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Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs

March 23rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Legislation, Sharia Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

Solicitors told how to draw up Sharia-style wills penalising widows and non-believers

Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.
Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.
The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.
Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.
Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, said the guidance would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system.

Read here 

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Gay marriage: Law changes backed in Commons vote

March 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

Yesterday, MPs backed changes to a raft of centuries-old laws ahead of this month’s gay marriages, in a paper ballot of the whole House of Commons.

Last week a committee of MPs approved new rules to go alongside the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, proposing changes such as replacing the term “widow” with “woman whose deceased spouse was a man” or “that person’s surviving spouse” in some instances.

Under the rules, other acts were excluded from the remit of same-sex marriage, so that a gay King’s ‘husband’ is prevented from becoming Queen.

But MP David Burrowes triggered a ballot of the whole House of Commons on the changes, giving politicians a further opportunity to stand for traditional marriage.

The secondary legislation was passed by a series of votes on each new rule in the paper ballot – around 100 MPs rejected the proposals, and at least 360 MPs voted for them.

During the committee debate last week, MPs warned that the new rules are “nonsense” and throw up a “minefield of complexity”.

Sir Gerald Howarth MP said the legislation was “mumbo-jumbo”, and concluded: “We are overturning centuries of tradition and messing about with the English language”.

Former Government minister Sir Edward Leigh MP commented that it was “ridiculous, fatuous and absurd” that the Conservatives were bringing in the legislation.

He noted this was particularly wrong when “there are so many problems besetting our nation and so many people struggling with debt”.

“What we have here is something sinister. It is a mangling of the language. We are now seeing the truth come out”, he commented.

Read here

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What’s at Stake at the Bakery: How Property Rights Got Sexy

March 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Legislation, Religious Liberty Comments Off

by Adam J. MacLeod, Public Discourse

State lawmakers should make it clear that religious and moral reasons are rational and legitimate, and that property owners may act or refrain from action in obedience to conscience.

Even property law is sexy now. It is perhaps a measure of how thoroughly sexualized our culture has become that a subject that has caused countless first-year law students to nod off during 8:00 AM classes has been transformed into the latest front in the culture wars, a battleground between sexual expression and religious conscience.

Kansas, Arizona, Missouri, and Georgia have considered or are considering legislative measures designed to protect the liberty of property owners to obey conscience. Many responses to these proposals have been less than edifying: The return of Jim Crow! The abomination that causes segregation! A new religious right to discriminate! These inflated characterizations of the bills obscure a rather pedestrian fact, which many people on both sides of the issue have missed: The bills (mostly) restate existing property law. (Perhaps the commentators nodded off in property class.)

Initial reactions to the bills were notable for the confusion of the authors. Among those who expressed concern about the proposed laws, the loudest commentators have misunderstood the nature of the liberty being asserted; misunderstood the underlying dispute about the nature of marriage; misstated the religious and moral convictions at issue; and demonstrated blindness to, or ignorance of, the use of sexual preference to fuel a bourgeoning industry that employs non-discrimination laws to discriminate against religious observers.

Read here

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Sweeping changes to 700-year-old laws, ahead of gay marriage next month

February 24th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

From C4M

The Government now realises that same-sex marriage will require a massive re-write of legislation dating back to 1285 AD – including airbrushing out the terms “husband” and “wife” from many of our laws. Crucial safeguards will also have to be introduced to safeguard the Monarchy.

The Government are rushing to introduce all these changes through ministerial orders.

The proposals include changing the law:

•To prevent a man from becoming Queen in the event a King 'marries' another man
•To prevent a man from becoming the Princess of Wales in the event that the heir to the throne enters a same-sex marriage
•To stop the 'husband' of a male Peer being referred to as Duchess, Lady or Countess
•To replace the terms “husband” and “wife” with “partner” or “spouse” in a huge raft of English law

Redefining marriage means rewriting our language as well as our laws. All this just goes to show that marriage should never have been redefined.

C4M said all along that thousands of laws would need to be changed. These, and other far-reaching consequences, flow from redefining marriage.

MPs are expected to agree the draft orders tomorrow with the House of Lords considering them on Thursday. No doubt there will need to be further changes to clear up the legislative mess created by the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Parliament may have changed the law, but it is vitally important that we continue to assert the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hart
Campaign Director
Coalition for Marriage

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Courts can’t be ‘swayed by Christian values’ or promote ‘virtue and morality,’ UK judge says

November 7th, 2013 Jill Posted in Legislation, Morality Comments Off

By Hilary White, LifeSite News

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the British court system has said that only “secular” judges can serve a “multicultural” society, and that judges must not “be swayed by Christian values.”

