MPs back Sentamu’s warning against redefining marriage

Fri, 3 Feb 2012

The Archbishop of York’s warning against redefining marriage has received backing from both Labour and Conservative MPs.

Labour’s Jim Dobbin warned that David Cameron’s plans to rewrite the definition of marriage could be opposed by more than 100 MPs.

He also cautioned that such a move would have ramifications for what is taught in the nation’s schools.

Redefinition

Gary Streeter, a Conservative MP, warned that “most people are happy with our current arrangements”.

And Jeremy Lefroy, a fellow Conservative, said that it is “not the job of politicians or Parliament” to make such a change.

Mr Dobbin added: “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.

Children

“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.”

Gary Streeter said: “I think most people are happy with our current arrangements, which give full-blown equality, rightly, but don’t try and tamper with the timeless concept and meaning of marriage, which for most of us does mean one man for one woman for life, as the aspiration. I think that’s the right balance.”

David Burrowes agreed saying: “I support the Archbishop of York’s view and opposition to the proposal for same-sex marriage.

Historic

“He’s also right to challenge whether the state should be involved in fundamentally redefining marriage, which has developed through the historic relationship between the Church and an understanding across society of what marriage is about.”

Earlier this week Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, warned ministers not to ride roughshod over centuries of tradition by changing the definition of marriage.

He said: “I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are.”

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