The Conservatives wish to implement legislation allowing all couples including same-sex couples who choose to enter into a life-long commitment to call it marriage. MP’s have been urged to support the change however there have been numerous concerns and upon voting, 136 Tories opposed the bill.
England is traditionally a Christian country with the majority of laws having a basis in the morals which derive from Christian teachings. Marriage is seen as a sacred act, which, legally, is conducted between a man and a woman. The new legislation would allow a same- sex couple to marry and allow them to have the ceremony in a religious institution, providing that institution had consented. Backlash has stemmed from the sacred nature of marriage and the meaning behind it in a religious context.
There were also concerns among Conservatives, some who have very traditional ideology and attitudes, which Cameron wishes to modernise. Nick Robinson stated, “The real reason for the anger directed at David Cameron is that many Conservatives have realised that they and their attitudes are the dragon their leader has decided to slay.”
Marriage has evolved over time, and same-sex couples are allowed to enter into a civil partnership however, the rights given under this are not the same as a marriage. Non-religious couples who wish to enter into a life long commitment call it a marriage, it no longer has a purely religious meaning and as such many argue such modernisation should be allowed.
Concerns have been raised regarding divorce, as the legal definitions of adultery and consummation, which are grounds for divorce, have definitions based upon a man and a woman. Consequently, changing the law regarding the definition of marriage and who can marry has wider implications. The questions that may arise from the legislation are controversial and difficult to answer, which may cause a number of complicated issues.