English law no longer has a “clear concept of marriage” due to the advance of ‘homosexual rights’, according to one of the country’s top family lawyers.
Baroness Deech, Chair of the Bar Standards Board, also believes that human rights law could soon be used to legalise full homosexual marriage.
The independent peer is delivering a lecture on civil partnerships today, and she is expected to quote a famous legal definition of marriage as the “voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.”
But Lady Deech will caution that the traditional definition of marriage has been eroded by the advance of ‘homosexual rights’.
She will point out that “civil partnerships do still differ from marriage a little”.
The peer insists that the distinction between marriage and civil partnerships needs to be maintained to protect the welfare of children.
Lady Deech will also use the lecture to criticise a recent law, introduced by the Labour Government, which allows lesbian couples to be named on a birth certificate with no mention of the father.
She will say: “I regret the downgrading of the father as a person of importance – the legislative dismissal of the contribution of half the population to the upbringing of the next generation.”
She will conclude: “The limit to same-sex relationships is that they cannot be a reproductive unit in a way that is best for the welfare of the child if they cut out all contact with members of the other sex or falsify the birth registration.”
Lady Deech’s warning comes as the Government considers an amendment to the Equality Bill which would permit, but not compel, churches to host civil partnership ceremonies.
But senior church leaders have warned that the amendment could expose individual clergy to litigation.
And critics fear that allowing the ceremonies inside churches would further blur the distinction between marriage and homosexual civil partnerships.