CARE believes that marriage – the union of one man and one woman – is a key institution ordained by God for the good of society. Mindful of this it is not surprising that the social science evidence demonstrates that marriage is also associated with significantly better outcomes than cohabitation for both adults and children across every conceivable benchmark from health to education from general wellbeing to volunteering.
However, over the past five years since the previous General Election in 2010 there have been considerable challenges and changes with regard to marriage and other types of relationships.
In 2011, regulations were introduced allowing Civil Partnerships to take place in churches, despite legal opinions suggesting churches may be exposed to successful litigation if they refuse to host civil partnerships whilst continuing to conduct heterosexual marriages.
By far the most radical change in the past five years, however, has been the redefinition of marriage. Given our commitment to the biblical definition of marriage, CARE, along with other key groups became a founding member of the Coalition for Marriage, which opposed the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation in England and Wales, and Scotland for Marriage, which opposed the redefinition of marriage in Scotland.
During debates on these Bills numerous assurances were given by the England and Wales and Scottish Governments concerning protections for those who cannot endorse a new definition of marriage. However, there have already been concerning instances of Christians facing pressure and discrimination for holding firm to the Biblical definition of marriage. Read more here.
There have also been attempts to challenge the law in Northern Ireland which, happily, still maintains that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
All Westminster MPs, including Scottish and Northern Irish MPs, had the opportunity to vote on the England and Wales marriage legislation so it is well worth asking Scottish and Northern Irish MPs the questions below at the Westminster election.
Questions for Candidates
- Did you/would you have voted for or against the redefinition of marriage?
- What would you do to ensure that marriage, as the union between one man and one woman, is encouraged.
- Do you support the right of those who believe in marriage as traditionally understood to articulate their view? What would you do to ensure such people remain free to hold and express their view that marriage, properly conceived, can only exist as the union of a man and woman ?