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A dispute over the status of ‘humanist’ marriages, compared to traditional church weddings, has broken out between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems want people who are agnostic or atheist to be able to have a secular wedding, outside a registry office. They argue that ‘humanist’ weddings should have the same legal force as marriages in a church or a synagogue. A senior Government source has revealed that Downing Street is against the proposal, saying: “the Tories...

From today, same-sex couples can convert their civil partnerships to a same-sex marriage, and senior Liberal Democrats are in a celebratory mood. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and equalities minister Jo Swinson both talk about the change with glee. According to Mr Clegg, this day is “another celebration for LGBT rights”. And Jo Swinson describes the change as “fantastic for couples in civil partnerships, and for the whole country”. She also paints those who opposed same-sex marriage...

A date has now been set for Red Cross volunteer Bryan Barkley’s appeal against his dismissal for supporting marriage. The hearing will be tomorrow Thursday 11 December. Thank you again to the many people who have contacted the Red Cross over its decision to axe Mr Barkley for his stance on marriage. We are aware that the Red Cross has been responding to some of you saying: “we want to make it absolutely clear that the British Red Cross did not dismiss this volunteer because of his views on...

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan faces a big fight to get re-elected as an MP after her U-turn on same-sex marriage and the introduction of education regulations, says C4M’s Colin Hart. In September, Mrs Morgan brought in regulations promoting so-called ‘British values’. This has led to a private Christian school being told to invite leaders from other religions to lead assemblies and inspectors asking intrusive questions to schoolgirls at Orthodox Jewish schools. In October she said she...

David Cameron has “little chance” of winning a majority at the General Election unless he makes space for traditional marriage supporters, the head of the Grassroots Conservatives group says. Bob Woollard says he is “personally convinced” that the Conservatives will not get a clear victory unless they reach “a sensible accommodation on this subject and draw people back who have gone to UKIP or have no intention of voting at all”. Woollard made the comments in a letter to the Prime...

A heterosexual couple who want a civil partnership have started legal proceedings, just months after the Government rejected the idea. Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld believe marriage has “sexist trappings”. They have given notice of a judicial review against their local council, Kensington and Chelsea, and are also petitioning Nicky Morgan over the issue. Steinfeld said the couple is seeking “a social institution that will express how we see each other”. “Our objection to...

David Cameron’s ‘casual imposition’ of gay marriage “insulted settled beliefs”, and “wounded him politically”, a former editor of The Daily Telegraph has said. Writing for the paper, Charles Moore commented that the main political parties treat opponents of same-sex marriage as “moral inferiors”. He criticised the assumption in parts of the Western world that those who disagree with redefining marriage are “bigots” and should be “virtually disqualified from public...

MPs are being asked to ‘phase out’ the concept of marriage being a lifelong commitment by a website that helps people to have extra-marital affairs. Mike Taylor, spokesman for ‘Illicit Encounters’, said: “Marriage should be just like a passport or driver’s licence… If individuals are not interested in renewing it, then it expires”. This is yet another attack on the fundamental institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others, for...

You’ve certainly been making your feelings known about the Red Cross’ decision to axe longstanding volunteer Bryan Barkley over his opposition to same-sex marriage. Thank you. We are aware of thousands of emails, Facebook postings and tweets expressing both support for Mr Barkley and real shock and dismay that the Red Cross took such a decision in the first place. Read the report in The Daily Telegraph, Friday, 14 November 2014 Four Conservative MPs have also backed a motion in...

C4M is supporting Bryan Barkley, dismissed by the British Red Cross after 18 years service as a volunteer, for holding up a sign saying “No Same Sex Marriage”. Read the report in the Daily Mail, Saturday, 1 November 2014 Over those 18 years Mr Barkley worked on 84 cases helping to track down missing persons and reunite families torn apart by conflict. Earlier this year he was invited to attend the British Red Cross garden party at Buckingham Palace. But on the very same day he...

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