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The petition launched by the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) has become the biggest campaign this Parliament. The petition has been signed by more than 300,000 people since its launch just a month ago, overtaking the previous biggest campaign which called on the Government to remove benefits from rioters. The C4M petition calls on the Government to leave the current definition of marriage alone, which currently defines marriage as the voluntary union between one man and one woman for life. It was...


Judges at the European Court of Human Rights have ruled, not for the first time, that gay marriage isn’t a right under the European Convention. Yet the Government’s promise that gay weddings won’t be forced on churches, synagogues or mosques may turn out to be a promise they can’t keep. The European ruling relates to an adoption case brought by a lesbian couple against the French Government. Gay marriage is not legal in France, and the lesbian couple say that is a barrier to them being...


The Muslim Council of Britain – the country’s largest Muslim group – has issued a statement in opposition to the Government’s plans to redefine marriage. A senior Sikh and Jew have also expressed their support for keeping marriage unchanged. So too have the leaders of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. In a press release issued yesterday Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB, said: “Whilst we remain opposed to all forms of discrimination – including...


At the weekend the Sun on Sunday carried a story that Tory MP Peter Bone has written a letter to Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone asking whether she has considered the constitutional implications of redefining marriage. He says it could allow a lesbian Queen to rule together with a Queen consort, or a gay King with a King consort. He says the monarch’s role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England would be untenable, sparking a constitutional crisis. The Mail on Sunday reports that...


The Government launched its consultation on redefining marriage today. Not content with trying to change the meaning of “marriage”, now they’re trying to redefine the meaning of “consultation”. Consultation means listening to people before making up your mind. But Lynne Featherstone has a new definition – she is going to bulldoze ahead with the plans whether the public like it or not. Some consultation. Yes, she’ll ask the public if they agree. But she says she’s already...


Two polls for two national newspapers were published at the weekend. An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph showed that 78% of people don’t think the Government should prioritise redefining marriage before the next general election in 2015. Although the plan to redefine marriage has had the support of Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, Conservative voters don’t agree. Only 35% of them support the principle of redefining marriage. A separate YouGov poll for the Sunday Times shows...


Britain’s biggest selling daily newspaper, The Sun, has called for a national referendum on whether to redefine marriage. An editorial in today’s paper says, “This is a very big issue for our whole society. And one over which sincere people have different opinions. “Why don’t we pause for three months, ignore our mixed bag of politicians and let the people decide with a referendum?” The people have been shut out of this debate and ignored by the government....


The National Executive of UKIP has issued a statement saying it opposes government plans to change the definition of marriage. The statement says “while UKIP fully supports the concept of civil partnerships, it opposes the move to legislate for same-sex marriage.” The statement also raises concerns about liberty of conscience. If the definition of marriage changes, UKIP believes there is a risk that people who believe in traditional marriage will...


A new national poll, published today, shows that 70% don’t want marriage to be redefined. It shows that the Government is at odds with the public on this issue. A majority, 59%, agree with civil partnerships and seven out of ten agreed with the statement “Marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”. Over two thirds, 68%, say: “Marriage is important to society and should be promoted by the state.” And 84% think: “Although...


In a measured article, the Guardian’s Michael White reflects on the recent debate about redefining marriage and concludes: “[I]t will be wise to retain a legal distinction between marriage and civil partnership. Noisy bishops aren’t always wrong.” He comments on Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s outspoken article on the matter: “Basically what he’s saying, not for the first time, is that marriage is a universally accepted concept, defined by Article 16 of the universal...

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