Marriage (Same Sex Couples)

Memorandum submitted by Lisa Fairman-Brown (MB 47)

Submission to the Public Bill Committee about the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012-13

· Summary: Objections on the grounds of:

· destabilising family life further

· adultery will no longer be of legal consequence in the near future

· the personal effects my family has witnessed regarding adultery and

abandonment

· my earlier opinion submitted in the required way was disregarded

· disregard for proper parliamentary procedure

· likely loss of my job as a teacher

1. I am a wife and mother of two children, I am a secondary school teacher, I am a Christian and a supporter of the work of Care for the Family, a charity which supports families.

2. I am objecting to this Bill on the grounds that it will fundamentally shake the foundations of stable family life. This country already suffers greatly because of the decline in the promotion and well-being of the family. Above all individuals and in particular children suffer.

3. I understand that the legal profession see that in time, just as has happened in other countries, adultery will be removed altogether as a reason for divorce. How upsetting to think that within a generation adultery will no longer be considered in law as of any importance. The reality is that for many people adultery already is the crushing heartache which tears families apart. Just in the last few months my young son has had to come alongside a friend whose father has walked out on his family for another woman. He sees and tells me the devastation in his friend and it brings worries to him for his own family unit. Imagine that in just a few years from now, it will be considered by the authorities of no consequence. I wonder how that will feel for the injured family. I don’t want to be a part of letting commitment and responsibility slip through our hands any further, I want to be part of a country that in reality actually upholds commitment. Please, for the sake of the emerging and next generation protect family life not demolish it.

4. I objected to this bill at any earlier stage by signing the petition set up by Coalition for Marriage on the understanding that my opinion given there would be taken into consideration by the government. It is most alarming to see that the government felt it acceptable to renege on their word and disregard mine and half a million signatories after the event. This is not proper conduct for the government of an open democracy.

5. I am truly shocked and concerned at the speed and disregard for proper parliamentary rigour in bringing this bill to law. I appreciate the democracy which this country affords under the rule of parliament therefore I am most unsettled by the absence of a Green paper, furthermore there was no White paper setting out the bill. I cannot understand why it was not in the Queen’s Speech. All of this leads me to conclude this is contrary to parliamentary democracy and is setting a most dangerous precedent which can only have disastrous consequences in other fundamental areas of life further down the line.

6. Finally, I am a teacher who deeply cares for the young people in my charge. I will not be able to promote same sex marriage because I sincerely believe it is not what marriage is. I understand my job (I have 20+ working years ahead of me) is on the line and I may lose my job if a challenge were made on this area. I am however committed to loving and teaching every student I have the joy of teaching and promoting a way of life which will afford them and their children the greatest stability.

7. I would like to conclude that the work for democracy which you are taking part in is truly honourable and I hope your task in analysing submissions is smooth and straightforward.

February 2013

Prepared 27th February 2013