The Christian Institute

News Release

Redefining marriage: huge implications

The Westminster Government has announced plans to hold a public consultation, asking whether the legal definition of marriage should be changed to allow homosexual marriage.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “All the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples through civil partnership registrations. The census shows that only one household in 500 is headed by a same-sex couple. Is marriage to be redefined across the whole of society to please a small minority of activists?

“If marriage is redefined for homosexual marriage, that new definition will be the one that the state promotes as the standard. It will have huge implications for what is taught in schools and for wider society.

“The Government confidently asserts that the legislation will be in place by 2015. But this cannot be guaranteed because MPs and Peers will surely be allowed a free vote on such a controversial question as whether to redefine marriage.

“The Government’s repeated use of the phrase ‘civil marriage’ is misleading, and straight out of the campaigners’ handbook. A marriage registration may be ‘civil’ or ‘religious’, but they both lead to the same single legal institution: marriage. That institution has one single definition in law: one man, to one woman, for life. This is what the Government is planning to re-write.

“If marriage can be redefined for homosexual marriage, why not redefine it to allow polygamy? Canada has legalised homosexual marriage, and litigation is now underway in one Canadian province to legalise polygamy.

“Marriage, although undermined by easy divorce and cohabitation, remains a key building block of society. Children do best when they have a mother and a father who are committed to each other. Children need a mother and a father, but homosexual marriage denies this.

“As Michael White of the Guardian has said, no amount of technology can ‘eliminate the need for a female egg and a male sperm to make a baby. On that fact rest all successful societies since the year dot.’ (1)

“Some homosexuals regard marriage as a patriarchal institution and would rather retain civil partnerships. For similar reasons, some heterosexuals wish to enter a civil partnership rather than a marriage. If civil partnerships were retained alongside homosexual marriage, the cost to the state could be huge. Ben Summerskill of Stonewall estimated the loss in tax revenue at £5bn. (2) And there would be an injustice against unmarried siblings who share a house and take care of each other.”

  1. ) “Same-sex marriage cannot be the same as heterosexual marriage”, Michael White,, 14 Feb 2011. See
  2. ) If homosexual marriage were legalised but civil partnerships remained restricted to homosexuals, a heterosexual couple could launch a legal action to open up civil partnerships to heterosexuals. This has already happened in England as part of the “Equal Love” campaign. If such legal actions successfully open up civil partnerships to heterosexuals, the associated implications of pension entitlements and tax benefits would cost the taxpayer an estimated £5bn across the UK. See