Nothing about this Bill has alleviated our concerns over whether individuals or religious institutions will be adequately protected from legal contests against their stance on same sex marriage. Such legal contests could end up in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. With only one example of case history directly relating to same sex marriage, it is impossible to predict how future judgments would go. The real issue here is that final judgments would be made by judges in Strasbourg and could not be overturned by the UK. The matter would be entirely out of British hands.
Where the Bill purports to protect the individuals and religious institutions, it is our fear that via legal interference, quite the reverse is true.
The issue is not the clean-cut black and white debate that is being portrayed in the media. It raises a variety of challenging questions ranging from the definitions of consummation of marriage to adultery, which will lead to a Gordian knot of legal implications and difficulties likely to wind up in a court in Strasbourg to which British law is fully subservient and over which Britain bears no control.
It is expressly for these reasons that we believe the Bill is rather cynically being used as a popularity boost and a distraction from other issues, when in fact there is far more at stake than meets the eye.
Image by Giovanni Dall’Orto