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13 February 2013

Press release

No support for gay marriage in NI

No support for gay marriage in NI

The Evangelical Alliance continues to support the current definition of marriage as between a man and woman. We were encouraged that only two of Northern Ireland's 18 MPs supported the Marriage (same-sex couples) Bill. Despite the three main UK parties backing the Bill in the face of public opinion, a record 175 MPs voted against the legislation.

Peter Lynas, Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland (EANI) director, said: "EANI celebrates and affirms marriage, between a man and a woman, as an amazing gift from God and the only form of partnership approved by God for full sexual relations. David Cameron's crusade to redefine marriage will have profound implications for society. By playing politics with this vitally important institution, the government is proposing a new social orthodoxy against which any safeguards for dissenting voices will not be allowed to stand.

"Equality is a red herring. Civil partnerships give gay couples equal rights. Equality does not and should not eradicate difference. Under the Marriage (same-sex couples) Bill, laws relating to consummation and adultery will not apply for same-sex couples. Only infidelity between a man and a woman would constitute adultery. So the Bill, as it stands, will not lead to equal treatment."

Peter Lynas continues: "This is about a small, but vocal minority trying to force its view on the majority. The government conducted a sham consultation, which largely ignored over 600,000 signatures on one of the biggest petitions ever launched. David Cameron has persevered with a piece of social engineering which will have massive consequences. The so-called protections will be challenged in the European courts leading to widespread uncertainty. The legislation proposed is a mess.

"The Evangelical Alliance continues to be a leading voice within the Coalition for Marriage and will work to protect marriage as the Bill makes its way through parliament. We remain optimistic that marriage will not be redefined here in Northern Ireland."

Media Enquiries

David Smyth, public policy officer, Northern Ireland

Peter Lynas, Director of Northern Ireland

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.