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Christian Concern warns against 'marriages' by non-religious belief groups

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Earlier this year, the Government launched a consultation seeking the public's view on whether the law should be changed to allow 'marriages' by non-religious belief groups.

The proposals came after the the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples Act) 2013 was amended to require the Government to consider whether a third type of marriage ceremony should be introduced to allow secular groups, such as humanists, to conduct 'marriages' in England and Wales.

Christian Concern has responded to the consultation, warning that marriage has already been significantly undermined by the introduction of no-fault divorce and the recent passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.  Its response notes that the proposed changes will undermine the institution even further given the sacramental and solemn concept of marriage which has been at the heart of law and civic society, recognised as the voluntary, life-long union of one man and one woman.

"Such an understanding of marriage has been the cornerstone of a stable and flourishing society throughout history and is widely acknowledged as the ideal for children and society. Clearly, as a matter of good public policy, for the common good of society, marriage as has been understood through the ages is what should be promoted as a matter of public policy, and any further erosion of this model should be avoided," it says.

The response also warns against the conflation of 'religion' - which is identifiable by Scripture, tradition and theology - with ‘belief’ which is based on man-made philosophy. 

"Historically, in our society Christianity - ‘religion’ - has given the meaning, form and structure to the marriage ceremony. It is a serious legal and philosophical flaw to conflate 'religion' with 'belief'. It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the public nature of marriage as outworked through our national institutions."

Read Christian Concern's full response here >