Here's a letter I've sent to my MP: I will let you know of any response in due course.
Feel free to use any or all of it when writing to yours.
Marriage is foundational to civilised society, and has been as far back as we can trace. It is reckless to change such a fundamental building block without good reason, and without looking at the potential consequences.
Re-defining it to mean that it is not the union of one man and one woman;
Re-defining consummation (something the government’s proposals have fudged in a shameful fashion) and which raises serious questions about whether consummation will be defined in the same or different ways for lesbians, homosexual men and heterosexual couples (if the same, that radically changes the meaning of heterosexual marriage; if different, that makes a mockery of the equality principle that is allegedly behind the proposal).
Traditionally, marriage has been essentially about the conceiving and raising of children in the context of a loving relationship between a man and a woman. The evidence is clear that children do best when raised in a stable family by their mother and their father.
It is widely touted that the purpose of this change is equality. That is clearly not the case. Same-sex couples already have equality, via civil partnerships. They gain no legal right under the marriage proposals which they do not already enjoy. The real purpose of this change is social engineering: that is to bestow state (and it is hoped public) approval on same-sex relationships. The question that has to be asked is whether that is the correct role of the state. In fact, this is clearly a change being led by a small but vociferous minority trying to lead public opinion in a particular direction. It seems to me to be dishonest to pretend it is anything else.
Much has been made of the alleged distinction between Civil and Religious Marriage, and it has been asserted that this applies only to Civil Marriage, leaving Religious Marriage untouched. That is a very curious claim, as there is no such distinction in English Law. There are civil or religious ceremonies, but only one institution of Marriage. It is very hard to see any protection that could be offered to religious organisations who refuse same-sex weddings if challenged at the European level, once same-sex marriage is legalised.
Once the state believes it can re-define marriage, what is to stop it being re-defined further? That is not a fanciful question, as we are already witnessing cases in Brazil, the Netherlands and Canada striving to legitimise polygamy.
We are already seeing hotel and B&B owners being prosecuted for following their consciences as Christians, and upholding standards which were, until very recently, the law of the land. Legal advice from senior QCs indicates that we will soon find that Christians who believe in marriage as always heretofore defined are thereby barred from many occupations and organisations, including education, many public services, and so on. Likewise Churches will be obliged to let their halls be used for ceremonies which are against their beliefs, or not let them be used at all; and so on.