Through an open letter featured in the British newspaper The Telegraph, the UK's religious leaders ask Prime Minister David Cameron to rethink his plans to allow same-sex marriage. With this unprecedented alliance of main Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist leaders, they plead Cameron to abandon that measure.
The letter is signed by 53 religious leaders, including Michael Hill, the Anglican Bishop of Bristol; Bernard Longley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham; Angaelos of Britain’s Coptic Orthodox Church; Sir Iqbal Sacranie, a former head of the Muslim Council of Britain; Natan Levy, an adviser to the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh, a Sikh community leader, and John Beard, a prominent Buddhist.
In their letter, the religious leaders write: "Marriage between a man and a woman is the fundamental building block of human society. These proposals would radically undermine the nature and place of the family in our society. We cannot believe that this is what you intend and therefore ask you to pause before taking such a damaging step".
After passing in the House of Commons, the same-sex marriage bill will be debated in the House of Lords this week. The debate will start on Monday and continue into next day, and the vote is expected on Tuesday evening. Is not clear that bill could be approved by Lords.
A recent poll in UK again confirmed public support for this bill with 55% in favor of the introduction of marriage equality.
|David Cameron, UK's Prime Minister|
|The House of Lords|
There are several Christian and Jewish religous groupings in the UK that currently allow such as Quakers and the Reform Jewish Movement. However, no one is forcing any religion to recognize any marriage, not to hold marriage services in their congregations if they do not wish it.ReplyDelete
An interesting situation though emerges in the UK in that there are two established "official: churches -- The Church of England (Anglican)-- the Queen is the "supreme governor" of this church, and The Church of Scotland(Presbyterian. 26 Bishops of the Church of England (lord spiritual), and the heads of other religions have votes in the House of Lords -- by the law of the land. These Lords will be voting against same-sex marriage of course. But what do they do when the law of land is one thing, and their religion's law is another? It could conceivably become a constitutional issue.
The House of Lords, the next step of the approval process for same-sex marriage is not an elected body. It is mostly appointed, with a few hereditary seats left. The Labor and Liberal Democratic Lords will be very annoyed at this letter. Church meddling in the workings of the government is something that has been opposed by most of Parliament back to the time of the Tudors and Henry VIII. This move will backfire.
One thing -- even if the House of Lords were to vote against same-sex marriage, which they will not, or try to delay it, The House of Commons has the upper hand when it comes to legislation. I am not worried about this stopping Marriage Equality in the U.K.
Although Scotland is not affected by this, the Scottish Parliament (which runs these sorts of laws in Scotland) has said that they will take up marriage equality in the next year. We can expect it to pass there too.