Labour Peer: Gay marriage could have Orwellian results

A senior QC has warned that English law could refer to fathers and mothers with terms like “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” if marriage is redefined.

Labour Peer Lord Brennan pointed to evidence from countries that have already legalised same-sex marriage, which he said led to the erosion of terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’.

He argued that such a move would require amendments to laws dating back to 1285. The remarks come as the Government prepares to launch its consultation on redefining marriage.


Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Lord Brennan said, “familiar words such as ‘husband and wife’ and ‘mother and father’ are disappearing from the statute books in the small minority of countries that have begun the experiment in social engineering”.

He went on to explain that, in Spain, marriage was redefined in 2005 and, “the following year, it was announced that Spanish birth certificates would read ‘Progenitor A’ and ‘Progenitor B’ instead of ‘father’ and ‘mother’.

“This kind of language is Orwellian. Can we expect the same kind of thing here if marriage is redefined?”


The Labour Peer also said David Cameron should be focussing on more pressing issues like the economy.

He said: “Given our present economic situation, why does Mr Cameron think that so much parliamentary time and energy should be dedicated to a change in the law which would obliterate vast amounts of our cultural and legal heritage?”

The QC added: “The change has rightly been described as ‘a profoundly radical step’ and to pursue it without any manifesto commitment is remarkable”.


Homosexual lobby group Stonewall said Lord Brennan’s argument was based on a “false premise”.

A petition supporting the current definition of marriage has already attracted more than 190,000 signatures. It is being run by the Coalition for Marriage, and can be signed here.

Last week a poll revealed that 70 per cent of the population is opposed to the Government’s plans to rewrite the definition of marriage.