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Black church leaders want MPs to rethink gay marriage reform

KISS: Pro gay-marriage supporters embrace

SAME-SEX PROPOSALS on marriage, which will be voted on in the House of Commons today, are fomenting a potential backlash across Britain’s black churches. The National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) has issued a plea to politicians calling for them to withdraw their support for gay-marriage, also dubbed equal marriage by its supporters.

NCLF, which represents the “concerns of leaders and members of African and Caribbean churches in the UK”, says if the reforms to allow same-sex couples to wed are successfully passed it could usher in “dangers and unintended consequences”.

The Christian religious leaders are firm in their belief to retain the traditional definition of marriage between a man and women – a classification, they argue, is “foundational to society’s well-being” and allows children to “flourish best in loving, stable, heterosexual relationships.”

Eric Brown, bishop of the New Testament Church of God (represented by NCLF), said: “I believe we will serve the interests of future generations well by maintaining the understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman. The government needs to think long and hard before it embarks on redefining this historic institution.

“The proposal to allow same sex marriage in the name of equality is both dangerous and damaging with serious social and moral implications. I urge them to rethink the proposal”, he added.

PRO REFORM: Christian Tory MP Helen Grant supports gay-marriage

Another bishop, Wilton Powell, of the Church of God of Prophecy, said: “The attempt to redefine marriage—the move to include same sex couples in the definition – is an ill-advised departure from both our cultural and Christian understanding of marriage.

“This move is bound to have serious unintended consequences, especially for those who consciously adhere to the historic Christian view that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“People who work in our churches, schools and other public institutions may find themselves discriminated against because they disagree with the government’s new definition of marriage”, Powell added.

The three main party leaders are all backing the proposed reforms. Labour leader Ed Miliband wrote on his Facebook page: “I’ll be voting for equal marriage for a very simple reason: I don’t think that the person you love should determine the rights you have.”

Labour MPs David Lammy and Diane Abbott are known to be supporting the reforms.

Furthermore, Tory politician Helen Grant has thrown her weight behind the reforms, despite describing herself as “a God-fearing woman”. The MP for Maidstone in Kent said: “I am a member of the Church of England, a Christian, and my faith is very, very important to me.

“I think [same-sex marriage] is absolutely consistent with my beliefs.

“For me, as a Christian, I see it as about justice, equality, fairness, ending discrimination and opening up marriage to more people on the basis that marriage is a very special institution”, the Conservative Party’s first black minister added.

More to follow

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