'Gay marriage is straightforward social justice' says a columnist in tonight's Evening Standard. No explanation is given for this statement - it is simply assumed to be true - but parliamentarians who take the Bible, seriously, including our own Simon Hughes, have realised that the issue of gay marriage is far more complex.
Simon, as has been reported in this blog, has twice met with Bermondsey Christian leaders to talk about same sex marriage and has thought long and hard about this issue. He made several contributions to the debate in Parliament this week, which are reported in detail on his website.
On his website, Simon explains why he did not vote for the third reading of the bill: 'I know that many people will be disappointed. In my heart, I wanted to
support my gay friends and constituents and their friends and families
and many party members and supporters who support the bill. I want to
legislate to change the civil law for everybody. But my understanding of
my faith and the view of my church does not accord with the proposal to
redefine marriage as the bill currently does. I did not feel therefore
that I could in conscience vote for third reading.'
You can read Simon's full account of the debate and his contribution to it here
I think that in talking about God's intention in creation Simon has got to the very heart of the matter. To say that 'gay marriage is a straightforward matter of social justice' is ludicrously simplistic. Before you start to change the very nature of marriage you really do need to ask what marriage is ordained for and our MP has made that point very clear, not least in his statement 'I believe that marriage was set up by God for the creation of children.'
And how often have you heard them mentioned in recent debates?