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The House of Lords has backed a Bill to allow same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry, by 390 votes to 148. After a long debate in which Christians argued for and against the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill, a bid by opponents to block a second reading was heavily defeated.
The highly important parliamentary discussion of marriage law and equality continues today (4 June 2013), and Ekklesia will be commenting further as details develop.
I blogged earlier this week about statements from the socially conservative lobby group Christian Concern ahead of the local elections. They encouraged people to vote for candidates opposed to same-sex marriage.
The “Christian Right” in Britain – inasmuch as it exists – is not like the Christian Right in the US. Over there, conservatism on issues such as marriage and abortion seems to go hand in hand with right-wing views on economics and foreign policy. Over here, we have conservative Christian lobby groups with a far more narrow focus. Organisations such as the Christian Institute, Christian Concern/Christian Legal Centre and so-called Anglican Mainstream focus largely on attacking LGBT rights. They also speak out against abortion, Islam and the supposed marginalisation of Christians in Britain.
As the Bill to allow same-sex marriage makes its way through the UK Parliament, BBC religion commentator and broadcaster Ernie Rea and guests on the Radio 4 'Beyond Belief' programme (4.30pm, Monday 25 February 2013) will be discuss whether homosexuality is compatible with Islam, and related questions.