Protect Supporters of Traditional Marriage, Says UK Official

A former Member of Parliament is warning of the adverse consequences of supporters of same-sex marriage and is advocating that laws be passed specifically for their protection.

Edward Leigh, a former trade minister, is scheduled to address the House of Commons on Tuesday during a debate concerning supporters of traditional marriage and a potential impact of their rights.

Leigh is also concerned with the treatment of those supporting traditional values should Prime Minister David Cameron and the British government pass new laws legalizing gay marriage. Queens Council Aidan O'Neill wrote a legal opinion that warned about the effects of redefining marriage as well.

"If the Government is successful in redefining marriage, then there are hundreds of thousands of teachers, parents, foster carers, or even hospital and army chaplains who could find themselves being disciplined for their beliefs, just as Adrian Smith was … to think otherwise is out of touch with reality." Leigh told The Christian Institute.

Leigh was highlighting the plight of Adrian Smith, a housing manager, who had his pay docked after he posted messages on Facebook supporting traditional marriage last year.

Politicians who are supporting redefining marriage had previously stated that measures would be taken to ensure that religious institutions would not be forced to act in conflict of their consciences, but there are no new protections for those outside of religious institutions who object on moral grounds.

"If the Government is serious about protecting those who back the current definition of marriage from being marginalized for their beliefs then it must act immediately to change the Equality Act," Leigh said.

One example of the looming implications of the same-sex marriage laws is St. Margaret's, a prominent Roman Catholic adoption agency in the United Kingdom. They were recently told to end their marriage requirement for adopting couples or risk deregulation.

The adoption agency has a policy requiring couples who are considering applying as adopting parents to be married for at least two years. Now that the policy and St. Margaret's are at risk, there are fears that the children will be the ones most harmed.

"We do not believe that this outcome is in the best interests of the children St Margaret's helps, who are in need of a safe and loving family home," Mike Russell, Education Minister for the Scottish Government, told the BBC.

Scotland's Office of Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) revealed that a complaint filed by the National Secular Society led to the request of removing the 2-year marriage requirement, even though the adoption agency has provided caring families with children of their own.