Top Lib Dem: same-sex marriage by next election

Senior Lib Dem Simon Hughes has predicted that full same-sex marriage will be legalised before the next general election.

Watch the interview with Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes

Mr Hughes, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, made his remarks in a video interview with Yoosk, a website on which users can question important public figures.

The move, which would redefine marriage and impose the new definition on society, could cause a surge in litigation against those groups and individuals who hold to the traditional definition of marriage.

Faith based adoption agencies have already been crushed by ‘equality’ laws because of their ethical stance on homosexual conduct.

Distort

And schools may be forced to teach children that there is no moral difference between same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage.

Existing laws allow homosexual couples to have a civil partnership, but Mr Hughes said there is now a consultation to look at how it can be taken to the next stage.

He said he expected Lib Dems to get a free vote on the matter but insisted: “I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t all be able to support what Nick Clegg said which is that it would be appropriate in Britain in 2010, 11, for there to be the ability for civil marriage for straight people and gay people equally.”

Churches

But he added: “That’s different of course from faith ceremonies which are matters for the faith communities, for the Christian church, for the Muslim community, and they have to decide what recognition they want to give in their faith community to a marriage, and that’s a separate issue.

“But the state ought to give equality. We’re halfway there. That’s very welcome. I think we ought to be able to get there in this Parliament.”

In March England’s last remaining Roman Catholic adoption agency, Catholic Care, was battling for its life because its policy of not placing children with unmarried couples could breach homosexual equality laws.

Closures

The case centred around Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) which were controversially introduced in 2007.

SORs outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of goods or services.

Of the eleven Roman Catholic agencies operating in England and Wales in 2007, all but Catholic Care have had to either close down or ditch their religious ethos because of the SORs.

Disciplined

Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar was disciplined by her employer, Islington Council, because of her traditional views on marriage.

Miss Ladele had been working at Islington Council for several years as a registrar of births, deaths and marriages with an “excellent” employment record.

But when the law changed to allow same-sex civil partnerships she politely requested an accommodation of her religious beliefs, but her employers refused and threatened her with the sack.

Miss Ladele is set to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Coalition

Before the General Election George Osborne, who is now the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said David Cameron would be “very happy” to consider changing the law to allow full same-sex marriage.

But in May Mr Cameron told Sky News that he had no immediate plans to legalise full ‘homosexual marriage’.

And in February Nick Clegg voiced his support for same-sex marriage.Mr Clegg, responding to a direct question on changing the law, told a homosexual news website he supported it because: “Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same, too.”

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