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Parental campaign group: "Wellbeing of children being ignored in same-sex marriage debate"

Key points of Press Release

• Same-sex marriage is 'adult-focused and gender-free'

• Children have 'human right to be nurtured by both birth parents'

• Campaign launch coincides with start of House of Lords Committee Stage of Same Sex Marriage (SSM) Bill

An informal group of professionals and parents today (17 June 2013) launches a new campaign to put the wellbeing of children at the centre of the same-sex marriage debate.

The move comes as the Coalition's controversial Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill begins its Committee Stage in the House of Lords today.

The 'Gay Marriage No Thanks' group brings together legal, educational, medical and sociological experts. It is driven by concerns that the impact on children has been overlooked in a debate that has concentrated instead on claims of equality and religious freedom.

In an advert aimed at Peers in today's Times newspaper the group presents Ten Good Reasons why the House of Lords should say No to the Bill. The majority of them focus on the impact that the proposed changes will have on children and young people are listed below:

(i) Intact biological families provide the gold standard for the wellbeing of children.

(ii) Children have a human right to be nurtured by both their biological parents.

(iii) Gay parenting by definition denies the child from having one or both biological parents.

(iv) Popular support for the Bill is based on the unfounded theory that people are 'born gay'.

(v) All school children will be taught that as adults they can have marriage relationships with either men or women.

(vi) Adolescents commonly experience temporary same-sex attraction: this does not mean they are gay.

(vii) There is no evidence that SSM strengthens marriage. In Spain marriage rates fell precipitously.

(viii) Behind this Bill is a militant move to deny gender difference.

(ix) 'Equal love' leads to unequal marriage.

(x) Civil partnerships already provide all the legal and financial benefits of marriage for gay people.

The group has today also launched a dedicated website (www.gaymarriagenothanks.com) that is intended progressively to provide easy access to the wealth of evidence on the subject - for Peers, civil servants, media, parents and others. It operates under the tagline 'because children matter'.

Alan Craig, a spokesman for the group, said:

"Talk of the rights of adults has dominated debate about the issue, whether those are homosexual rights or religious rights. But what about the rights of children? And what does the evidence say about the impact of these plans?

"We want to take some of the emotion out of the debate and help people engage with the actual evidence that shows how disruptive and damaging these changes will be for children and young people. After all, it is the next generation who will be most affected by these proposals."

Luca Volonte, Chair of the largest political grouping at the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, welcomed today's launch saying:

"I very much welcome the launch of this new resource and campaign in the UK. Across Europe ordinary citizens are opposing same-sex marriage for the sake of their children. I am glad that the English are now engaged in this battle to save marriage as the best place for procreation and the nurture of the next generation."

Earlier this year, Californian Professor Robert Oscar Lopez, sparked debate when he told legislators in the US:

"Couples deserve to have love recognized, but I know as a child raised by my lesbian mother and her partner that there is something missing when a child is raised by two same-sex parents.

"... We've heard a lot from same-sex marriage activists who feel they've earned property rights to children but we haven't heard enough from children's rights advocates in a full debate."