By this time, it is well-known that the Bill to legalise Same Sex-Marriage (in the Marriage Equality Bill in the British Parliament) has been passed by the House of Commons – on its Second reading. No doubt there will be more debate on this important matter before the Bill is read in the House of Lords. However, it does seem very likely that, as the Bill passed it first hurdle in the House of Commons by a vast majority, that it will receive the same treatment in the House of Lords – sadly, not because of, but probably in spite of, the voting of the majority of Anglican Bishops in the House of Lords.
Despite the fact that the British Prime minister, David Cameron, has ensured that religious bodies – such as the Church of England and the Church of Wales – will not be forced by law to solemnise Same-Sex Marriages; the Church of England’s hierarchy seem threatened by the legislation which, it contends, will adversely affect the status of Marriage for those who are currently allowed to marry – heterosexual persons.
What seems not to be understood is that there are many heterosexual couples – even with children – today who simply do not want to take advantage of the legal bonds of Marriage. They see the incidence of divorce (allowed by the Church of England) to be one of the reasons for their reluctance to enter into a legal relationship that has no guarantee of survival. I have, in my own family, one such couple, whose lives are well-ordered and truly faithful, who have a child whom they love and cherish. They do not see any advantage in the provision of a piece of paper that merely solemnises the state they already enjoy.
By opening monogamous, life-long faithful relationships to legal recognition, the state is providing for Same-Sex couples the very same legal and social benefits as for heterosexual couples. Such relationships are not incumbent upon them. They are merely made available.
Here, below, is one testimony of a Christian Member of Parliament – The Hon. David Lammy – in yesterday’s debate in Parliament, affirming his support for the Bill:
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand