Looking back from the first anniversary of gay weddings

Mar 30, 2015

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of same-sex weddings in England and Wales – the very public outworking of a politician-led redefinition of marriage.

The definition of marriage as the ‘voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others’ was one that had stood the test of time. Marriage has been, and still is, the most successful partnership in history, stretching back thousands of years, across cultures, and across the world.

Not one party manifesto at the last election had called for the introduction of gay marriage, with gay rights activists seemingly uninterested and some even opposed to the concept. But this did not prevent the Coalition Government from bypassing public opinion to redefine the meaning of marriage for everyone.

Promises that those who held to marriage as between one man and one woman would still be protected despite the change in the law have been broken.

Even before the legislation was passed, Adrian Smith had to go all the way to the High Court to get a favourable ruling after being demoted and losing 40 per cent of his salary for a Facebook post saying that same-sex marriages in churches would be “an equality too far”.

Then in 2012, both the Law Society and the QEII Conference Centre in London accepted bookings for the conference ‘One Man. One woman. Making the case for marriage for the good of society’ only to later cancel them citing ‘diversity’ policy. Apologies and compensation were eventually forthcoming, but certainly at the time their diversity policy was not diverse enough to include the likes of C4M.

More recently, long-time volunteer Bryan Barkley was dismissed by the Red Cross last year for holding up a sign saying ‘No Same Sex Marriage’.

While only today Ashers Baking Co. in Northern Ireland was in court in Belfast because of the “knee-jerk” reaction of a taxpayer-funded quango to the bakery declining to decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage campaign slogan. The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) is seeking to get the courts to force the McArthur family into promoting same-sex marriage – a cause to which they are fundamentally opposed.

Michael Wardlow, the head of the ECNI is unsympathetic to the McArthurs’ situation. He told the Guardian newspaper : “maybe that is not the business they should be in”.

There will not be a judgment for a number of weeks and we can only guess at the outcome. But even if they win, does anyone really think that with opinions like that from those charged with upholding equality such cases will stop?

C4M is a voice for people who uphold traditional marriage.

We will continue to hold politicians to account for their actions, and we will continue to highlight cases of injustice against people who believe in traditional marriage.