Tags: Alistair Burt, Equal Marriage, Equality, Freedom to Marry, Marriage, Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, Same-sex marriage
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TODAY, as those of us who support equal marriage rejoice at the outcome of yesterday’s vote — 400:175 in favour — it gives me great pleasure to be able to follow up my last post with the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP‘s response, and I thank Mr Burt for his prompt, courteous and carefully considered reply, received within a matter of minutes of my message to him:
From: BURT, Alistair
Subject: RE: Thank you for supporting Equal Marriage: An Open Letter
Date: 5 February 2013 12:21:28 GMT
To: Phil Groom
Cc: Colin Coward, Changing Attitude; Freedom to Marry
Thank you for your email on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill coming before the House today.
As you would expect I have given a great deal of thought and consideration to my position.
I will support the Bill being put forward by the Government because I believe fundamentally in the equality of all UK citizens before the civil law. I also believe that Churches and those of all faiths should be able to make their own decisions over who is blessed by marriage as a religious rite.
I do not believe the Bill interferes with that rite, and indeed every effort is being made to ensure that it is protected.
On the issue itself I do not agree with arguments which suggest that marriage is being devalued. Marriage is not threatened by extending the right to two consenting adults who wish to make a commitment to long term stability. Marriage is more threatened by the prevalence of break up and separation which society should be trying so hard to avoid.
As a Christian, I believe that God created us all equal, and whilst I fully understand the issues of interpretation in the Bible, this is not a matter which should require Parliament and Civil Law to comply with. This is even more the case when issues of interpretation are challenged and where there are many other Biblical instructions which are not part of the law of the land.
I have given this very careful and serious thought and I trust that in time we will all appreciate the opportunity for individuals to experience what marriage means to so many.
I hope you have a clear sense of my opinions on such an important issue, and I am very grateful for your supportive email. I am very happy for it to be published on your blog.
Office of Alistair Burt | Member of Parliament for NE Bedfordshire | Minister for the Middle East, North Africa & South Asia | Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Thank you for supporting Equal Marriage: An Open Letter to the Rt Hon Alistair Burt, MP February 5, 2013Posted by Phil Groom in Current Affairs, Watching and Waiting.
Tags: Alistair Burt, Church of England, Equal Marriage, Freedom to Marry, Letter to MP, LGBT, Marriage, Same-sex marriage
Dear Mr Burt,
Thank you for supporting equal marriage.
I was delighted to discover recently that you are one of the signatories to the Freedom to Marry launch letter, a letter which I, as one of your constituents, wholeheartedly endorse.
No doubt you have received many messages urging you to reconsider your position. I, however, would like to encourage you to stand firm and vote in favour of the legislation, to ensure that LGBT people are recognised as equal members of our society and allowed to share the same freedom to marry as everyone else.
As you are no doubt aware, there are many Christians and members of the Church of England such as myself who support this measure despite the official opposition of the Church, which we say does not speak in our name: allowing gay couples to marry does not undermine the institution of marriage; to the contrary, it can only help to strengthen society and marriage itself as more people commit to lifelong, faithful relationships.
I will be publishing this letter on my blog (address below) and, with your permission, please, would also like to publish your response.
Thank you once again for your support; I look forward to hearing from you soon.
With all good wishes,
CC. Colin Coward, Changing Attitude; Freedom to Marry.