Tuesday 21 May 2013

Lords should have confidence to reject same-sex marriage bill at first vote

Peers should have confidence to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its first House of Lords debate due on 3 June.

SPUC was commenting after the House of Commons voted in favour of the bill this evening by 366 to 161. All amendments which sought to limit the damage that the bill threatens to wreak on society were rejected. Previously MPs voted by 400 to 175 for the bill.

Paul Tully, SPUC’s general-secretary, told the media this evening:
“The fact that the government failed to increase the proportion of MPs supporting the measure indicates the weakness of their case for this bill.

The consequences of allowing the bill to pass are grave, most significantly the effective abolition of real marriage in English law. Marriage will be redefined as a genderless institution. The link between marriage and child-rearing will be seriously eroded. Significantly, Greg Mulholland MP yesterday called upon Parliament to abolish marriage in English law and replace it with a vague and arbitrarily-invented ‘civil union’. Charlotte Leslie MP defined marriage as ‘a social construct’, when in fact it is a building-block of society, and the common patrimony of humanity. And today, Kate Green, the Labour front-bencher, even questioned the existence of any fundamental English law of marriage.

Once parliamentarians decide to dismantle legal protections for the institution of marriage, then the welfare of children – the main reason for state recognition of marriage – will suffer. Statistics show that the family based on the marriage of one man and one woman is the most protective environment for children, both before and after birth. It is revealing that neither Maria Miller, the minister in charge of the bill, nor Yvette Cooper, the Labour party spokesman, made one single mention of children in relation to marriage in this evening's debate.

The experience of other countries where marriage has been redefined shows that calling same-sex unions ‘marriage’ damages real marriage – leading fewer people to regard marriage as relevant to parenthood, and all that that entails for tomorrow’s children. SPUC provided evidence to the Commons bill committee showing that this had happened in other countries that have already implemented similar laws."
SPUC's evidence "What happens to marriage and families where the law recognises 'same-sex marriage'?" can be read in full at www.spuc.org.uk/campaigns/ssmsub20130301)

SPUC has also published a position paper on same-sex marriage – explaining why SPUC campaigns for real marriage, and a background paper to be read in conjunction with the position paper and which provides some additional references and reflections.

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy