The British government is being criticized after is consultation regarding gay marriage was described as a "sham." A prominent Christian organization stated that measures to protect religious institutions against being forced to conduct same-sex ceremonies were "illusory."
On Tuesday, Culture secretary Maria Miller announced the British government's plans to go ahead and introduce legislation that would redefine marriage and allow same-sex couples to wed. The decision came after a consultation found that a slim majority of respondents were in favor of passing such a measure.
Christian organizations have long stated that the issue of gay marriage in the United Kingdom has been purely political, negating the principals that traditional marriage was founded on.
"From the very outset, this proposal has been characterized far more by politics than by principles," David Landrum, director of Evangelical Alliance, said in a statement.
"Although the sky won't fall in if the law changes, there will most certainly be a new legal culture imposed that over time will have profound and incalculable consequences for family life and social relations in the U.K.," he added.
Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to allow some religious institutions to perform civil ceremonies, while allowing those who wish not to the opportunity to back out.
Skeptics argued that such a double standard would only complicate the legal process and pose a threat to those religious institutions that choose not to oversee such ceremonies.
But Miller assured those wary of the pending change that no religious institution would be forced to perform such ceremonies.
"I am absolutely clear that no religious organization will ever be forced to conduct marriages for same-sex couples, and I would not bring in a bill which allowed that," Miller said as she spoke at the House of Commons.
Still, those opposed said that even with such guarantees ignoring the will of the people is undemocratic and shows the government's disregard for the public in pushing through same-sex marriage legislation.
"The decision to ignore a petition of half a million people is disgraceful and undemocratic and goes against assurances from civil servants that all submissions would be treated equally and fairly," said Colin Hart, Campaign Director of Coalition 4 Marriage.
"There were serious flaws with the consultation, not only was it loaded in favor of ripping up the centuries-old definition of marriage, but it lacked even the most basic of safeguards to check the identity of those taking part," he added.