Gay marriage reforms are an ‘utter sham’ for going against democratic processes, according to a Salford priest.
MPs voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by 400 to 175 in the House of Commons last week – allowing gay partners to be married by religious organisations.
It follows a three-month Home Office consultation with members of the public last year on the topic of equal civil marriage, from which the government decided to bring forward legislation.
But Father John Flynn, communications officer for the Diocese of Salford, believes the government failed to canvas the opinion of many people in order to approve their plans.
“It’s a total and utter sham,” said Father Flynn. “I think it was a terribly undemocratic process and none of the three parties had it in their manifesto.
“Nevermind the fact of right or wrong, the consultation deliberately ignored 600,000 people – just so it could be pushed through.”
Religious organisations will not be forced to marry gay couples and must choose to ‘opt-in’ to holding the ceremonies.
However, Father Flynn insists the concept of marriage can only be understood as between a man and a woman.
“We are not saying homosexual people are worse than heterosexual people or that they shouldn’t have the same rights, but there are civil partnerships now,” Father Flynn added.
“Marriage is an institution between man and woman which people have recognised for centuries – not just in a religious sense.
“It is the foundation between two natural parents from which a child has the best environment to be brought up in, and it should remain as such.”