I received the following letter from Care, dated May 2013:
Making a Christian Difference for the sake of the future
By the time you read this the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will have completed its journey through the House of Commons. It now goes to the Lords.
It was important to set out arguments for MPs and maximise the vote against the Bill, but we realised that it would be very difficult to win in the Commons. However, at the Second Reading in the House of Lords on Monday 3 June there will be a vote and, if all the Peers opposed to the Bill are present, there is a real chance of defeating the Bill at this crucial stage.
I am therefore writing to ask you to act urgently by sending a letter or email to one or more of the Peers specially selected and listed overleaf. Please contact as many as you can as soon as possible, asking them to attend the debate on Monday 3 June, to consider speaking in support of traditional marriage and to vote against the Bill. You could also mention the following:
There are many constitutional irregularities in the Bill's development. There was no mandate for this fundamental policy change. It was not in any party manifesto or the Coalition Agreement. There was no
Green Paper or White Paper. It wasn't in any Queen's Speech.
Religious liberty measures in the Bill are limited to 'wedding ceremony' protections for church ministers and churches. Contrary to what the Government has said, these are far from robust. There are no free speech conscience protections for public sector employees: chaplains, teachers, registrars, and others.
Please ask others to write too and, above all, continue to pray about this issue. More information about the
Bill and its progress is at www.care.org.uk/marriage. If the Bill is passed at the Lords' Second Reading there will still be opportunities at its later stages and we will keep you informed.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support in this crucial matter. If the Government passes this Bill there will be far reaching consequences for society that will affect us and future generations.
Yours in His grace
Head of Public Affairs
53 Romney Street
Care is a registered charity: Charity No. 1066963
The reverse of the letter includes a list of about 40 Peers from Lord Moran to Lord Saatchi in alphabetical order. There are details of email addresses of a whole load of Peers here. There’s also information on how to contact them here.
I think it’s interesting that the letter makes no mention of the following facts:
- The vote in the House of Commons was a free vote. Each Member of Parliament was free to vote however she or he wished.
- A very large majority of the MPs that voted were in favour of the bill
- The House of Lords is an unelected body made up of these people. It even includes bishops of the Church of England. Peers in the House of Lords aren’t answerable to any electorate. Effectively they are an undemocratic body of people.
My own point of view:
- Whether there was a mandate, party manifesto commitment, coalition agreement, green paper, white paper or Queens Speech on this is irrelevant.
- I don’t see a real reason as to why public sector employees should have special treatment compared with other employees
- I believe that it is not only churches and church ministers that are “protected”. The protection talks about religion rather than churches
- It seems a shame that Care are keen to capitalise on the potential support of an unelected and undemocratic body to further their own socio-political view of how life should be
I think that the people at Care likely have good intentions. But I believe that the main reason for their opposition to this Bill is really that they believe that the Bible says that Gay relationships are sinful. They don’t want to do anything that encourages or makes it easier for people to get involved in sin. I believe that they would say that they do this because sin damages people. And so their opposition to the Bill is actually about doing the best for society and for individuals. Ultimately they believe that in opposing the Bill they are performing the will of God.
Of course, all of that depends on believing in God, believing in the Bible as the Word of God, and also believing in a particular interpretation of the meaning of the Bible.
Maybe you would like to write to Care and let them know how you feel? In a polite way, of course. There is contact information here.