Bishops’ Plenary Meeting – November 2012
Hinsley Hall, Diocese of Leeds
The Bishops’ Conference agrees the following statement:
“Together with many people both within and beyond the faith communities of England and Wales we remain firmly opposed to the government’s proposal to redefine marriage.
“We await the publication of the results of the public consultation and the government’s response. At this time, we urge all who oppose the government’s proposal to make their views known to their own member of parliament. As we stated in our submission to the government in June: ‘The uniqueness of the institution of marriage is based on the fact that the human person exists as both male and female and that their union for the purpose of procreation, mutual support, and love has, over the centuries of human history, formed a stable unit which we call the family. Marriage has long been recognised as a positive building block of human society and has therefore been rightly recognised by societies and cultures as worthy of legal protection.’
“What is at stake is the intrinsic meaning of marriage and what is best for society as a whole. Redefining marriage is therefore a fundamental moral issue which concerns everyone. It is also one for which no mandate was sought or given to any party at the last general election. It should therefore be treated as an issue of conscience, and we urge all parties to offer a free vote to their members if a Bill ever comes to Parliament.”