UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage believes there is a European-wide plan to roll-out equal marriage across the EU, and has cited an European Commision report from 2010 as part of his argument.
The MEP says David Cameron’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, which received the support of an overwealming number of MPs this week, is rooted in a report by the European Commision.
On Tuesday, UKIP released an article on their website - which quoted the party’s leader Nigel Farage as saying: “Many people have been asking what prompted the prime minister to pick this uncalled-for fight with many people in his own party and the country at large.
“It has also been unclear why the same debate is being had simultaneously in other countries such as France, where opposition is also growing. Now we know the answer.”
UKIP’s article goes on to argue that equal marriage legislation in the UK and other EU countries is explained by the Berlinguer Report of 2010, which deals with the legality of same-sex unions across the EU.
Mr Farage claimed that paragraph 40 of the report would “establish an EU-wide right to same-sex marriage” – however the paragraph, makes no mention of same-sex marriage and says: “[It] welcomes the Commissions efforts to empower citizens to exercise their free movement rights and strongly supports plans to enable the mutual recognition of the effects of civil status documents.”
Nigel Farage said: “Now we know why David Cameron has launched this highly contentious and disruptive legislation, apparently out of the blue.
“If a couple were to marry in Belgium, Spain, Portugal or Sweden where same-sex marriage is possible, the EU will say that they have to be given the same legal rights in whichever member state they then chose to live – even if that state itself opposes the introduction of same-sex marriage. In essence the Berlinguer Report seeks to establish an EU-wide right to same-sex marriage.”
The Berlinguer Report of 2010 has no legal force, as it is only a list of recommendations.
There is a second Berlinguer Report due to be published in November 2013, but it deals with administration and has no apparent content on same-sex relationships.