Here’s myth no.4 in our top 10 myths about gay marriage.
Myth: Aldershot MP Sir Gerald Howarth warned that ‘the aggressive gay community will see this as a step to something further.’
Bust: There is no evidence that an ‘aggressive gay community’ exists in Britain and the rumours that gay and lesbians are stocking up on tear gas were probably started by Sir Gerald. Assuming that this ‘step to something further’ is a warning that some people in the LGBT community will eventually demand that religious institutions marry them through legal challenges, then his worries are unfounded.
Lord Pannick, QC, appeared in front of the Public Bill Committee of the House of Commons, alongside his fellow Queen’s Counsel, Baroness Helena Kennedy.
Baroness Kennedy said: “We are not saying that there will be no attempts to mount legal actions – we suspect there will. However, the view is solidly held that these would not be successful.” She added that she felt that although there was a chance legal actions could be successful, the law itself was clear and the success of legal claims would depend on “juries and not judges.”
Lord Pannick also stated that: “For the European Court of Human Rights to compel a religious body or its adherents to conduct a religious marriage of a same-sex couple would require a legal miracle much greater than the parting of the Red Sea”, adding that any case that tries to sue a religious institution which had not opted-in to performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples would be “absolutely hopeless, and it will be hopeless in 10 years’ time as well.”