“A secular judge must be wary of straying across the well-recognized divide between church and state,” Munby said in a speech to the first annual conference of the Law Society’s family law section in London.

In a speech in London last night, Munby disparaged “Victorian judges” who promoted ‘virtue and morality.” Such judges discouraged “vice and immorality” while maintaining a “very narrow view of sexual morality.”

“Happily for us, the days are past when the business of judges was the enforcement of morals or religious beliefs,” he said.

He praised the “disappearance, in an increasingly secular and pluralistic society, of what until comparatively recently was in large measure a commonly accepted package of moral, ethical and religious values.”

Munby said modern judges had in a sense displaced Christian clergy, whom, he said, have relinquished their prior position as the “defining voices of morality and of the law of marriage and the family.”

Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), told LifeSiteNews that this is not the first time Munby has “used his position to give succour to the idea that the move away from Judeo-Christian morality represents progress.”

Read here

Read also:  Sir James Munby – High Priest of Secularism  from Cranmer

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The Perils of Liberal Moralism: On Syria and Thomas More

September 24th, 2013 Jill Posted in Legislation, Morality Comments Off

By Carson Holloway, Public Discourse

President Obama's assumption that he should punish Syria for a moral, but not legal, transgression undermines international law.

Law is inevitably informed by morality, but it is not the same thing as morality. When we forget this, when we insist that what is wrong must be unlawful, or that it must be lawful to punish every wrong, we undermine the rule of law.

Robert Bolt teaches this lesson memorably in A Man for All Seasons, his play about the life and death of Sir Thomas More. In a key scene, More, then serving as the Lord Chancellor, has just dismissed a young associate, Richard Rich, who has revealed himself to be an informant for More’s political enemies. All of More’s family members present urge him, on various vaguely moral grounds, to arrest Rich; but More, on legal grounds, insists just as strongly that he will not.

More’s daughter Margaret admonishes him that Rich is a “bad” man. More responds that “there’s no law against that.” Roper, More’s son-in-law, observes that being bad is contrary to God’s law. “Then God can arrest him,” More responds, using humor to remind this earnest, not to say fanatical, young man that God’s law and man’s law are not simply the same, and that violation of God’s law is not necessarily grounds for arrest by human political authorities. More’s wife Alice says with disgust: “While you talk, he’s gone.” More’s rejoinder: “And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law.”

Read here

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Standing our ground

July 23rd, 2013 Chris Sugden Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

A reflection following the passing of the same-sex marriage bill.

Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden

In a democracy, what happens when a view, previously supported by the majority becomes a minority view? Do you change your position – to retain ‘credibility’, or ‘influence’, or just simply not to be classed as a ‘nutter’, or stand your ground?

There is a current assumption that every social development and cultural change is necessarily ‘progress’. Part of the argument for ‘same-sex marriage’ is to keep pace with history. But the Bible and experience teaches us that not necessarily every social development brings human flourishing. Science helped the development of medicine but also of ever more sophisticated and destructive ways to kill masses of people. (Just think napalm and nerve gas).

As major cultural shifts take place it is always necessary to be self-critical. Have I, have we, been wrong? The church itself has many embarrassing skeletons in the cupboard. One of the oldest Anglican mission societies once owned slaves in the West Indies; only three weeks ago the General Synod offered an apology for the Church of England’s failures over the issue of child abuse in decades past.

But it is also necessary to ask “Has God changed his mind?” And so we ponder – would there be any circumstances under which we would believe that God had changed his mind about the way of salvation, the nature of grace and forgiveness, the presence and gifts of the Spirit? These are inalienable truths passed on to us through revelation. The very concept of revelation of God’s truth means that it is as eternal and as unchanging as God himself. It cannot be interpreted away.

Therefore to stand our ground on matters of conjugal marriage as God’s best for man and woman and children and society is not posturing or an ostrich like response to refuse to wake up to reality.

It is to remain faithful as a remnant – to keep the embers of the truth alive in society so that they can be fanned into flame when people realize the folly of the garden paths up which they have been led, and turn back (repent) to seek healthful and wholesome truth. That is a process that can take two or three generations. But the embers need to be there.

