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British government reportedly set to introduce full gay marriage equality

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  1. With the full equality granted to married hetero couples?

    I’ll believe it when I see it to be honest. There’s always someone ready to pounce on progress.

  2. Anna-Jayne Metcalfe 13 Feb 2011, 10:13pm

    The proposed changes are excellent news, and indeed news my own church (Metropolitan Community Church of Bournemouth) has been waiting for since the passing of the Civil Partnerships Act in 2005.

    Regardless of the stance taken by the Church of England, as far as we are concerned a wedding is a wedding. I believe the Quakers, Unitarians and Open Episcopal Church share the same view, so they will welcome this news as much as we do.

  3. TheSuburbanBi 13 Feb 2011, 10:16pm

    Brilliant news, but like Jim says above — waiting to believe it when I see it.

    We’ve already read this week how this government’s definition of “deleted” (in relation to deleting old convictions under the anti-gay statutes) is not the same as most people’s undertanding of the term ‘deleted’ — so hopefully “equality” and “marriage” for same-sex couples will be the same as for opposite-sex couples. That’ll be a good day.

  4. Keith from UK 13 Feb 2011, 10:21pm

    I don’t want ” Gay Marriage” for me and my partner.We went through a Civil Partnership 4 years ago.We don’t want to be put on a par with hetrosexuals. We are recognised in law why would we want “Marriage in Church” Good luck to those who want this though!

  5. This is such good news! :D

    And btw, it won’t be the final legal discrimination, men who’ve had sex with men still can’t give blood.

  6. Quinlan Reardon-Davis 13 Feb 2011, 10:22pm

    Is this a way of stopping those who have gone through the civil partnerships to be cheated out of married tax benefits by the conservatives until they have the money to have a wedding is my only question. Maybe i’m just suspicious but I had a blessing 2001 then five years later i paid to have a civil partnership in 2006 does this mean i need to have a marriage five years later in 2011. Lets hope the government willo the right thing and allow civil partnership to be transferred without any costs to the parties cause i really cant afford to pay for another ceremony. Dont get me wrong its a great move to equality but in the last ten years Ive known people straight and gay get through two or more ceremonies to different partners so why should I be penalised for staying with the same partner. I was told the government would never legalise relationships so i had a blessing then i was told they would legally recognise the relationship but never allow marriage so i had a civil partnership now i need to be married and finally get equal recognition of my relationship but after paying for two ceremonies already i dont see why the government should force me to pay for another so hopefully they will have something in place for this situation.

  7. Wow! As above, will believe it when it happens, but although we are happily ‘civil partnered’ I would much prefer to be able to (say legally) happily married!

  8. so what does this mean for us. is gay marriage gonna be legal, or is it just a maybe? would love to get married!

  9. Dr Robin Guthrie 13 Feb 2011, 10:41pm

    You should see the comments in the Daily Wail.

    You would think civilization was coming to an end the way they are bleating.

  10. Reading it, churches wont be forced to marry gay couples so they can all refuse…so nothing has really changed.

    I think its a sidestep from the government (and them chickening out). They knew they would loose in the europian courts, so by doing this they can say look were not stopping you getting married.

    Now each individual will have to take on each indivdual church. Its cowardice from our government who dont want to upset churches. This is no step closer to equality.

  11. Patrick-0-001 13 Feb 2011, 10:56pm

    To all of the Labour party moles on these forums who have been going on and on and on and on and on about how evil the Tories are and how Labour are the only ones who stand up to LGBT rights:

    I really do hope this happens so you can be proven the bunch of idiots you are. I am far from a fan of the Tories, but nor am I a fan of Labour – who deported LGBT asylum seekers.

    I really do hope this happens – because if it does, it will be written in history, that the Tories and the Lib Dems, NOT Labour, achieved full LGBT equality. The funniest thing is, no one will remember what Labour did – people only ever remember the last step. Now, wouldn’t that be brilliant irony?

