Landmark marriage petition delivered to Downing Street
A petition signed by over half a million people supporting the traditional definition of marriage was delivered to the Government yesterday by the Coalition for Marriage.
The petition was delivered to 10 Downing Street by Fiona Bruce MP, David Burrowes MP and representatives from the Coalition for Marriage (C4M), of which Christian Concern is a founding member.
The petition supports the current legal definition of marriage as the "voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others” and opposes any redefinition of marriage.
The delivery of the petition comes just two days before the closing of the public consultation on redefining marriage this Thursday.
Biggest active petition
The petition will remain open for signatures, however, and C4M are hoping that numbers will continue to rise. A spokesman said:
“We have the biggest active petition in the UK. The petition will remain open because hundreds are still signing every day. Our goal is to reach more than one million names. Today’s hand-over of the first half-million is just the beginning”.
The petition was delivered on the same day that the Church of England released its response to the Government’s consultation on same-sex marriage.
Leaders in the Church of England have warned that, should marriage be redefined, churches will be forced to marry same-sex couples under equality laws, despite any statutory exemptions for religious bodies such as those promised by the Government.
Yesterday Justice Minister Crispin Blunt, who supports same-sex marriage, admitted that the current plans to restrict religious groups from carrying out same-sex marriages could prove “problematic legally”. He added that the promised exemption for religious groups may not survive even the initial Parliamentary process.
Mike Judge, a spokesman for C4M, said that such an admission would spell “legal chaos”.
“If they do allow gay weddings in religious settings - then every church, mosque and synagogue is a big step closer to being sued if it says no to a gay wedding.”
“The Church of England will be first in the firing line. Whatever reassurances the Government gives will be swept aside by the European court or domestic courts.”