London: Muslim leaders in the UK have criticized controversial plans to allow gay marriages, and demanded they should have the same legal exemption as the Church of England.
The Muslim Council of Britain, which represents 500 mosques and community organizations, claimed the law was ‘utterly discriminatory’ and said they were ‘appalled’ by it.
According to the Daily Mail, Farooq Murad, secretary general of the MCB, said his organization had also ‘explicitly’ stated its strong opposition to the proposals.
Murad said that he was seeking an urgent meeting with Culture Secretary Maria Miller to discuss amending it.
The legislation, announced by Miller last week, would allow same-sex couples to marry as early as 2014, the report said.
However, she made it expressly illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to conduct same-sex weddings.
Miller added that any religious group was allowed to ‘opt in’ and perform ceremonies if they wish, the report said.
Gay marriage has been fast-tracked by David Cameron despite strong opposition within his party and from some religious groups, the report added.