U.K. Evangelical Alliance Warns Against Marriage, Civil Union Blurring

The London-based Evangelical Alliance UK warned that Britain’s change in law to allow civil partnerships for gay couples will soon lead to the legalization of same sex "marriage" within the next few years.

“One predicts that within about two years so-called same-sex ‘marriage’ will become legal in the UK,” Don Horrocks, head of Public Affairs for the Evangelical Alliance, said in a statement Tuesday. ”This is based on experience in other countries where same-sex civil partnerships have been legalized.”

The statement was released one day after gay couples across Britain began registering and preparing for the first wave of legalized civil partnerships for homosexual couples.

Under the Civil Partnership Act, homosexuals will be able to gain full legal benefits of marriage – though under a different name – before Christmas. Northern Ireland will be the first to recognize the partnerships on Dec. 19, followed by Scotland on Dec. 20, and England and Wales on Dec. 21.

Evangelicals have long criticized civil partnerships as a ruse for legalized gay marriage. In the case of the United Kingdom, Evangelicals were further edged by a Government-initiated proposal to allow references to God in civil partnership ceremonies.

“The problem is that while hymns will still be banned in civil ceremonies, pop songs with religious lyrics will not,” Gareth Wallace, and EAUK spokesperson said on Wednesday. “The Government has effectively conceded to allow incidental references to a god or deity during civil marriage ceremonies, providing that the overall context remains essentially non-religious.”

Wallace explained that the proposal would blur the line between religious and civil “marriages” and said the adoption of the proposal would further undermine Christian marriage.

“The Government was committed to keeping religious and civil marriage separate but has now bowed to social pressure,” he said. “Our fear is that in time civil marriages, which are supposed to be strictly secular, will end up as a sort of folk religion hybrid, neither one thing nor the other.”