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‘Culture wars’ warning from Church over same-sex marriages

By Tim Ross, Telegraph

Legalising same-sex marriage will lead to “culture wars” as schools and other public services become battlegrounds for hardline campaigners, the Church of England has warned.

Leading Church figures said there would be unforeseen consequences resulting from the plans and expressed regret that the commonly held definition of marriage would be abolished.

In evidence to MPs, William Fittall, the Church of England’s most senior official, urged the Government to rewrite the proposed laws to reduce the threat of

litigation against teachers and other “people of faith” who object to the reforms. He also suggested that pro-Christian traditionalists would be likely to challenge the new laws.

Mr Fittall issued his warning as the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, urged ministers to legalise civil partnerships for heterosexual couples who did not want to marry out of principle.

Last week, MPs voted by 400 to 175 in favour of the plan in a free vote. More Conservative MPs voted against the Bill than in favour, despite the Prime Minister’s outspoken support for the reforms.

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