The Coalition for Marriage (C4M) says that it "reaches out to people of all faiths and none", indicating that faith communities are behind the Government's petition on same-sex unions.
Faith groups may contribute to the debate, but no greater value should be placed on their views than on those of any other section of society. C4M claims: "The (Government's) petition demonstrates that there is broad public opposition to redefining marriage." This is simply not true.
The latest statistics suggest percentages of between 43 and 62 in favour of equal marriage, where the corresponding figures against it are 32% and 27%.
C4M's fear that redefining marriage "for the rest of us (heterosexuals)" will cause (us) to be "sidelined" is blatant scaremongering: "People's careers could be harmed, couples seeking to adopt or foster could be excluded." How? Same-sex marriages will always be a minority of marriages, simply because there are fewer gay men and lesbians. How can this LGBT minority sideline the majority?
The two forms of marriage will exist side-by-side. Does Anglicanism threaten, or sideline, the Catholic Church? Or Islam sideline Christianity?
And how can a career be harmed? How will a heterosexual married couple be prevented from adopting children?
More scaremongering is contained in this sentence, too: "If marriage is redefined once, what is to stop it being redefined to allow polygamy?"
Simple: no one is suggesting that we redefine marriage to include more than two people.
dr michael johnson By e-mail