BBC hears how over 600,000 ignored on gay marriage
Fri, 28 Mar 2014
The Government has “completely ignored” two-thirds of a million traditional marriage supporters, an audience member has told BBC’s Question Time.
Speaking on Thursday’s edition of the programme which came from Brighton, the woman said “a huge swathe of the population” had been sidelined by the Government.
Despite heckling from some in the audience she noted the Coalition for Marriage’s petition of 668,000 signatures supporting marriage between one man and one woman.
Another audience member asked: “Why do we need to change the definition of marriage that has existed for thousands of years when equality already exists?”
On the panel Roger Helmer, a UKIP MEP, said millions of people are “deeply uncomfortable with a change to a treasured institution which has been at the basis of society for a very long time”.
While giving “good wishes” to same-sex couples, he also said that concerns remain over religious groups being taken to court for their stance.
Others on the panel, including Labour’s Diane Abbott, the Conservative’s Justine Greening and singer-songwriter Mick Hucknall, gave their support for same-sex marriage.
The BBC programme was considering the issue ahead of the UK’s first homosexual marriages on Saturday.
Coalition for Marriage, which launched in 2012, handed over the first 500,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street later that year.
Last month MPs backed changes to laws dating back hundreds of years ahead of the introduction of same-sex marriage.
The changes included preventing a gay King’s ‘husband’ becoming Queen and stopping the title Princess of Wales being given to a man in a same-sex marriage with a future Prince of Wales.
Colin Hart, Campaign Director of the Coalition for Marriage said at the time: “We repeatedly warned that the Government’s plans were ill thought out, complicated and would have a damaging effect on those who support traditional marriage.
“Those warnings were dismissed, yet just a few months later we have Ministers engaged in an unprecedented and systematic drive to airbrush out of law words like husband, wife and widow in order to make the legislation work.”