Christians gather at UK Parliament to pray against gay marriage
As legislation seeking to legalize same-sex marriage begins was being passed by the British Parliament on Tuesday, a Christian group gathered outside the venue to pray the gay bill away.
Organized by campaign group Christian Concern, the protestors are gathering in multiple meetings both days to oppose altering laws regarding marriage.
From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, Christians met in the Old Palace Yard across from the House of Parliament to voice their grievances.
"It's widely known that this bill has been introduced without any mandate," said Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern.
"People have never been given the chance to vote on this even though it has big social and constitutional consequences. [Members of Parliament] should therefore back this referendum."
Jonathan Oloyede, leader of last year's British National Day of Prayer that convened 30,000 Christians in Wembley Stadium, is also publicly supporting this call to prayer.
The events follow the pattern of traditionalist Christians from multiple denominations across the UK speaking out. They included the group Anglican Mainstream which released a statement Monday that claimed the bill will confuse children by devaluing the role of the father.
The orthodox group also claimed the law would lead to the legalization of polygamy.
The statement reads that such a bill will soon lead to all churches being forced to perform same-sex marriages.
"This will certainly be challenged in the name of 'equality.' Neither should they be fooled by the suggestion that any future government would safeguard such 'protections.'"
Similarly, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith, released a statement in concordance with other religious leaders denouncing the law.
Archbishop Smith said the law would persecute young Christians who will be forced to avoid public service in education or medicine due to this discrimination.
"Public sector workers will have to choose between their conscience and their career; many will be deterred from a public service career and from charity involvement," Smith said of a youth generation being pushed away from healthcare and teaching.
The informal group Smith speaks for includes both Catholic and Anglican clergy who claim they represent a combined 150,000 within their congregations.
After this week's early debate, the House of Commons voted on the bill for its Third Reading and it passed, however, dividing the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron, the dominant party in the ruling coalition.
The bill will head on to the upper House of Lords later this year.