Some Christian MPs strongly support marriage equality while others are strongly against it. In the UK and beyond, parliamentary debates on celebrating same-sex partnerships have revealed that – whatever top clerics or elders say – opinion within the churches is divided, says Savitri Hensman, reporting and commenting on the religious and theological views being expressed in parliament.
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.
The UK government's culture secretary, Maria Miller, gave a rather faltering performance on BBC Radio 4's flagship 'Today' programme this morning, answering questions -- or, rather, trying to avoid them -- about the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.