Marriage (Same Sex Couples)

Memorandum submitted by John Guy (MB 67)

1. I write to express concern that the government continues to ‘bulldoze’ through it’s proposals for the ‘Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, for which it clearly has no mandate. Opinion surveys throughout the country indicate quite clearly that there is no enthusiasm for this bill’s proposals, not even among the ‘Gay’ community.

2. The supplication I make is as a private individual who is a practising member of The Church of England. The whole concept of same sex partnerships goes clearly against the writings of The Bible and Christian Tradition. Not only that, it also goes against the teachings of other religions practiced in this country.

3. I write as a firm believer in democracy and I think that it’s proposal attempts to ride over the wishes of the majority in this country as I have already indicated. It is being done without the customary discussion draft such as white and green papers. In fact it was not even in the Conservative or Liberal Democrats Manifesto during the last General Election.

4. As a retired teacher who has spent most of his career working among troubled young people I have seen the damaging affect of unstable marriages as well as on single parent families. I think that that further eroding the stability of marriage will do nothing to help many of the kind of families that I worked with for many years. I am of the opinion that the Government should be devoting it’s time and energy working on ways to strengthen marriage and family life. I think that the proposals in this bill will not do anything to achieve this, rather it will confuse such people even more. The benefit of stable marriage and family life are undeniable.

5. The two countries in Europe that have already made single sex marriage legal have shown that heterosexual marriage has been badly eroded. The first country to legalise same-sex marriage was the Netherlands in 2001. In the first ten years since same-sex marriage was introduced marriage rates across the whole population have fallen. Same-sex marriage was legalised in Spain in 2005. Again since same-sex marriage was introduced marriage rates across the population have plummeted. I fear for the affect and stability this has had in these countries, and will also here if these proposals are made law here.

6. I am of the opinion that ‘Gay’ couples will not gain any substantive new rights through marriage that are not already available to them already in civil partnerships. I am very concerned that we are taking great risks with a very important institution that, in terms of substantive rights, is not actually needed by the people the change is designed to benefit.

I would therefore, in conclusion, I would urge the Government to abandon proposals to enact The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

February 2013

Prepared 4th March 2013