    So to all those Labour moles out there – all I have to say is, hahahahahaha.

  12. OMG!!!!!!
    I have not been able to stop shaking since I first laid eyes on this article! I 1000000000% hope that this news is true! It would just been the most amazing news to know that another barrier to full equality would be dead! I’m speechless.. I really am. Please let this be true. It would be the best Birthday present that I could hope for!

  13. P.S, I know that this is one of the final barriers to LGBT equality, but please everyone remember teh Gay blood ban, there is still further to go!

  14. This would be amazing! Just what we have been fighting for. We should not settle for less. If there is to be a consultation then the LGBT community will need to respond vigorously and make our voices heard! There will be homophobes trying to prevent progress.

  15. Kevin

    What right do you have to decide who the church allows to marry within it? This is hardly a side-step or cowardice, it’s a case of the state not interfering where it shouldn’t.

    Churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious places should not be forced to do conduct same sex marriages, it’s their right to refuse as they are merely ‘cultural’ organisations, not legal bodies. The state should guarantee equal LEGAL marriage for all, but it has no right to guarantee equal RELIGIOUS marriage for all. It should be an opt-in.

    So long as religious organisations are obliged to accept the equal status of same sex civil marriages in their external policies, then that’s all we can, and should, ask of them.

    What the state should do, though, is compel all couples to have a civil, legal marriage, then those who want a religious one can have that in addition if they desire or are permitted by their church of choice. That way everyone has the same standing in the eyes of the law and cannot be subjected to discrimination.

    If gay Christians, Jews and Muslims want to take on the fight to be wed in those institutions, that’s up to them, but the state should keep out of that. If you are LGBT and religious, you must be a few sandwiches short of a picnic to want to be married by an institution that actively discriminates against you. But I guess some people are just masochists.

    Not to mention the fact that many atheists get married in church purely for the aestheticall pleasing snaps outside it on the big day -just goes to show the true hypocrisy of the church’s cherry-picking of ‘morality’ and allegiance.

    When the C of E sees people flocking to the Quakers, Episcopalians and other liberal wings, they’ll have to reconsider at some point to stop them all leaving. They’ve lost enough to the Catholics in recent weeks already.

  16. This is great news. I’m especially surprised at the current ban on religious ceremonies for gay/lesbian couples. That should be something churches decide for themselves. I hope full marriage equality will pass soon.

  17. As for all that rubbish from Patrick about the Tories well what can I say.

    They are being forced into it! They dont want to be taken to court, simple as!

  18. This is great news, my partner is a quaker and he would love to see this finally happen after over 1 yr in the offerring…some I presume have been putting off the happy day until it actually becomes legal.

    I must admit though reading thru some of the newspapers articles that it sounds like someone has thrown up in the air both the marriage/cp equality ideas and the long awaited planned reglious CPs idea and then let them drop down on the ground without being able to piece together or seperate the 2 things…

    I’m slightly confused as to what the future consultations is about at the moment….relgious CPs is quite distinct from marriage equality…I’m a little bit cynical at the moment whether marriage equality is what they mean by the next step forward for CP…but hey any publicity on this is great news to get the general public thinking…

    Where has this story come from, who told the sunday times that LF is going to announce this? it’s not the official line at the moment but it’s interesting someone is leaking this line of story on a sunday

  19. David in Indy 14 Feb 2011, 1:02am

    Congratulations Britain!!!

    This is wonderful news! Well done!

  20. Lets wait and see. If any get marry man/man man/woman woman/woman then is equality.

    Any else not equality.

    Then Britain out of ECHR and moving good direction.

  21. Patrick
    As has been stated, the tories are being forced into this. They know they will loose the court case being brought against them in the EU.

    What right do the church have to deny services based on sexuality. Its about time people stopped hiding prejudice behind religion. Hotels shouldnt be able to deny service, neither should the church/mosque/synagogue.

