So, the Government’s Bill to redefine marriage is being published today, January 25th, with the first major debate scheduled to take place at its second reading on Tuesday, February 5th.
This doesn’t feel so much ‘fast-tracked’, as the Prime Minister tripping over his feet in panic as he pulls out all the stops to force it through. Voice for Justice UK once again asks, Why the unseemly haste? Why, for the benefit of a tiny minority of the population (many of whom are on record as saying they don’t want it), is David Cameron so keen on pushing through a policy that will destroy thefoundational building block of all societies going back thousands of years – throughout recordable history, in fact – and which is heartily detested by a sizeable chunk (maybe even most) of his grass roots supporters?
But leaving this question aside, interesting though it is, we are assured that all will remain well with the world because, despite the seismic re-evaluation of society, the Church of England and other antediluvian faith groups, still labouring under the misguided belief that God has ordained this lifelong and exclusive union between one man and one woman for their mutual benefit and support and the bringing up of children, will be given exemption from holding any and all such ceremonies on their premises. Unless that is, they choose to opt-in. We are further assured there is a quadruple lock guaranteeing this exemption, so that we don’t have to worry. Religious freedom is preserved.
Really? As I have pointed out before, legal challenge of this provision has already been promised, and weighty legal opinion, both European and national, has advised the lock won’t hold. In fact the only cast-iron guaranteed result of this provision has been to shift debate; which means that the main focus of attention has been very effectively diverted for the real and basic question of whether or not it’s right. Which it is not, by the way, for all the reasons already stated elsewhere. This ploy, however, has served to reinforce in public perception the idea of the proposed legislation being a fait accompli – as Mr Cameron has himself said, and is now apparently seeking to demonstrate, not ‘if’ but ‘when’, rendering religious scruples irritating but redundant. All of which actually means in turn that we, the great British public, are yet again being skilfully ‘managed’! Mismanaged, if you prefer.
So should we just give up?
Whatever their apparent personal belief to the contrary, those in government remain public servants, elected by the will of the people. This tail must not be allowed to wag the dog.