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10 years of championing marriage and family

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God created men and women in his image, giving them the task of filling and subduing the newly-created world (Genesis 1). From then on, God set up families - led by one man and one woman, married for life - as the basic building block of society, giving them the responsibility to bring up godly children.

When Christian Concern was founded in 2008, marriage and the family had long been under attack in Britain and around the western world. But even more challenges were to come.

In 2009, a new Equality Bill was being proposed that would go on to become one of the last acts passed before the 2010 General Election. Christian Concern was very active, highlighting the problems that would be caused for Christians, leading letter-writing campaigns and being successful in securing key freedoms for churches. But the act still undermined God's plan for families as it advanced LGBT agendas and advanced a culture hostile to God's pattern for sex and marriage.

Equality laws and policies have been used to squash the freedoms of Christians; nurses, doctors, students, teachers, counsellors, councillors and many more.

It's been a privilege to stand with these people, and many more, over the years. It's an experience we know ourselves, for example, when a conference we were hosting on marriage was cancelled at the last moment.

But we've done more than just stand - we've achieved real victories along the way (e.g. for a nurse, a registrar, a teaching assistant and reaching a settlement with the conference venue).

Various measures have been proposed that would undermine the family, but the biggest challenge came in 2011, when David Cameron announced his intention to 'introduce' same-sex 'marriage. We mobilised Christians to respond, co-founding Coalition For Marriage, a petition signed by over 600,000 people, holding several rallies outside parliament and mobilising Christians to advocate for the Christian view of marriage by writing to their MPs.

Sadly, the government was determined and managed to push the legislation through. Many thought this would be the end of the assault on Christian sexual ethics. But it only opened the door for further struggles in the form of transgender ideology - particularly in schools. We supported parents who challenged a school's transgender policy which implied that children could be disciplined for not going along with a 6-year-old child's gender transition. We supported a Christian teacher who was disciplined for 'misgendering' a student.

We've also supported families to stay together with advice and legal support. The people involved often can't be named but their stories are true, and we've done all we can to support them - and had some breakthroughs.

There have been other successes along the way - together with our supporters, we've helped block many attempts to introduce sexual entertainment venues, for example in Oxford, Lowestoft, Macclesfield and Bedford. We mobilised Christians to challenge Stonewall's Bigot of the Year award, which was eventually dropped. Recently, one supporter helped us draw attention to prominent displays in supermarkets promoting erotica - some of which were moved or removed after supporters made complaints.

Society is now in a state of deep chaos surrounding marriage, sexuality and the family - all of which springs from its rejection of God and his good pattern for humanity. We need to continue confidently bringing this life-giving teaching to the world around us - by challenging the sexual revolution and its consequences; by confronting sex and relationships education that promotes harmful lifestyles; and by equipping churches to speak boldly and model strong Christian marriages and families.


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