26th February 2013 Lima, Peru

The UK takes a big step towards equal marriage

The following is a guest post by Ben Rawlings, Prosperity Officer – British Embassy, Lima.

Marriage is an important institution in the UK. The principles of long-term commitment and responsibility that underpin it are part of what binds society together. But marriage is not static; it has always been an evolving institution. In the 20th century for example the law was changed so that married men and married women were recognised as equals.

Adapting to changes in society has allowed marriage to remain a strong and valued institution.

On Tuesday 5 February 2013 the UK’s House of Commons continued this tradition, voting in favour of same-sex marriage by 400 votes to 175.  This was the first step towards delivering the UK Government’s commitment to open up marriage to same-sex couples; another step in its evolution that it considers will strengthen marriage as an institution and help ensure that it remains a building block of society.

This evolution isn’t only a UK trend: since the Netherlands first approved same-sex marriage in 2000 over 10 countries including Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Argentina, and states in Mexico, Brazil and the US, have legalised same-sex marriage.

But equality also has to be applied equally and fairly – promoting one group’s rights cannot come at the expense of another’s. The diversity of our faiths and the tolerance of other people’s beliefs is something which we are rightly proud of in Britain.

Some religious groups were worried that a change in the law would affect their freedom of belief and conscience. Other religious groups were keen to be allowed to marry people of the same sex in their churches and places of worship. The consultation process ensured these views were listened to, and the proposed law protects the rights of individual religious institutions to decide whether they want to conduct same-sex marriages or not.

So as well as promoting marriage equality and the rights of LGBT people, the new law would also allow for freedom of religious conscience.

Having been approved by Members of Parliament, the proposed law will now go through a Parliamentary Committee and will be subject to rigorous scrutiny and approval by both chambers of the British Parliament before it becomes law.

There have been strong views on both sides of the argument, but the British government considers that the historic vote on 5 February should be a step forward in promoting a society that is freer, fairer and more tolerant.

Further information (in English)

5 comments on “The UK takes a big step towards equal marriage

  1. Dear Mr. Abiodun Ogundipe,
    with all of my respect just a little reminder for you : God (if he should exist) once blessed every one of his creatures. Including Gays and Lesbians and their way of living plus their human right for a self determinated same – sex marriage. So what about “Isolation”?
    Kindly regards, Ingo -Steven

  2. We, His creatures are only trying to fashion out an idea to suit our desires of hearts. God did not bless same-sex in isolation and out of His creatures at the wake of this world. Gen. 1-26-28. KJV.

  3. Dear Mr. Ben Rawlings,
    thanks a lot for drawing attention to this (still!) very sensitive topic.
    And for your proper report too. In my opinion, it was a very wise act , that on Tuesday 5th February 2013, the UK ´s House of Commens voted FOR or in favour for this so-called “Same-Sex-Marriage”. Alone the voting results , 400 to 175 “PRO” votes speaks for itself. You ´re also total right by writing “…this EVOLUTION IS NOT ONLY an UK-Trend”. In fact, these list of you of over 10 nations which have also legalised this kind of merriage – like the USA, Brazil or Denmark- might surely help to break some of the last barriers b e t w e e n
    people with total opposite sexual preferences. Instead of building or still keeping “walls” of the last century. That ´s why I listed also these 3 so different countries above. All 3 have already at least 3 different kind of religions (Protestants, Evangelists, Catholic, or Baptist ). Incl. TOLERANCE enough to accept each other. Indeed, they gave us all enough evidences of a peaceful living together. So, why should this NOT possible between Heterocouples and Gay,- or Lesbian marriaged couples ? I don ´t see and I can ´t see any kind of problems in the future – if more and more countries across the world give their favour for Same-Sex-Marriages. In your words: Marriage has always been an envolving institution. So it ´s only logical that France and Germany have meanwhile also this “forward-stepping” club of free, fair and tolerant states. To conclude : Unfortunately, you didn ´t wrote sthg. about the current status in Lima/Peru itself. So the BIG question to me is : Will Peru follow the same path as Mexico , Argentina or Brazil? I mean- more or less- all these 3 nations are all located in Latin,- or South America. So could they be a good example for South American located Peru too ? Finally and with all of my respect I do strongly disagree to the opinion of Mr. Abiodun
    Ogundipe. For he can´t metioned me ONE chapter in the (Angelican) bible in which Same Sex Marriage is strictly forbidden or a deadly sin. The opposite is correct : Jesus itself spoke to the people , that “…in my Father ´s house are rooms enough for all…”. In the German – Protestant bible is written nearly the same :”…in meines Vaters Haus gibt es genug Zimmer für alle…”. Isn ´t that a great chapter FOR ALL people of the world and a great hope of delieverance for ALL OF US ? Bw, Ingo-Steven Wais, Stuttgart/Wuerttemberg, Cardyygean/Cymru

    1. Mr. Ingo, in the content of your comment, ‘rooms’ means freedom or liberty. According to Jesus, ‘rooms’ means ‘Kingdom of God’.

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