COALITION FOR MARRIAGE
THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO EXTREMISM
Dear Marriage supporter
A dozen people remain in hospital following last week’s horrific terror attack at Westminster. As you will know, four people were murdered there by an Islamist terrorist, including brave PC Keith Palmer. The survivors and the families of those killed are in our thoughts and prayers.
We are all so thankful for the police and security services who strive so hard to protect the people of this country. There’s no doubt terrorists pose a continuing threat to the rest of us.
We know that the Government is planning to issue an updated counter-terrorism strategy. It could be in the next few weeks. We can all agree that the best possible array of laws must be available to use against terrorists.
Yet C4M has become increasingly concerned in recent years about the Government’s broader extremism strategy which promotes ‘British values’. As we have said before, we strongly support the Government’s fight against terrorism, but we don’t support any plans which put basic free speech in jeopardy.
Ofsted inspectors have used the ‘British values’ test to ask teachers for their personal views on same-sex ‘marriage’. The Government has still not formulated a legal definition of ‘non-violent extremism’, but believing in traditional marriage could be deemed ‘extremist’ by some people.
So we must continue to be vigilant about Dame Louise Casey’s plan for an equality oath. We know that when she was asked to give an example of extremism, the first thing she thought of was RC schools teaching that same-sex ‘marriage’ is wrong.
Her idea is to compel all public office holders to swear an oath upholding ‘British values’. Thank you to everyone who has contacted their MP about this.
The standard letter from the Minister, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, says the Government is considering Louise Casey’s proposals. His letter includes yet another definition of ‘British values’: “regard for the rule of law, participation in and acceptance of democracy, equality, free speech and respect for minorities”.
This illustrates the problem – what does he mean by ‘equality’? Equality under the law, equality of opportunity or being compelled to agree with same-sex ‘marriage’?
The Government said it would respond to Louise Casey “in the spring”. So an announcement about the equality oath could come at any time.
Thank you for your support.
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Coalition for Marriage