A grassroots campaign group against the redefinition of marriage in the United Kingdom has been launched today.
The Coalition for Marriage (C4M) is a group of organisations and individuals who support the current definition of marriage and opposes any plans to redefine it. The petition can be signed online here: www.c4m.org.uk
Leading public figures including politicians from the Conservative and Labour parties, lawyers, academics and religious leaders, have already signed affirming that marriage is between one man and one woman for life.
A consultation on redefining marriage is set to be launched by the Government next month.
C4M campaigners believe the Government has seriously underestimated the strength of opposition to its plans.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “The honourable estate of matrimony precedes both the state and the church, and neither of these institutions have the right to redefine it in such a fundamental way.
“For thousands of years, the union of one man and one woman has been the bedrock of societies across cultures, all around the world.”
He continued: “Marriage is a cornerstone of our society. Because of this, I believe the general public will oppose the present attempt to fundamentally alter – and undermine – the institution.”
Drawing on comments made by the Home Secretary that the government’s consultation will be about “how” and not “whether” to redefine marriage, C4M chairman Colin Hart branded the plans “profoundly anti-democratic”.
He said: “The 24 million married people in this country are not even going to be asked whether they mind their marriage being redefined.”
Mr Hart continued: “The Government is running away from this public debate. They are bulldozing ahead without any thought for the consequences.”
He also said that marriage “is woven into the fabric of our national laws. That can’t be just unpicked in a single stroke”.
Half a million C4M petition sheets have been printed for distribution across the nation, which is open to anyone resident in the UK and over the age of 16.
Other notable signatories include former Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Professor Brenda Almond, President of the Philosophical Society of England, and Fiona Bruce MP.