The Coalition for Marriage (C4M) is on course to receive more than 300,000 online signatures by the end of March, for its petition against the proposed redefinition of marriage.
According to the web site, it received more than 40,000 signatures in the first weekend alone; many more petitions are currently being filled in manually, in churches across the UK.
By 13 March, the number of online signatures alone stood at more than 180,000 (the figure moved upwards three times while this news story was being written!).
The petition is part of C4M’s campaign to put pressure on the Government, which is planning to begin a consultation on changing the definition of marriage to introduce same-sex marriage.
The petition states: ‘I support the legal definition of marriage, which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it’.
C4M’s campaign is gaining coverage and pace, and not just among the Christian community, but also among other religions and secular organisations. One of the leading signatories to the petition is Lord Singh of Wimbledon, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations.
On 9 March, The Sun called for a referendum on gay marriage. Polls among the Catholic community found 70 per cent opposed overturning the legal definition of marriage as one man and one woman.
A statement from Christian Concern read: ‘We at Christian Concern are in favour of retaining the current definition of marriage, which has benefited societies across the world for thousands of years. Please sign the marriage petition’.
Lord Carey of Clifton, former Archbishop of Canterbury, issued a statement to newspapers, saying, ‘The general public will oppose the present attempt fundamentally to alter marriage.
‘This is not because we oppose protections and benefits to gay couples, but because we simply don’t accept the mantra of the equalities industry, that being equal means being the same’.
A statement from C4M highlighted an opinion poll from ComRes, taken from among 1002 people in the UK, which found that 51 per cent of Brits were opposed to the Government’s moves to introduce same-sex marriage.
Some 86 per cent of people surveyed said it is ‘possible to be tolerant of the rights of others and protective of traditional marriage at the same time’.