WESTMINSTER, February 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At about 7 pm. London time tonight, 400 Members of Parliament voted in favor of a law re-defining marriage in Britain, with 175 MPs voting ‘no.’ The bill now goes to committee for further scrutiny.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, one of the leaders in the fight to defend marriage, told LSN today that the fight is not over, and that those involved in the fight for marriage are continuing to rally support at the grassroots. SPUC commended the pro-family MPs who opposed the bill, who came largely from the government’s own backbench MPs.
In today’s 6-hour debate, Tory MP Roger Gale summed up the position of those opposed to the change, saying it had nothing to do with “equality” but with the objective reality of marriage.
“It is not possible to redefine marriage,” Gale said. “Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, has been historically, remains so. It is Alice in Wonderland territory, Orwellian almost, for any Government of any political persuasion to seek to come along and try to re-write the lexicon. It will not do.”
Gale blasted the supporters of the bill, pointing to their broken assurances, given during the passage of the Civil Partnerships Bill in 2004, that legal recognition of civil unions were not a precursor to “gay marriage.”
Another backbench Tory MP, Tim Loughton, said, “Who are we, this government or this country, to redefine the term marriage that has meant one man and one woman across cultures, across ages, across geographical barriers since before state and religion themselves?
“Is not the problem a lack of equality in the law that we need to address, but a lack of equality in some people’s eyes in society, and just changing the name of a ceremony will not address that.”
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Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party that passed the Civil Partnerships Bill, commented that his party has always given strong support for the redefinition of marriage and claimed much credit for the party for today’s vote.
“Equal marriage builds on Labour’s successes in Government which include the repeal of Section 28 [that abolished promotion of homosexuality in schools], equalising the age of consent, the introduction of civil partnerships and changes to the rules governing adoption,” Miliband said.
“Labour is determined to play its part to ensure that this Bill soon passes into law,” he added.
MPs speaking in support of the bill admitted in the House what had been vigorously denied at the time of the Civil Partnerships legislation, saying that the redefinition of marriage has been part of a long-term plan. At the same time, however, they denied suggestions that there would be any future moves to further redefine marriage to include polygamy or other aberrations.
Nigel Farage, the outspoken leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), has gained much support from disaffected Tories by opposing “gay marriage” on libertarian grounds, saying that with Britain’s legal system beholden to the European legal aparatus, Westminster will have no power to protect religious believers from activist litigation. Farage commented this afternoon, before the vote, “The ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) will decide if churches are exempt, not Parliament.”
Farage also suggested the solution to a question that has puzzled even supporters of the bill, namely what David Cameron’s motivation was for suddenly, “out of the blue,” bringing the change forward so aggressively when economic issues and issues of Britain’s sovereignty are foremost in the minds of most voters.
Farage, the leading Euroskeptic MEP, said that Cameron was only taking orders from his political superiors in Brussels. “Same-sex marriage” legislation, UKIP said today, is being driven by an upcoming EU proposal, which is set to become law later this year.
The Berlinguer Report has called for all marriages and civil contracts conducted in any EU country to become legally binding in all other member states. The proposal is due to be voted through the EU Parliament this November and is expected to pass.
“It has also be “Many people have been asking what prompted the Prime Minister to pick this uncalled-for fight with many people in his own party and the country at large,” Farage said.
“Many people have been asking what prompted the Prime Minister to pick this uncalled-for fight with many people in his own party and the country at large,” he said.
“Now we know the answer.”