Britain is bracing for a bruising fight over gay marriage this spring.
The coalition government announced last fall that leaders would move forward with legislation to make same-sex marriage legal.
And same-sex marriage has the support of Prime Minister David Cameron.
But now, as the government enters another period of "consultation" -- which is when they figure out how to implement the new law -- religious and social opponents are lining up against it.
The anti-gay "Coalition for Marriage" is circulating a petition to try to stop it. The petition has been signed by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.
"The avowed intention to widen the scope of marriage as we see before us is a hostile strike, which rather than strengthening marriage, will destroy its meaning and diminish its importance drastically," Lord Carey told the BBC.
Gay marriage supporters scoffed.
"Our strong advice to anyone who disagrees with same-sex marriage is not to get married to someone of the same sex," said Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill.
The government's intention is to legalize gay marriage by the next general election, which occurs in May 2015.