone. Marriage in England and Wales will no longer be defined as the union of a man and a woman, but the union of two persons of either sex.
  • The message would be communicated that there is nothing unique about marriage between a man and a woman. A relationship between two people of the same sex would be seen as of equal value to society, despite the fact that same-sex relationships are unable to produce children and have not achieved all the social benefits that have been associated with marriage throughout history and down to the present day.
  • The terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ would be removed from official data held by the immigration and tax authorities.
  • Our national laws would be rewritten to remove their 3,258 references to ‘marriage’, as well as numerous references to ‘husband’, ‘wife’, ‘mother’ and ‘father’.
  • The Minister for Equality stated in an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live that ‘it may be that [the issue of same-sex marriage in a place of religious worship] comes back another day’. This raises a concern that, at some point in the not too distant future, churches could be forced to marry same-sex couples or face legal consequences for refusing to do so.

What can you do?

If you would like to make your views on this issue known, there are two main things you can do:

1) Sign the Coalition for Marriage petition. This petition supports the current legal definition of marriage and has already been signed by over half a million people.
2) Respond to the government’s consultation on the issue. The Coalition for Marriage have produced a helpful form, along with some suggested responses, which can be used to submit your response directly to the goverment.

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then he shall speak to them in his wrath, and distress them in his deep displeasure: “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.”

Psalm 2:2-6

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