LONDON - Standing firm for the true definition of marriage, British Muslims have issued a new petition opposing government plans to legalize same-sex marriage, gathering more than half a million signatures.
We have launched Muslims Defending Marriage (MDM) as we felt we had a duty to defend the meaning of marriage, guard its sanctity and protect the welfare of children, Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain was quoted as saying by LifeSiteNews.
The new petition was introduced following the revelation of government plans to legalize same-sex marriages by 2015.
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.
The government argues that change will therefore affect civil rather than religious marriage.
The plans are already meeting opposition from Catholic religious leaders, who warn that the move would undermine the nature of marriage.
Gathering more than 500,000 signatures, the Muslim Defending Marriage petition is supported by leading Muslim leaders, including Maulana Sarfraz Madani, Chairman of Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) and Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad, Chairman of Muslim Research and Development Foundation.
I disagree with the government's proposed re-defining of marriage. I fully support the long-standing legal definition of marriage as the voluntary union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, it reads.
The campaign also calls on Muslims to respond to the government's 12-week consultation on its proposals for same-sex marriage and to contact their MPs on the issue.
The Muslim initiative has on support from other faiths in the United Kingdom.
Other faith communities have already taken steps to evidence the strength of feeling in favor of keeping marriage intact, Murad said.
It is imperative that the Muslim community does all it can to contribute to this because we have a sacred duty to stand up for marriage and to support those, of whichever faith, that are doing so.
We are aiming at mass participation from the Muslim community on an issue that will have such far reaching consequences for everyone, he added.
The MCB petition adds more pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to delay and possibly abandon his quest to legalize same sex marriage.
Over the past few days, three cabinet ministers have added their voices to a growing number of backbench conservatives who have opposed the government plans.
In March, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, warned that the plans would shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world" if implemented.
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.