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6,000 Christians, including Church Leaders, Urge Government to Drop Controversial Civil Partnerships Amendment to Equality Bill

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Issued by Christian Concern for Our Nation

Press Release

For Immediate Release

23 March 2010


6,000 Christians, including Church Leaders, Urge Government to Drop Controversial Civil Partnerships Amendment to Equality Bill



OVER 6,000 Christians, including Church leaders, will today call on the Government to a drop a controversial clause in the Equality Bill which would allow churches to carry out Civil Partnerships in places of Worship.


The amendment, pushed through the House of Lords at the end of a late night sitting by the openly homosexual Peer, Lord Alli, has angered church leaders who had been promised by the Government that it would be given ‘proper and careful consideration’.


This afternoon church leaders will deliver a petition, organised by Christian Concern For Our Nation, to Secretary of State Harriet Harman.  The petition calls on the Government to “listen to the large proportion of the electorate who perceive the Government’s acceptance of this amendment as a further attempt to progress so-called ‘equality’ today, while ultimately compromising tomorrow’s ‘religious freedom’.”


Andrea Minichiello Williams, Barrister and Director of CCFON said: “Lord Alli’s amendment to the Equality Bill dramatically changes the law on civil partnerships. Although it has been presented as an issue of religious freedom, the amendment has the potential to further erode religious liberty in the future. The thousands of individuals who have signed the petition asking the Government to reject the amendment believe that if it became law, what has been called permissive legislation would ultimately lead to coercing religious believers to act against their conscience.”


She says that churches have already seen what has happened under the Civil Partnership Act 2004.   She added: “This was advanced as ‘permissive legislation’, yet it subsequently has had the effect of forcing registrars to act against their conscience or face dismissal.  How long will it be before church ministers are threatened with legal proceedings if they perform Marriages between a man and a woman, but not Civil Partnerships?”.


ENDS.


For further information:

Andrea Minichiello Williams: 0771 259 1164

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