Dec 11, 2012

The Government is in growing trouble over its plans to redefine marriage.

Today MPs and the media exposed the sham consultation process for everyone to see. The Government claimed this was the ‘biggest listening exercise’ ever carried out – but ignored 500,000 signatories of the C4M national petition!

The House of Commons has heard that the Government plans to push on with its highly controversial plans, relying on a slight majority of consultation responses (if the C4M petition is completely excluded).

But the Government’s online consultation response form, upon which it depends, was wide open to abuse – it was anonymous and could be completed by anyone in the world, as many times as they liked!

We raised these concerns at the time with senior officials, but our warnings were ignored. It looks like the Government is ‘cooking the books’.

Other aspects of the plans are coming under fire. As you know, David Cameron revealed on Friday that he wants to introduce same-sex marriages in churches. This would be a huge social change and has provoked amazement and opposition across the PM’s Conservative Party.

Equalities Minister, Maria Miller, was under such pressure she had to bring forward the announcement about the consultation responses. Mrs Miller addressed the Commons at lunchtime today. She repeatedly promised a ‘quadruple lock’ to protect churches and other religious premises. But this ignores the millions of people whose civil liberties at work will be under threat if marriage is redefined. And most people realise that in time the European Court of Human Rights will back gay marriage, whatever Government Ministers may say today.

According to media reports, the Government will introduce its Bill to redefine marriage in January. The Government faces an almighty battle ahead in Parliament when it does so.