Apr 17, 2024

It’s 10 years since the first same-sex marriages took place in England and Wales.

Coalition for Marriage was formed in 2012 to oppose the freshly proposed legislation to introduce same-sex marriage. C4M’s public petition against the redefinition of marriage was signed by 669,444 people, demonstrating the broad public opposition to the move.

During this initial campaign, C4M made several predictions about what was likely to happen if same-sex marriage was legalised. Ten years later, it’s clear that many of these feared consequences have come to pass.

C4M predicted that support for marriage would reduce rather than increase as a result of the change. Today we see that most people in the UK are now not married, that the majority of births in England and Wales are out-of-wedlock and that unmarried cohabitation is the fastest-growing family type.

We predicted that it would lead to legal changes that eradicate sex-based language. The rise of gender ideology has borne this out, with many public bodies removing such terms from their documents.

Schools would be forced to teach about same-sex marriage, we said. In England, statutory guidance for primary school ‘Relationships Education’ makes clear that pupils should be taught about same-sex marriage. In Wales, teachers are told that pupils should be taught to “value” same-sex relationships. We also correctly predicted that parents would have no right to withdraw children from lessons on same-sex marriage.

We feared that public sector chaplains and other workers would be fired for expressing belief in real marriage. In 2020, a college chaplain was sacked and referred to the Government anti-radicalisation programme after preaching a sermon that told pupils they didn’t have to agree with LGBT ideology.

We worried that real marriage supporters’ freedom of expression would be severely curtailed. The shabby treatment of Felix Ngole, Kenneth Ferguson, Adrian Smith, the McArthur family, Franklin Graham, Maureen Martin and numerous others shows this was far from a baseless worry. However, robust freedom of speech laws mean that in many of these cases, the courts ultimately decided in the marriage supporter’s favour.

It’s sobering to look back and see how many of the all-too-predictable consequences of redefining marriage have come to pass.

At C4M we know that when you mess with marriage, you mess with something that is foundational to human civilisation. Marriage existed before states and governments were around and forms the stabilising bedrock of healthy families and societies. No good can come from meddling with it. We believed that in 2014 and we believe it just as strongly now.