The Remnant is not an idea. It is a community that embodies the truths it seeks to uphold. It is a continuing reminder to everyone else that there is another way of living in the same world.The Remnant is not passive. It seeks to establish its presence in the midst of opposition and disdain. It commits to engage the rest of society with the truth it is entrusted and confront lies the culture is being shaped by. It will continue to evangelise the rest of society with the Gospel of the kingdom.

As Remnant we do not turn our back on the rest of society that has turned away from what we believe is God's purpose for human flourishing. We do not just wait for Christ's return to restore God's order. We will ‘Stand our Ground’. We will engage with society seeking God's Shalom and Justice for his world and we will continue to invite people to turn to Christ.

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Write to the French Embassy in London to demand the release of Nicolas

June 23rd, 2013 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Legislation, Take Action! Comments Off

by John Smeaton, SPUC

French pro-life/pro-family colleagues have contacted SPUC and asked us to highlight the fate of Nicolas Bernard-Buss (pictured), a young protester against same-sex marriage, who has been sentenced to two months in prison for the alleged crime of "rebellion" and other questionable offences. His case seems to be one of the worst of a large number of similar cases of police persecution directed against the hundreds of thousands of French people who have protested in recent months against same-sex marriage. Here are some links with further information:

La Manif Pour Tous demands the immediate release of Nicolas and the end of systematic repression against opponents of Taubira's law

Read here

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Is Secular Law possible?

June 20th, 2013 Jill Posted in Legislation, Secularism Comments Off

From Theos

The question: is secular law possible? is a provocative question in twenty-first century Britain, a country where most people still identify themselves as Christians but are ambivalent at best about the interventions of the churches into politics. However, in order to address this question it is important to understand the different meanings which might be given to “secular”. Whilst a total separation of religion and politics is not only impossible but dangerous, Christian doctrine has been a key contributor to the idea of secular law itself.

I. Secular Law is Impossible

Today most people would think of the secular and the religious as a binary pair. If something is religious it is not secular, and if it is secular it is not religious. In this sense, Islamic law, ecclesiastical law and canon law would all be examples of religious legal systems whereas common law and civil law would be examples of secular legal systems.

However, beyond the unproblematic distinction between secular legal systems and religious legal systems (a distinction which, as will be seen later, is rooted in the Christian understanding of the secular), there is also a confusion between two further meanings which are commonly given to the word ‘secular’.

For secularists, something is secular if it is not merely not religious but if it is free from religious influence. Secular law is therefore law which is free from any religious influence whatsoever. According to the other definition, which was the dominant interpretation of the idea of secular law in the second half of the twentieth century, law is secular not if it is free from any religious influence but rather if it is arrived at through the application of the public reason derived from secular liberalism, i.e. liberalism which aims to be neutral between different world-views.

Although our culture often misses this point, it should be immediately apparent that those two views of what is meant by secular law are contradictory. Law which is free from any religious influence is not law which is neutral between different world-views. If law is free from any religious influence it is because religious world-views have been systematically and deliberately excluded from contributing to that law. Law free from any religious influence is not secular law; it is secularist law.

Read here

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Law, Self-Government, and Gay Marriage

May 6th, 2013 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

by Benjamin L Smith, First Things

[...]  For this reason, the promulgation of law can only be justified by grave public necessity. Again, the heterosexual form of marriage passes this test, but there is no grave public necessity meriting the establishment of legally binding homosexual marriage contracts. Homosexual unions, by definition, are intrinsically incapable of producing children. The establishment of gay marriage only advances the private emotional interests of homosexual couples, and private interests do not justify the force of law.

It may be argued that failing to establish homosexual marriage contracts subverts equal protection under the law, but this kind of objection only evinces confusion. Homosexual advocates insist that they must have access to marriage contracts, but this is this already the case. There is no law against homosexual persons contracting heterosexual marriages. The equal protection of the law is only subverted when the same thing is denied to diverse groups only because of their group definition. But heterosexual marriage is not denied to homosexual persons.

This reveals that gay marriage is not the equalizing extension of an already existing contract, but the establishment of a new kind of contract. This pushes the issue back to the question of whether there is a grave and necessary public advantage in promulgating the new institution of gay marriage. The answer must be no.

