Our MPs have voted to remove “husband”, “wife”, “widow” and “widower” from all official documents

WHEN I WAS AT A MEETING OF THE LORDS AND COMMONS FAMILY AND CHILD PROTECTION GROUP in a House of Lords committee room last month, one of the members of the Commons came in and spoke of the distress that he and many of his friends in the House of Commons were experiencing as they were debating legislation which would destroy centuries of tradition.

Over 100 Conservative MPs had voted against their own Government to try to prevent the same-sex marriage Bill becoming law. They had warned that marriage as the union of one man and one woman goes right back to the beginning of creation and that in trying to redefine marriage which is one of the fundamental pillars of society there would be grave consequences.

What they were now being asked to do was to carry out a fundamental revision of English law and the English language by voting to delete the terms “husband” and “wife”, “widow” and “widower” from all official documents.

These, and numerous other terms that have been part of our everyday language relating to the family for hundreds of years, are now disappearing. They are being replaced by non-descriptive words such as “partner” and “spouse”.

The MP could hardly control the emotion in his voice as he spoke of the things that the House of Commons was doing at that moment. He was one of 80 MPs who defied the whips and voted against the legislation, but 360 Members of the Commons voted in favour of destroying traditions that date back far into antiquity and undermining the very foundations of family life that have given identity and stability to adults and children throughout the centuries.

What will be the long-term consequences for our children and grandchildren of what is being done in our nation today?


– Rev Dr Clifford Hill