Monday, July 15, 2013

'Undemocratic first and last'

The British people have been betrayed by the parliamentary system. Same-sex marriage, though the majority of people do not want it, looks like becoming law.

The third reading in the Lords today appears to be a formality. It is suggested there will not be a vote.

When the bill was debated at report stage in the Lords on Monday and Wednesday last week, an amendment making clear distinctions between opposite-sex  marriage and same-sex marriage was defeated by 314 to 119. An amendment providing space for conscientious objection for a registrar was defeated by 278 to 103.

An amendment providing that no teacher would be obliged to endorse same-sex marriage was defeated by 163 to 32. An amendment that schools "of a religious character" would be able to teach marriage according to the tenets of their faith was withdrawn. An amendment providing for a referendum on same-sex marriage was rejected.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby, and the bishops, noting the strength of the opposition, are said to have decided not to oppose the bill, but to concentrate on amendments. Some people believe they failed to take a Christian stand. Only two bishops were present when the bill was debated on Monday.

Said the Coalition for Marriage: "The bill was undemocratic from the start, introduced without a mandate from the voters and after a sham consultation which threw 500,000 legitimate responses in the bin. The bill has been undemocratic to the very end, with the parties using their power to apply exceptional pressure on MPs and peers. Whatever the parties may say, we know the votes on civil liberty protections were not truly free.

"There is a very good case for reasonable and necessary safeguards to protect the civil liberties of people like you - people that believe in traditional marriage. Several courageous peers tabled good civil liberty amendments, which we supported. But the bill's backers - including the leadership of the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and Labour - saw to it that none of them were voted into the bill."

Since marriage can only be between one man and one woman, marriage certificates issued by the Government for same-sex couples next year would be perfectly lawful, but actually fake. "We should also remember that the Government said, during debates, that fidelity was not important in marriage and same-sex couples make better parents."

The Maranatha Community said while the bill was before those responsible for the government of the nation, it was vital that we continued to engage in the battle by praying and speaking out for truth, justice and righteousness.

"Our attitude should not be based on whether we think we can make a difference, but rather upon God's call to us to sound the alarm in the face of what is happening in the nation. We are answerable to Him. Remember the Lord said to Ezekiel, 'You must speak my words unto them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious' (Ezek 2.7)."

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