Is equal marriage fair?
Sikh temples have been advised to deregister as venues for civil weddings following the legalization for same-sex marriage over fears they could be legally coerced into marrying same-sex couples. Though I am a priest of the Church of England and currently protected by church law and the law of the land from the threat of such coercion, this news rang alarm bells for me.
Is equal marriage really fair? Is it just to redefine marriage to suit the homosexual community but to the exclusion of other communities?
To create a situation where procreation and the rearing of children is no longer a fundamental purpose of marriage is unjust and needs looking at in terms of balancing human rights. This I say mindful of the destructive homophobia that is still current in many societies. It does not serve that phobia to get so many people justly angry with homosexuals over their rewriting the law to suit themselves.
That the redefinition of marriage lacks widespread support was accepted by the government in their response to the consultation on equal marriage. This showed many people young and old, religious and not so, politically to the left and right opposed this change in the law.
Britain is a free society. As such we balance the rights of different groups. We exempt Sikhs from wearing crash helmets to honour their religion. It is ironic that Sikhs are now cutting their own cloth to avoid being coerced to marry people of the same sex, against their precepts and the precepts of many in Britain today.
Broadcast by Fr John Twisleton (Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex)
on Premier Christian Radio DAB Digital Radio
Freeview 725/ Sky digital 0123 in London on 1305 1332 1413 MW