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30 April 2013

One People Commission speaks out against government plans

One People Commission speaks out against government plans

The One People Commission received national attention yesterday when members spoke out against the government's plans to redefine marriage.

Ahead of the local government elections and the continued attempts by the government to push through changes which will redefine marriage, the One People Commission wrote to the Daily Telegraph expressing their concerns.

On behalf of the ethnically-diverse churches they represent the leaders identified the failure of the government to defend marriage and even to understand what marriage actually is.

As well as setting out their opposition to the plans, the letter highlighted the undemocratic means used to try and make such significant and far-reaching changes.

They also called for a referendum as the only suitable means of considering a proposal which was absent from all the parties' manifestos ahead of the last general election.

A wide range of resources are available to aid understanding and engagement with this issue and are available on a dedicated marriage resources page.

The full text of the letter and signatories is below:

Dear sir,

The government is forcing through fundamental changes to the nature of marriage and has failed to think through the consequences or consult properly. We are leaders of large ethnically diverse denominations in the UK – growing churches. Instead of hearing our concerns the government is taking direction from tiny faith groups to infer backing for their plans.

If the government get their way it will not be a victory for equality. Equality requires diversity, and diversity requires distinctiveness, and marriage is and always will be distinctively a union between a man and a woman. By changing marriage from its historic foundation they would be creating a legal fiction, and consequently devaluing this vitally important social institution. The government are not respecting difference and they are not promoting a plural society.

The people of the UK need to have their say. These plans were not in any party's manifesto and if the government had any respect for democracy they would allow a referendum before making fundamental changes to the nature of marriage.

One People Commission of the Evangelical Alliance

Rev Yemi Adedeji, Director, One People Commission

Rev Kingsley Appiagyei, Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

Bishop Eric Brown, National Overseer, New Testament Church of God

Rev Dr Daniel Chae, Executive Director, Amnos Ministries

John Glass, General Superintendent, Elim Pentecostal Church

Pastor Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor, Jesus House

Dr Tani Omideyi, Senior Minister, Love & Joy Ministries

Pastor Siew Huat Ong, Senior Pastor, Chinese Church in London

Manoj Raithatha, National Coordinator, South Asian Forum

Bishop Wilton Powell, National Overseer, Church of God of Prophecy