Finally, it is important to be clear about what I have and have not argued. I have proposed no general theory regarding the nature of marriage or sexuality; nor developed any moral critique of homosexuality or heterosexuality. My argument is based solely on the nature and function of law and the value of self-government. Because law is coercive it may only be promulgated for the sake of grave public necessity. Gay marriage only promotes a private interest and therefore does not justify the force of law.

Read here

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“Fair and commonsense” approach to gay marriage needed following reshuffle

September 10th, 2012 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

From the Evangelical Alliance

The Evangelical Alliance has called for a "fair and commonsense" approach to the gay marriage consultation, following the Cabinet reshuffle this week.
[...]  But the Alliance feels greater clarity is needed over who is responsible for the consultation on gay marriage.
Dr Don Horrocks, head of public affairs, said: "In the government reshuffle, the minister responsible for the consultation on gay marriage, Lynne Featherstone, was moved from the Government Equality Office and replaced by the Conservative MP for Maidstone, Helen Grant, who will report to Maria Miller, the new secretary of state in the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport – instead of Theresa May in the Home Office.
"Somewhat confusingly, Helen Grant appears to have been made a justice minister in the Ministry of Justice but with a broader role across government as parliamentary undersecretary of state for women and equalities.
"She will be responsible for the government's response to the gay marriage consultation and for taking forward any consequent legislative proposals.
"We pray that she will adopt a fair and commonsense rather than the previous crusading approach to this highly controversial issue and that her record of commitment to marriage and the family will help her effectively protect marriage as we know it."
Read here
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Teachers ‘face sack’ for refusing to endorse gay marriage

September 10th, 2012 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

By Graeme Paton, Telegraph

Teachers who refuse to endorse gay marriage in the classroom could face the sack under controversial Government reforms, a legal expert has warned.

Schools will be within their statutory rights to dismiss staff that wilfully fail to use stories or textbooks promoting same-sex weddings, it is claimed.

Aidan O’Neill, a senior QC and expert on religious freedom and human rights, also warned that parents who object to gay marriage being taught to their children will have no right to withdraw their child from lessons.

In a report, he said that any decision to redefine marriage would have far-reaching consequences for schools, hospitals, foster carers and public buildings.

The most serious impact is likely to be felt in the church where vicars and priests conducting religious marriage ceremonies could be taken to court for refusing to carry out a gay wedding, he said.

The conclusions – in legal advice commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage – comes amid continuing fall-out over Government plans to tear up the centuries-old law on marriage.

Ministers launched a consultation on proposals to legalise homosexual weddings earlier this year. David Cameron has said he is committed to pushing through the change by 2015.

Read here

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Church concerns over gay marriage ‘ignored’

September 2nd, 2012 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

Cardinal Keith O'BrienFrom Christian Today

The head of the Catholic Church in Scotland has hit out at the Scottish Government for pushing ahead with plans to legalise gay marriage despite a public consultation which found that 60 per cent of Scots were opposed to the move.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Cardinal Keith O’Brien said that although the Church’s view on the issue had been “ridiculed or ignored”, there was increasing evidence to justify its concerns.

The Church has been outspoken in its criticism of the plans, warning that the institution of marriage will be eroded and that churches could face lawsuits if they refuse to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies.

He pointed to reports from Brazil of a civil partnership between three people that was officially recognised in the state of Sao Paolo.

Although the Scottish Government has promised that churches will not be forced to host gay marriage ceremonies, Cardinal O’Brien dismissed the pledge as an “empty phrase”.

He pointed to the example of Denmark, where the Danish Parliament voted earlier in the summer to force churches in the established Evangelical Lutheran Church to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies inside their sanctuaries. The law came into force in June, overturning the previous decision to allow churches to opt out.

Read here

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Section 5 protest held outside Parliament

August 30th, 2012 Jill Posted in Freedom Of Speech, Legislation Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

A group of protestors gathered outside Parliament today to demand more free speech by reforming Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

They say the law is being widely misused by police officers to interfere with freedom of expression, and it should be amended.

The Government has promised to look at the issue, but has been accused of dragging its feet.

Section 5 outlaws, amongst other things, “insulting” words or behaviour that might cause someone distress.

But the protestors say the word “insulting” has a very low threshold and is too easily breached. They want the word “insulting” removed from Section 5.

That would still leave the police with powers to tackle abusive and threatening words or behaviour. And police also have other powers to deal with disorder.

