Civil Unions Aren't Like Traditional Marriages, Says UK Government Brief
Members of the House of Commons Library have published a briefing note over the recent government consultation over the proposed measure to legalize same-sex marriage.
The briefing note highlights that while civil unions are legal in the U.K., they are only recognized between members of the same sex, making them different than traditional marriages. The briefing also showcases the change in the Civil Partnership Act 2004, which went in effect in December 2011, an effort to have civil ceremonies recognized in religious institutions who choose to host such ceremonies.
"Some of those who have written to me predominantly from a religious perspective have not sufficiently recognized that what we are talking about is gay civil marriage or that the theological arguments are themselves complex and allow for different approaches even within a Christian tradition," wrote Member of Parliament John Howell.
But advocates of traditional marriage insist that homosexual relationships can never envelop the attributes of traditional marriage given the structure of same-sex marriage.
"The virtues of faithful homosexual relationships cannot embrace everything that is good about heterosexual marriage. There is an inescapable difference and complementarity between men and women that allows procreation to be an important component of a marriage between a man and a woman," Dr. Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs of the Church of England, wrote.
"Our concern is emphatically not to say that same-sex relationships are wicked, but to ask what sort of a society we would have if the social meaning of marriage was stripped of any expectation at all that it involved having children." he added.
Like us on Facebook
Brown further adds that the government's interpretation of marriage or civil unions misses the point of the larger argument: Christian values do not support the union of homosexual couples.
"Unfortunately, the Coalition's consultation on Equal Marriage is based on a profound ignorance of the current laws about marriage and … the mistaken assumption that 'religious marriage' and 'civil marriage' are two different things in law … these points have nothing to do with Christian approaches to sexuality," Brown said.