The British government will soon publish the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which, if passed, will fundamentally alter the meaning of marriage. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales are launching a postcard campaign entitled ‘Speak Out for Marriage’. Postcards for parishioners to send to their local MPS, which should be available in every Catholic Church in England and Wales by next Saturday 26 January. The Bishops are also encouraging people to write personally to their MPs voicing opposition to the Bill.
The text of the postcard reads: 'Dear Member of Parliament, As a concerned constituent I urge you to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of the family and provides the best circumstances in which to raise the next generation. This is why society has recognised marriage as having an identity distinct from any other relationship, however much love or commitment may be involved; marriage is about the common good. No mainstream political party promised such a radical change in its last election manifesto. There is therefore no mandate for it. Please vote against it and let me know your views.' The Bishops point out that the law helps shape and form social and cultural values. A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. They write: "The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will: -Change the meaning of marriage for everyone; -Break the fundamental connection between marriage and child-bearing; -Disregard the importance of male and female complementarity and creativity; -Reduce the meaning of marriage solely to the commitment of the two people involved; Impact religious freedom; -Have numerous unintended consequences, for example for schools, in the workplace, in one’s personal life, for inter-faith relations, and many other areas." The Bishops write: "British public, as a whole, did not seek this change. None of the mainstream political parties promised it in their last election manifestos. Nor when the government launched its consultation did it ask whether the law should be changed; instead it asked how the law should be changed. "In publishing this Bill the Government has ignored the views of over 626,000 people who signed a petition opposing the change, and the submissions of many others to the consultation. In its response to the consultation, the Government even chose to ignore many of the findings therein. "There is no mandate for this change and the government appears to be rushing the Bill through Parliament against the strongly held views of the public, and without pausing to properly think about the consequences of such a change. "This is a major constitutional change and the British public should and must be consulted. We must make our views known to our MPs and ‘Speak Out for Marriage’." Finally the Bishops appeal for prayers and say: "Please act now. Please help preserve the meaning of marriage for future generations." Source: Bishops Conference of England and Wales SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS