Wednesday, February 29, 2012

British politician receives death threat for defending marriage

A British politician has revealed he received a death threat and hate mail after speaking out in support of traditional marriage.

David Burrowes, Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, made the revelation at the launch of Coalition for Marriage (C4M) in London.  

A number of politicians, lawyers and religious leaders have signed C4M’s petition, supporting the current definition of marriage and opposing any plans to redefine it.

Mr Burrowes was targeted after he spoke out in support of traditional marriage last month, the Christian Institute reports.

At the C4M press conference, the Tory MP said, “I myself have been subjected to hate mail, to accusations of homophobia, and to a death threat as well, which is just extraordinary when one is affirming what the law is as it stands and has done historically for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.”

Earlier this month the Archbishop of York received racist and threatening messages after he voiced his support for traditional marriage, sparking a police hate crime investigation.  

It adds to concerns about how supporters of traditional marriage would be treated if marriage were redefined.

In light of the fact that schools are obliged to teach children about the importance of marriage, Mr Burrowes went on to raise a potential dilemma for teachers.  

He said, “If we do redefine marriage it will impact on people’s freedoms, on that teacher who is wanting to affirm their religious conscience in teaching traditional marriage.”

He added, “If the law is changed then they will be challenged by that and so we need to recognise that it’s not just the case of churches against civil society, it’s an issue affecting us all and a matter of freedom.”

Mr Burrowes is also facing an online campaign against him because of his opposition to homosexual marriage.  

The campaign is being led by the treasurer of his local Conservative association, Phillip Dawson, who is homosexual.  

Mr Dawson has since denied seeking Mr Burrowes’ deselection.