Monday, 5 March 2012

BHA: Support the Coalition For Equal Marriage

Over the past few week there have been various attacks on the Government's proposed marriage reforms to be detailed in a consultation document later this month. The possibility of legalising same-sex marriage has led to a number of high profile Christian signatories, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, forming the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) campaigning against opening up marriage to same-sex couples. Notably the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland Cardinal Keith O’Brien has described equal marriage rights as ‘grotesque’ and the legalisation of gay marriages as being akin to the legalisation of slavery and warned of ‘further aberrations’.

The BHA has in turn supported a counter campaign, the Coalition 4 Equal Marriage (C4EM) in favour of the proposals. A grassroots led campaign using the tagline ‘don’t let bigotry stop two people in love getting married’ was formed by a couple, James Lattimore and Conor Marron, who recognise that most religious individuals and organisations acknowledge the validity of marriages conducted outside of their own tradition, whether they are civil marriages or those of a different faith.

Both the original anti-campaign and the new pro-campaign websites feature a petition, and the C4EM.org.uk spoofs the design of C4M.org.uk.

The BHA fully support the aims of C4EM campaign and urge members to sign the petition at www.C4EM.org.uk. There is no suggestion that religious organisations should perform marriages against their will; all that is asked is that these faith groups demonstrate some basic humanity and toleration, and not obstruct same-sex couples who wish to publicly and legally recognise their relationship. BHA will also be responding to the government consultation.

Coalition For Equal Marriage