Redefining marriage could affect monarchy, says MP

The UK could be thrown into a constitutional crisis if marriage is redefined, a Tory MP has warned.

Peter Bone MP has written to equalities minister Lynne Featherstone asking whether the Government has considered the constitutional implications.

If same-sex marriage is allowed, he said, a lesbian Queen could reign on the throne with a Queen consort.

Crisis

This would put the monarch’s role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England at risk, sparking a constitutional crisis.

In a separate development, courtesy titles such as knighthoods and peerages could be thrown into turmoil by the plans to rewrite the meaning of marriage.

At present, if a man is given a peerage his wife is given the title Lady. The Government’s consultation on redefining marriage, which was launched last week, refers to the issue of courtesy titles.

Redefined

The Mail on Sunday claims the Government will either grant courtesy titles to the partners of spouses of homosexual Peers and knights, or remove them from the wives of their heterosexual counterparts.

Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone has indicated she will press ahead with plans to redefine marriage before the next general election in 2015.

But Peter Bone has called for an emergency meeting of Commonwealth leaders over the issue. He accused the Government of bulldozing ahead with homosexual marriage laws, despite it not being in any manifesto of the main political parties at Westminster.

Monarch

Mr Bone said: “I can’t believe that the Government has gone headlong into this without it being in the manifesto or discussed by Commonwealth leaders.”

In his letter to Lynne Featherstone, Mr Bone asked if the Government plans to amend the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 in order to allow same-sex marriage.

The Wellingborough MP said: “They seem to be rushing this through without thinking of the broader implications.”

Petition

He also warned that a homosexual monarch who conceived a child by sperm donor or surrogate would raise further questions, as the donor would have a right to a peerage and could gain regal rights.

Coalition for Marriage, a grassroots campaign group against the redefinition of marriage, has set up a petition against the controversial proposals.

It has already attracted more than 250,000 signatures a month after the launch on 20 February, and the petition can be signed here: www.c4m.org.uk

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