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HSLD signs up to the Coalition for Equal Marriage petition

March 7, 2012 2:25 PM

Humanist & Secularist Liberal Democrats has become a supporter of the Coalition for Equal Marriage, and urges all members and supporters to sign the Equal Marriage petition at www.c4em.org.uk.

The petition reads "I support the right of two people to get married, regardless of gender. It's only fair".

So far, supporters of the coalition include the British Humanist Association, the National Secular Society, LGBT+ LibDems and the Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association and Lesbian & Gay Christians, among others. Supporters include Christian, Labour and Tory groups.

If the right to marry wasn't already a secularist issue, the Anglican and Catholic churches certainly turned it into one when leading dignitaries from both churches declared that the state did not have the right to change the definition of marriage, which was a religious institution (ignoring the more welcoming attitude of religious groups such as the Quakers). As Lynne Featherstone responded, "the Church does not own marriage".

The Coalition for Equal Marriage was created in response to the Coalition for Marriage petition (www.c4m.org.uk), which declares "I support the legal definition of marriage, which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it". The Coalition website also states "If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined to allow polygamy?". It is supported by, among others, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton, the Bishops of Chester, Hereford, Exeter, Carlisle, Coventry, Peterborough, Southwell & Nottingham, Winchester (retired) and Rochester (retired).

Humanist & Secularist Liberal Democrats are proud that LibDem minister Lynne Featherstone is spearheading this reform, and that our party conference (representing members throughout the UK) voted overwhelmingly in 2011 to support equal marriage rights for all. As humanists, we're delighted to see the British Humanist Association lending its support. As secularists, we reject the claim by some religious institutions that they alone can control the marriage rights of every British citizen, regardless of their religious belief or absence of belief.

If you haven't already signed by the time you read this far, you can still find the Coalition for Equal Marriage petition at www.c4em.org.uk