UK MPs vote in favour of gay marriage

Gay rights campaigners outside parliament before MPs voted on a bill to allow same-sex marriage. (Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty — theguardian).

Christians raise serious concerns

British Members of Parliament yesterday voted 400 to 175 in favour of historic legislation that will give gay couples the right to marry.

But embarrassingly for pro same-sex marriage Prime Minister David Cameron, more than half of his own 303 Conservative Party MPs did not support the move. Support from Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs carried the day for the Marriage Bill, which is expected to be passed by the House of Lords and come into effect in 2015.

Cameron said the legislation was about equality and was “an important step forward for our country”.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg welcomed the outcome of the debate, saying Britain would look back on it as a “landmark for equality”. Labour leader Ed Miliband said it was a “proud day” for Britain.

Gay rights activists who witnessed the House of Commons debate cheered loudly when the vote was taken.

Christians, however, have raised serious concerns about the implications of the change for society and religious freedom, and have vowed to continue to defend the traditional definition of marriage, reports Christian Post.

Director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance, Dr Dave Landrum, said the Government had “no right and no mandate to privatise marriage”.

He contended that the institution of marriage would only be weakened by a redefinition allowing gay couples to marry.

“Civil partnerships will eventually have to be opened to heterosexual couples, individual rights claims will inevitably erode most of the so-called protections for religious groups, and multiple forms of marriage will begin to appear thereby undermining the institution itself,” he said.

“What is so crazy about this is that by applying free market principles to marriage the state will also need to enforce a new social orthodoxy by dramatically interfering in family life, religion and society.”

Redefining marriage would require “vast and incalculable changes” to local government, the legal system, health, welfare, employment and education, he further warned.

“There is no legal protection for the majority of the ordinary non-religious public who insist that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

“Equality is not the same as uniformity, and the debates around adultery and consummation show that if we change the meaning of marriage it will no longer be marriage,” he said.

The Catholic Church said it would continue to support marriage as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman.

In a statement on behalf of the Church, Archbishop Peter Smith said there were “profound problems” with a change to the law.

“Marriage is rooted in the complementarity of man and woman. For these reasons the Church opposes the Government’s Bill to redefine marriage,” he said.

“Despite claims by supporters of the Bill that the central issue is one of equality, the Bill actually seeks to redefine marriage and will have consequences for society at large.”

Christian Concern said a change to the law was “needless and reckless”.

“This is a sad day for Britain, when our elected representatives are prepared to overturn centuries of legislation on marriage,” said chief executive Andrea Minichiello Williams.

“The essence off marriage has always been the union of one man and one woman.

“The vote today not only has the potential to overturn historic legislation but also centuries of a common understanding of marriage. No longer will a common understanding exist.

“There are many people – Christians and non-Christians – who will never accept that marriage can ever be anything other than between a man and a woman.”

The newly elected archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby reiterated his opposition to gay marriage after his confirmation on Monday.

3 Comments

  1. Rev Ian Karshagen

    A “Step forward” in man’s eyes is in this case a leap backwards!

  2. What malign levels have you sunk to, the once “Great” Britain? Is this not the same nation that in times past painted much of the globe red and sent missionaries to the “dark” continent and elsewhere? Today you is fast becoming one of the great the champions of immorality. The politicians can guilefully support “gay marriage” on the premise of promoting “equality” but these semantics do not convert what is evil into something good. Even the use of the word “gay” is a travesty. The word means merry, exuberant, bright, lively. Its clever adaptation by homosexuals has robbed it of its pure meaning and corrupting a perfectly good word.

    The Bible explicitly prohibits homosexuality. Not just in the Old Testament but in the New. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians 6:9 says that “. . do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.” Further, God made it clear beyond question that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. There are many passages but Mark 10:6-9 puts the matter beyond doubt. Woe to the politicians who support this evil thing for they for the sake of political expediency are supporting practices for which the judgment is eternal damnation. And those who deny God are surely in for a shocking experience some day.

  3. A sad day for Great Britain.