A leading politician in Britain has voiced grave concern over the country's proposal for marriage equality. Lord Geoffrey Dear, known in the UK's upper house of Parliament for defeating governments on divisive legislation, has warned that instituting equal marriage would in fact "put gay rights back several decades."
"To pretend the word [marriage] is exactly the same for something with fundamental biological or physiological differences is muddling up sameness and equality," Lord Dear told 429Magazine.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed a vote in the House of Commons, the UK's lower house, in February. After minor amendments are made it is expected to reach the House of Lords in May. Lord Dear advised there is already "considerable opposition in the Lords."
"I am very concerned about the lack of process for legislation which is as cataclysmic and knee-jerk as this," said Lord Dear.
"I do not believe there has been proper consideration of the unforeseen consequences, including major damage to the position of homosexual couples by focusing on an issue which is not supported," he added.
Citing a disapproval figure of 80% toward equal marriage from all major faiths "who teach monogamy," Lord Dear commented that his position was not anti-gay.
"I am certainly not anti-gay, but pro-marriage. This is an institution which is fundamental within the family and dates back many millennia," he concluded.
Since 2005, the UK has formalized same-sex relationships through civil partnerships. Couples are afforded rights and responsibilities very similar to civil marriage, but without the name.
Lord Dear predicted there would be a "very close vote" on the Marriage Bill. He said that he was still considering his position, noting that he "advocates equal rights and supported civil unions long before they were brought in."