A Roman Catholic bishop has encouraged MPs to rebel against their party leaderships and resist plans to change the definition of marriage.
The Bishop of Shrewsbury warned that redefining marriage would undermine the historic institution and represent a “seismic shift in the foundations of our society”.
The Rt Revd Mark Davies said: “We face a mindset which sees progress only as a continuous shifting of our society further and further from its foundations until we have nothing left for family and society to be founded upon than changing, political fashions of thought.
“By attempting to redefine marriage for society, politicians will find they have not only undermined the institution of marriage but obscured its identity for generations to come.”
He called on politicians “to resist the leadership of their own political parties” and to oppose the redefinition of marriage.
The Government will launch a consultation on how, not if, same-sex marriage should be implemented next month.
Earlier this month it emerged that the Archbishop of York was racially abused after he spoke out in defence of traditional marriage.
Dr John Sentamu’s office revealed that the cleric received a number of “abusive and threatening emails of a racist nature”.
The abuse came after he told The Daily Telegraph that marriage must remain between a man and a woman.
Jim Dobbin, a Labour MP, has said: “This is not an equality issue, but a redefinition, a change of the understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman. It will have all sorts of ramifications.
“If you consider what is being taught in schools, children are going to have to be taught a whole different aspect to marriage, because we are redefining it. It’s an institution that has been there for centuries.”