Read here

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Government Consultation on same-sex marriage “A dog’s breakfast”

August 26th, 2012 Chris Sugden Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs of the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England

…The key point in our [Church of England] submission on same sex marriage is that the virtues of faithful homosexual relationships cannot embrace everything that is good about heterosexual marriage. There is an inescapable difference and complementarity between men and women that allows procreation to be an important component of a marriage between a man and a woman. Yes, of course many marriages are childless, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that a flourishing society needs some sort of social institution that celebrates and encourages having children and their upbringing in a family with their biological parents wherever possible. Our concern is emphatically not to say that same-sex relationships are wicked, but to ask what sort of a society we would have if the social meaning of marriage was stripped of any expectation at all that it involved having children. You don’t have to agree with our analysis of this, but many would surely agree that it is a question worth asking.

Unfortunately, the Coalition’s consultation on Equal Marriage is based on a profound ignorance of the current laws about marriage and, to be blunt, is a dog’s breakfast of erroneous assumptions and begged questions. The mistaken assumption that “religious marriage” and “civil marriage” are two different things in law is only the most egregious example of the GEO document’s failings. These points have nothing to do with Christian approaches to sexuality, but the church had no option but to oppose a proposal which would be based on such an utter misreading of the law and of the Church of England’s present role as a “purveyor of weddings to the nation”.

…..There’s a profound debate going on in the CofE about ethics and sexuality, and our submission on same-sex marriage does not foreclose on that debate. The issue of same-sex marriage raises wider questions about the nature of a good society, and in particular about how far societies need to balance the common good against individual freedoms. The Church of England was not likely to rewrite the law of marriage because David Cameron wanted to detoxify the Conservative Party or because Lynne Featherstone put out a confused and misleading consultation paper. But we would hope that friends in all the parties…might want to be part of a mutually respectful debate about the common institutions which might make for a better society.

Read here

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UK churchgoers against Cameron’s policy on gay marriage, poll shows

August 19th, 2012 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation, Politics Comments Off

From Press TV

A new survey has found that almost three fifths of British churchgoers, 58 percent, will not vote for Prime Minister David Cameron at the next general election over his plans to legalise gay marriage.
The poll commissioned by campaigners Coalition for Marriage (C4M) also found that about two thirds, 63 percent, of churchgoers believe the Prime Minister was “intolerant” when it came to opposition to his plans.

"This is yet another blow for these ill-thought-out and undemocratic proposals. Churchgoers simply don't believe the assurances from the government that these changes will not be forced on churches”, said C4M campaign director Colin Hart.

"The high levels of concern reflect those in the wider population”, added Colin Hart.

"This change is being pushed for by a tiny number of people. Only a minority of gay people believes that these plans are a priority”, said C4M campaign director.

"It also reveals high levels of scepticism amongst churchgoers, about Mr Cameron's motives."

Read here

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A California Senator’s Attack on Parental Rights

August 2nd, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Legislation Comments Off

By Michael Brown,

Two months ago, I wrote, “As of today, it is legal in California to give hormone blockers to an 11 year-old boy in order to delay the onset of puberty, but it could soon be illegal for a 17 year-old with unwanted same-sex attractions to receive professional counseling, even with parental consent.” Now, California Senator Ted Lieu, has removed any doubt as to why he introduced Senate Bill 1172: “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill because we don’t want to let parents harm their children.”
This is an absolute outrage, and every parent in California needs to contact their senators and urge them to vote against this ridiculous and wrong-headed bill.
Senator Lieu, who is married with children, said “he got the idea for the bill after seeing a television special last fall about adults who had gone through this kind of therapy as children. He said he was struck by their description of traumatic experiences, confusion, depression and suicidal thoughts.” And so Lieu has now appointed himself the guardian of the children of California, the arbiter of what is best for them, and the ward over the parents of his state.
If this is not an example of egregious government overreach, nothing is.
Read here
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How is your MP likely to vote on gay marriage? (Updated)

June 30th, 2012 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

The Coalition for Equal Marriage (not to be confused with the Coalition for Marriage!) is keeping tally on MPs' support of their stance. At present it appears that there are over 253 in favour of gay marriage and only 62 opposed. These figures are based upon letters to constituents, news articles, tweets and blog posts demonstrating each MP's individual stance.

Although nearly 346 MPs are undecided or neutral, this is a very worrying figure.

