15 March 2012
Marriage ‘consultation’ discredits democracy
Country deserves full, open debate
The Government consultation on same-sex 'marriage' makes a mockery of democracy and will ignore overwhelming public demand to keep marriage as it is – a union between a man and a woman, warns the Evangelical Alliance.
A recent survey1 shows 70 per cent of the population don't want marriage to be redefined, yet the Government says, in its consultation paper2, it will not listen to majority opinion.
It states that however strong the opposition is to same-sex 'marriage', the number of respondents will not influence the outcome. This represents a blatant acknowledgement by the Government that it is only going through the motions with this consultation.
Government ministers echo the consultation document, Equal civil marriage: a consultation, published today, in assuming same-sex 'marriage' will come into being and simply want to consult on how to make it happen, rather than if it should happen at all.
Over 200,000 people have, in less than three weeks, signed a Coalition for Marriage petition against changes to marriage. The Government appears intent on ignoring such high levels of public opinion from across society and is seeking to force through a redefinition of marriage as a done deal.
Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy for the Evangelical Alliance said: "When is a consultation not a consultation? The Government's attempt to ignore public opinion about marriage has been a feature of their proposals from the outset. With 70 per cent of the population against marriage being redefined, it seems that politics is yet again falling short of what people want and is bringing the entire democratic process into disrepute.
"Changes to marriage are wanted only by a small, political elite and a few activist groups. It is clear that there is no public appetite for it so politicians should keep their hands off marriage and listen to what the country wants."
Read J John's article, "Why David Cameron and the Government are wrong regarding gay marriage".
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Notes to Editors
1. Catholic Voices ComRes marriage poll: www.comres.co.uk/poll/625/catholic-voices-marriage-poll.htm
2. The Government's equal civil marriage consultation: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/
See Next Steps, p2
The Evangelical Alliance, formed in 1846, is the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK, and has a membership including denominations, churches, organisations and individuals. The mission of the Evangelical Alliance is to unite evangelicals to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation. According to a Tearfund survey (Churchgoing in the UK, 2007), there are approximately 2 million evangelical Christians in the UK. For more information please visit www.eauk.org
The Coalition for Marriage (C4M) is a UK-based broad alliance bringing together both secular and faith-based groups and individuals who oppose attempts to redefine marriage to include both same sex couples. www.c4m.org.uk