CAIRO – A leading Muslim organization has called on the British government to exempt Muslims and other religious groups from conducting same-sex weddings under a new legislation seen as “discriminatory”.
"No-one in their right mind should accept such a discriminatory law," Farooq Murad, secretary general of the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), told The Daily Mail on Tuesday, December 18."It should be amended to give exactly the same exemption to all the religions."
Last week, Culture Secretary Maria Miller unveiled laws that would allow same-sex couples to marry as early as 2014.
But she said that it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church of Wales to conduct same-sex weddings.
The Secretary underlined that any religious group was allowed to “opt in” and perform ceremonies if they wish.
Despite growing opposition from religious groups and his own party, Prime Minister David Cameron has fast-tracked plans to legalize same-sex marriages in Britain.
Last week, Cameron sparked outrageous comments after backing a proposal to allow churches and religious organizations to host same-sex weddings despite opposition from the Church of England and the Catholic hierarchy.
Under the plans, same-sex couples would be allowed to marry in register offices and venues such as hotels, but not in churches, synagogues and other religious premises.
Ministers argue that the change will therefore affect “civil” rather than “religious” marriage.
Opponents warn that the legalizing same-sex marriages would undermine the nature of marriage.
The Muslim group urged the British government to include exceptions for all religions in the gay marriage laws.
“We find it incredible that while introducing the Bill in the House, Mrs Miller could keep a straight face when offering exemption for the established Church while in the same breath claiming "fairness to be at the heart" of her proposals,” Murad said.
He stressed that his organization had “explicitly” stated its strong opposition and had sought an urgent meeting with Miller to discuss amendments.
The Muslim criticism comes after the Church of England attacked the government's lack of consultation over the controversial plans.
Senior ecclesiastical figures learned of them only when the government announced them to Parliament.
Officials insisted that it would have been "inappropriate" to discuss details before telling MPs.
Ministers expect the legislation to take up to 12 months to get through Parliament.
Same-sex relationship and marriage are totally prohibited in Islam, Christianity and all divine religions.
Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation.The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, but considers homosexual intercourse as sinful.
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