The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Commons on the 5th February and is now in the Committee Stage – why not sign up to our weekly email ‘Impact Direct’ to stay right up-to-date with the progress of the Bill through Parliament? You can read a report on the Second Reading debate here.
CARE will continue to work alongside our partners in the Coalition for Marriage, urging the Government to reconsider its plans to redefinition of marriage, representing the 641,000 people who have signed the petition against redefining marriage.
The Coalition for Marriage brings together several Christian organisations, including CARE, Christian Concern, the Christian Institute and the Evangelical Alliance, as well a number of organisations representing people of other faiths and those of no faith.
Nola Leach discusses CARE’s involvement in the Coalition for Marriage
Marriage has always been the natural context in which to raise children, as fathers and mothers give complementary role models to children. Marriage safeguards them and also supports the wider family across the generations.
Marriage was recognised in law in 1866 as ‘the voluntary union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others.’ The issue is about more than equality for same-sex relationships; that’s why civil partnerships were set up.
Research confirms that compared with every other kind of relationship, marriage is more stable and beneficial for couples, families and the whole of society. Same-sex marriage is an unproven and experimental social model.
Marriage is the only legal union which can naturally lead to the birth of children. Although same-sex couples can become parents this leads to confusion about biological, social and family identity.
Redefining marriage was not in the Coalition Agreement or in either the Conservative or Liberal Democrat manifestos. Although they have no public mandate the Government are adamant that it’s a question of when and how, not if. It would be very costly and involve extensive amendments to hundreds of legal documents.
There would be knock-on effects for educators, religious groups and parents who may be stigmatised for disagreeing with the proposals. It could lead to faith-based discrimination if same-sex couples were refused the right to ‘marry’ in church.
As we have seen elsewhere, same-sex marriage could be followed by other relationship variations, such as polygamy.