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Lords should have confidence to reject same sex marriage bill at first vote

21 May 2013

London, 21 May 2013: Peers should have confidence to vote against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its first House of Lords debate due on 3 June, says leading pro-family organisation the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

SPUC was commenting after the House of Commons voted in favour of the bill this evening by 366 to 161. All amendments which sought to limit the damage that the bill threatens to wreak on society were rejected. Previously MPs voted by 400 to 175 for the bill.

Paul Tully, SPUC's General Secretary, commented: "The fact that the government failed to increase the proportion of MPs supporting the measure indicates the weakness of their case for this bill.

"The consequences of allowing the bill to pass are grave, most significantly the effective abolition of real marriage in English law. Marriage will be redefined as a genderless institution. The link between marriage and child-rearing will be seriously eroded. Significantly, Greg Mulholland MP yesterday called upon Parliament to abolish marriage in English law and replace it with a vague and arbitrarily-invented 'civil union'.

"Charlotte Leslie MP defined marriage as ‘a social construct’, when in fact it is a building-block of society, and the common patrimony of humanity. And today, Kate Green, the Labour front-bencher, even questioned the existence of any fundamental English law of marriage", said Mr Tully.

Mr Tully continued: "Once parliamentarians decide to dismantle legal protections for the institution of marriage, then the welfare of children – the main reason for state recognition of marriage – will suffer. Statistics show that the family based on the marriage of one man and one woman is the most protective environment for children, both before and after birth. It is revealing that neither Maria Miller, the minister in charge of the bill, nor Yvette Cooper, the Labour party spokesman, made one single mention of children in relation to marriage in this evening's debate.

"The experience of other countries where marriage has been redefined shows that calling same-sex unions 'marriage' damages real marriage – leading fewer people to regard marriage as relevant to parenthood, and all that that entails for tomorrow's children. SPUC provided evidence to the Commons bill committee showing that this had happened in other countries that have already implemented similar laws", concluded Mr Tully.

Paul Tully, SPUC's General Secretary, can be contacted on 07939 178719 or 020 7820 3127. SPUC's communications department can be contacted on:

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