New law could brand marriage supporters as ‘extremists’
Since the introduction of same-sex marriage we have drawn attention to ordinary people around the UK who have found their reputations and livelihoods attacked for standing by their beliefs.
Sadly the Government is about to make the situation much worse. The Home Secretary’s proposed Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) are set to be contained in the new counter-extremism Bill. We back stopping jihadists, but these vague EDOs appear to be so broadly defined that even supporters of traditional marriage could be branded “extremists”. See our short briefing for more information.
Conservative MPs Dominic Grieve and David Davis have voiced alarm about the plans. And before he became Justice Minister, Dominic Raab MP said: “The public should certainly expect the security services to track terrorists online, but the broad powers of proposed Extremism Disruption Orders (EDO) could be abused. Those engaged in passionate debates – such as Christians objecting to gay marriage – could find themselves slapped down.”
Home Secretary Theresa May was recently challenged on just this point when the BBC’s John Humphrys asked her whether the “woolly” plans would still allow people to say that gay marriage was damaging to society. We’re not convinced by her answer. Listen to the exchange here.
People can call us bigots and extremists for believing in traditional marriage – that’s their point of view. But they must not be given power to use the force of law against us.