Faith leaders demand gay marriage rethink

by James Kirkup, Telegraph

Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist leaders have signed a letter to the Prime Minister, pleading with him to abandon the legislation, which will be debated in the House of Lords next week. Allowing couples of the same sex to marry will cause “injustice and unfairness”, the signatories said, accusing Mr Cameron of rushing the legislation through Parliament to prevent proper scrutiny.

The letter was signed by leaders of several Christian denominations, including Bishop Michael Hill, the Anglican Bishop of Bristol and Archbishop Bernard Longley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham. Other Christian signatories include Bishop Angaelos of Britain’s Coptic Orthodox Church

Among the leading Muslims signing the letter is Sir Iqbal Sacranie, a former head of the Muslim Council of Britain

Other signatories include: Rabbi Natan Levy, an adviser to the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh, a Sikh community leader; and John Beard, a prominent Buddhist.

The proposed law would “create a two-tier form of marriage”, they wrote. In same-sex marriages, “the importance of consummation, procreation and the welfare of children, as well as issues such as adultery have been ignored.” That, the signatories said, “devalues the meaning of marriage itself”.

Mr Cameron has argued that allowing gay people to marry will address a fundamental injustice and strengthen society. The proposals have already split the Conservative Party, as half of its MPs opposed the legislation in the Commons last month.

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