LONDON, December 17, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 58 Members of Parliament, from all three main parties, have announced their opposition to the UK coalition government’s plans to institute “gay marriage”. In a letter to the government, the group said they are “united in supporting the institution of marriage defined in law as a union between a man and a woman”. They added that they “recognise the value of a loving and committed relationship,” and “respect civil partnership”.
One leading pro-family organization, however, said it will take more than this to stop the determination of the Prime Minister, and that an all-out public rebellion will be required.
The group of MPs noted that at the time of the last general election none of the three main parties included a policy of redefining marriage. “It was not contained in any of their manifestos, nor did it feature in the Coalition’s Programme for Government.” A recent survey found that 45 percent of MPs said “gay marriage” is a top concern to constituents.
“These facts alone should have led to extreme caution on the part of those calling for this change to be made,” they said. The group accused the government of “ignoring” the public’s opposition to the plans in the form of a petition that garnered 500,000 signatures. The government has refused to include the petition signers in the count of the public consultation, despite previous assurances to the contrary.
But the head of the UK’s leading pro-life and pro-family group, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has expressed his skepticism over the group’s chances of stopping the plan. John Smeaton commented to LifeSiteNews.com, “No single grouping or initiative, however powerful, is sufficient to defeat [Cameron’s] arrogant determination.”
Smeaton noted that the consultation did not find strong support with the public. Even discounting the half-million signatures on the petition from the pro-marriage group Campaign for Marriage (C4M), the consultation found only 55 per cent of respondents were in favor or redefining marriage. Support among Cameron’s rapidly shrinking pool of committed Conservative voters is even more lackluster, with 46 percent in favor, 48 percent opposed and 6 percent undecided.
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Even among the far-left parties support for the change is not unanimous. Only 60 per cent of Labour voters favor the change and 77 per cent of Liberal Democrats. Cameron is being increasingly warned by his own party that the issue could be a deal-breaker for the Conservative party in the next election in 2015.
Smeaton said, “The government’s proposals will only be defeated through the dogged, united efforts of politicians, church leaders, pro-family and pro-life activists, who are prepared to defend, with maximum determination, the birthright of every citizen – the existence of the institution of marriage, the permanent, exclusive union of one man and one woman, the basis of the family and the fundamental group unit of society.
He called for a general public rebellion, saying, “To be effective, this initiative must mark one small beginning of the biggest citizens’ peaceful rebellion this country has ever seen.”
Pundits continue to be puzzled as to why the coalition government has suddenly conceived a passion for gay “marriage”. There was no hint of a push for the change in their campaign manifesto or in their first year in power. It seems unlikely to have been a direct response to lobbying from Stonewall, which did not adopt full-throated support for the redefinition of marriage until 2010, under pressure from homosexualist activists Michael Cashman, Christine Burns and Sir Ian McKellen.
The Economist speculated on Friday that the push for the change may be an effort by the Tory party to “update” their image. “Changing the law to let gay couples marry must have seemed a sure way to spread crowd-pleasing sweetness and light,” they said.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP), which despite having no MPs in the House of Commons has recently surpassed the Liberal Democrats as third party in popularity, has made progress by opposing the plan. Polls have shown that its economic policies and opposition to gay “marriage” have launched the formerly fringe party to 14 percent support in the polls.
UKIP, the libertarian party, has said marriage redefinition is a direct threat to religious liberties and that no matter what wording the government proposes for the bill, lawsuits against churches and clergy who refuse to participate are “inevitable”.
Nick Darlington, writing for the website of the Tory Reform group, noted that while the polling supports the government’s claim of widespread support, “it is only by a whisker.”
“I remain a bit befuddled about why the policy was suggested at this point in time, and certainly without an electoral mandate to provide some credible covering fire,” Darlington added.
Darlington also echoed Smeaton’s comment that there is little possibility of realistic opposition growing: “Now the question has been posed, it is nigh on impossible to oppose the notion of allowing same-sex couples to marry (albeit protecting religious freedom).”
He added, however, “It is such a shame it has come to this. Tory MPs are being bombarded by furious complaints from apparently loyal party activists and voters in their constituencies, who are saying they could never vote Conservative again.”