The case for the Government’s proposal to redefine marriage is “strikingly weak”, the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella group has warned.
The Home Office launched a three-month consultation on the issue last week, but critics branded it a “sham” which will ignore any opposition.
Now the Muslim Council of Britain has warned that plans to rewrite the definition of marriage are “unnecessary and unhelpful”.
Farooq Murad, the group’s secretary general, said: “With the advent of civil partnerships, both homosexual and heterosexual couples now have equal rights in the eyes of the law.
“Therefore, in our view the case to change the definition of marriage, as accepted throughout time and across cultures, is strikingly weak.
“Like other Abrahamic faiths, marriage in Islam is defined as a union between a man and a woman. So while, the state has accommodated for gay couples, such unions will not be blessed as marriage by the Islamic institutions.”
David Cameron’s plans to rewrite the definition of marriage have already aroused widespread opposition.
Earlier this week Lord Singh, a Sikh peer, warned that under the Government’s plans marriage would be changed “for no real gain because the law rightly gives every respect to a civil partnership”.
And Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, who in the past has been considered a front-runner for the next Chief Rabbi, has described the proposals as “pure politics”.
The Government’s official consultation, which was launched last Thursday morning, asks the public if they “agree or disagree” with rewriting the definition of marriage.
However, it also makes clear that it is a matter of how not whether the contentious change will be introduced.
Colin Hart, campaign director for the Coalition for Marriage, said: “I always thought that a consultation was about listening to people and asking them their views, before making a decision.
“Not only are they redefining the meaning of marriage, they’re redefining the meaning of consultation.”