Friday, November 23, 2012

Homosexual marriage: 'legislation soon'

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have agreed to speed up legislation to permit homosexual marriage, with a vote in Parliament in the New Year. So newspapers were reporting in the past couple of days.

Downing Street had said that same-sex marriage legislation would be introduced at some point before the next election in 2015. It was not included in the last Queen's Speech, which sets out the legislative programme for the year ahead.

But with Conservative back-bench opinion hardening against same-sex marriage, the Prime Minister and his deputy are reportedly going to have legislation fast-tracked. That would be a disaster.

Even if Tory MPs rebelled, such proposed legislation would be expected to succeed, with Labour and Liberal Democrats voting in favour.

It would cause confusion with stacks of existing laws. Promises that churches would not need to perform same-sex marriages would quickly be broken. ("Homosexual marriage is legal. Why can't I be married in church?") It would quickly be followed by requests for legalisation of other forms of so-called marriage.

A new ComRes poll published this week shows that 68 per cent of Tory voters, 58 per cent of Labour voters and 52 per cent of Lib Dem voters want marriage to stay as it is (defined as "a lifelong exclusive commitment between a man and a woman.") Sixty-nine per cent believed children should be raised by a father and a mother in a permanent relationship.

So clearly politicians are not going ahead with legislation that the majority of people want.

Coalition for Marriage, who sponsored the poll, is the organisation that organised a petition to the Government against redefining marriage which has attracted a record-breaking 610,000 signatures.

"We knew that our campaign was hitting home very effectively," it said. "Downing Street's panicked reaction shows that we and you have been doing the right things in opposition to this unpopular and unnecessary plan."

It appeals to people to contact their MP - again, if they have done so already.