UK Prime Minister, "Conservative" David Cameron, has today backed an enormous policy change introducing same-sex marriages in churches in Britain.
Tory MP Peter Bone said the PM’s party was split 50-50 and predicted that several government ministers would vote against homosexual marriage.
He added: “Despite the PM’s assurance, the redefinition of marriage — because of the European Convention on Human Rights — will force churches to marry same-sex couples. This will outrage millions of people and hugely damage the Government in electoral terms.”
Not surprisingly, both Labour and the other party in the government coalition, the clueless Liberal Democrats, support "gay" marriage, and the LibDems have tried hard to push Cameron to back it.
Christian Today newspaper writes in the article PM's assurances on gay marriage 'meaningless':
Mr Cameron said today that he was a "massive supporter" of marriage and did not want gay people "to be excluded from a great institution".What hypocrisy and what arrogance! Showing that you are a "massive supporter" of something by depriving it of its meaning, opening the way to its destruction.
I think that the most likely reason for Cameron's decision to back homosexual marriage in church was a quid pro quo, a compromise with his LibDem coalition partners who wanted a reform of the House of Lords. He could not agree to that, but in an exchange of favours he accepted to go ahead with "gay" marriage, which the Liberals had been calling for.
Some commentators have also acutely pointed out that, in the polls, popular support for Cameron is well above that for the Tory Party, and so it is in his interest to keep a distance from the rest of his party by showing a liberal, modernizing face, which does not cost him anything to do. After all, Christians in today's Britain don't matter.
He also insisted that churches would not be forced to conduct gay marriages if they did not want to.The organization Coalition for Marriage (they have a petition going that you can sign at their website, as I have done) has declared:
"But let me be absolutely 100% clear, if there is any church or any synagogue or any mosque that doesn't want to have a gay marriage it will not, absolutely must not, be forced to hold it," he said.
Mr Cameron added that MPs would have a free vote on the issue.
His assurances of church protection, however, have failed to convince the CLC [Christian Legal Centre], which provides legal support to Christians experiencing discrimination.
CLC director Andrea Minichiello Williams said: "If this moves ahead the courts’ interpretation of equality legislation will not provide any effective protection from litigation for churches who do not wish to perform such ceremonies, whatever the Prime Minister says now. Any such assurances are meaningless.
“At the Christian Legal Centre we have seen countless cases where Christians have been forced out of their jobs for their refusal to condone and promote homosexual practice. Their views have not been respected or accommodated and Mr Cameron has ignored their plight.
“This does not bode well for British Christians if further legislation is passed. Assurances to churches who do not wish to perform same-sex ‘marriages’ fly in the face of all the evidence."
The CLC has itself faced difficulty because of its defence of traditional marriage.
A marriage conference organised by the organisation earlier this year almost had to be cancelled when two venues - the Law Society and the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre - pulled out of hosting it at the last minute.
Both centres said the bookings had been cancelled because the CLC's views on marriage contravened their equality policies.
Introducing same-sex weddings in churches and other religious premises is a radical departure from the consultation proposals. Ministers promised that religious believers could not be forced to hold weddings of homosexual couples because it would not even be possible to register them in churches or other religious premises.
But now that promise has been broken. Christians, Jews, Muslims and others will be exposed to the legal nightmare of equality and human rights laws, as well as the intrusion of the European courts. We have no confidence in so-called ‘safeguards’ Ministers will offer.
Legal advice from leading human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC has made clear that the only completely safe course for churches will be to stop hosting weddings altogether, a massive change to Britain’s social landscape. He has also shown that, quite apart from the issue of buildings, individual people from any background who believe in traditional marriage face damage to their careers or even dismissal from their jobs, especially teachers, chaplains, foster carers and others in the public sector.
The Bill to redefine marriage will be published in the New Year. We understand there were behind-the-scenes attempts to publish a wafer-thin Bill next week to avoid proper scrutiny of the details by Parliament. Thankfully that seems to have been prevented by internal arguments.