We urge our readers to contact their MPs urgently. We are certain many MPs will not have thought this issue through, especially if they don't consider it to be particularly important. We must impress upon them that it is extremely important, both for people of faith and the nation's children.

You can see whether your MP is in favour, opposed or undecided on the Coalition for Equal Marriage website here.

AM's Dr Lisa Nolland has already written to her MP, and her letter can be read here. It is crucial that MPs should be informed about these deeply damaging threats to our children. Printouts of the links' unsavoury contents would reinforce the concerns – we feel all MPs should see these, and be asked if they think they are suitable for children to see. (Bear in mind that this is not something which might possibly happen at some unspecified time in the future – it is actually happening NOW, and will become far more widespread if gay marriage is made legal.)

Stonewall has estimated that the cost of gay marriage will be £5 billion – we feel the actual cost could be considerably higher once the fallout from gay marriage begins. The human cost, too, with young people experimenting with highly dangerous and destructive sexual practices, apparently approved by the state, could be considerable. Have MPs considered this?

Following on from Dr Nolland's letter two important studies have emerged – one on the importance of fathers to families and the other on the poorer outcomes for children of same-sex couples. Gay marriage will make it extremely likely that same-sex couples will have easier access to children, either via adoption or medical intervention, and these factors should be pointed out to MPs. In addition, homosexual support for gay marriage is at best lukewarm.

Another point which could be made is the appalling treatment of principled opponents of gay marriage in countries where it is already legal, such as parts of Canada.

In short, we should be asking gay marriage supporting MPs to explain to us – in the light of all this evidence – why they think it is a good idea, and convincing the undecided or neutral that it is not! We feel that these issues have not been covered in the mainstream media, and it is very likely that MPs are simply not aware of them, or have not given them much thought among the other pressures they have. Please contact your MP as soon as possible via this link, or by letter to The House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA – or better still, make an appointment!

UPDATE: MPs should also be told about the climate of fear being created in Quebec, where gay marriage was legalised in 2004, following the launch of a government funded 'Register of Homophobic Acts'.

Included in the definition of actions classified as “homophobic” and deemed worthy of reporting to the registry are: “any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general: physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, offensive graffiti, abuse, injurious mockery, inappropriate media coverage and discrimination.”

We are assuming that 'negative words or acts' include passages of scripture, and denial of homosexual sex education for children. Can we be assured that the same thing will not happen in the UK?

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Bad news from Denmark, but thank God UK clergy are not government employees

June 10th, 2012 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

By Julian Mann, Cranmer's Curate

The news that the established church in Denmark, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, is now required by law to conduct same-sex marriage services is ominous for the Church of England. If UK government plans to redefine marriage in law come to fruition in England and Wales, a Danish model imposed on the national Church would seem an inevitable outcome.

However, there is a significant difference between the status of Danish clergy and their Church of England counterparts.

According to the website of the Lutheran Church of Denmark, its pastors are employed by the government's Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs.

Their status as government employees thus makes them uniquely vulnerable to a legalised same-sex marriage regime. By God's grace, British clergy in the established churches – the Church of England and the Church of Scotland – are not on the government pay-roll. So, the application of the Danish same-sex marriage regime to the British national churches is not as straightforward as might appear.

Read here

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Moving the goalposts on DOMA

June 8th, 2012 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Legislation Comments Off

By James S Cole, MercatorNet

It does not bode well for the rule of law when the standards for determining whether a statute is constitutional change from case to case. Justices Kennedy, Souter, and O'Connor of the US Supreme Court once wrote, “Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt.” (This line opened a plurality opinion in which they refused to overrule Roe v. Wade because, they said, for 19 years women had organized their lives around Roe. Why the babies that were aborted and would in the future be aborted could not be given a chance to organize their lives around the opposite outcome was not addressed.)

For over 50 years now, American federal courts have, in fits and starts, subjected statutes enacted by legislatures to a jurisprudence of doubt by moving the goal line that a government must cross in order to validate a statute when someone claims it violates the US Constitution. Not all judges have done so, but enough have to make it impractical to predict whether statutes affecting certain “hot button” issues are constitutional or not.
The May 31 opinion of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that invalidated one section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) illustrates this process at work. DOMA was enacted by Congress in 1996 in response to efforts in certain states to redefine marriage to include two persons of the same sex.
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