    Any organisation be it christian/Islam/Jewish should automatically loose its tax exemptions if it chooses to deny marraige ceramonies to same sex couples.

  22. no thanks to stonewall.

  23. I doubt the EU would be able to impose marriage equality on any country! they may be able to force countries to recognise eachother’s civil status but that’s about it…

    At the moment we don’t even know if the govt are talking about cp/marriage equality , it’s more likely to be all about the long awaited relgious CPs that this is all about…

    if we ever get marriage equality it will be a result that the last election gave us a coalition govt made up of the lib dems and tories…not many of us are convinced that the far right tories have suddendly come around to gay marriage!

  24. jamestoronto 14 Feb 2011, 5:17am

    If, as many have said, this really does get announced this week, this will be GREAT news not just in the UK but around the world. The Group of 10 [countries that have full marriage equality] will now become the G11.

    Curious on a few legal things though, will Westminster be legislating for just England and Wales or for the entire United Kingdom. Will Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Crown dependency islands be included? Does this mean that the few Crown colonies left in the West Indies will become the first to have gay marriages in the Caribbean?

    The whole issue of religious institutions – churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and the like – being compelled to perform gay marriages is a total red herring. In ALL of the 10 countries that have marriage equality, it is the CIVIL definition of marriage that has been changed, NOT the RELIGIOUS definition(s). In Canada, religious organisations are specifically exempted from being obliged to perform any marriages that are contrary to their faith teachings. I’m not 100% certain but I am sure the laws in the other 9 are similar. I have checked a few and they are. Here [Canada], any religious organisation or institution that elects to perform a gay marriage is free to do so, but none are compelled. Marriage commissioners (public servants who are licensed to perform marriages), however, cannot refuse or in any other way avoid performing any legal marriage ceremony (such as suggesting the couple wait until another commissioner be brought in). This has been upheld by several court decisions which basically read that as you are Crown employed and paid, you follow the laws of the land or resign.

    Get ready for a blast of evangelist crap about the end of civilisation on the the doorstep, or the end of the institution of marriage, or, next the right to marry their dog/cat/pet mouse.

    Nothing is going to happen to the greater society at all should equal marriage be introduced and passed. The sun will rise the following morning. Life will continue as normal except that more people will be getting married all of a sudden.

  25. I’ve been waiting for this day for 6 years, ever since civil partnerships were announced and I got involved in irritating people about marriage equality.

    I’m still waiting… it’s all rumour right now. I’ve been disappointed before, and until it’s done and dusted I won’t get my hopes up.

  26. Brilliant to see PinkNews consistently talking about marriage equality, instead of “gay marriage”, at least in this article. The latter is a term that negates the vital theme of equality.

    Such a government decision would be potentially brilliant (depending on timetable and details), but the Sunday Times is not a brilliantly reliable source since it became Murdoch and focused on delivering what readers want rather than reality, and I’m unhappy not seeing any other sources around backing it up.

  27. Tim Hopkins 14 Feb 2011, 7:48am

    jamestoronto: marriage is a devolved issue in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    In Scotland, that means that either the Scottish Parliament must legislate for equal marriage itself, or it can pass a “Legislative Consent Motion” allowing the UK Parliament to include legislation for Scotland in a UK equal marriage bill.

  28. Yes, I’d prefer and love to see a reliable source announcing something on true marriage equality – until then I’m expecting something to be announced only on relgious CPs – nothing so far announced has suggested it so it would be a huge surprise!!

    27th jan

    Civil Partnership Ceremonies
    4. Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con): What her policy is on the hosting of civil partnership ceremonies in religious establishments. [36325]
    The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Women and Equalities (Mrs Theresa May): In June 2010, the Government published “Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality”, which made a commitment to talk to interested groups about what the next step should be for civil partnerships, including on this issue. The Government have held a number of meetings on the topic with various groups, including those representing faith groups, lesbian, gay and bisexual people and the registration service. We will announce the next steps in due course.
    Bob Blackman: I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Many religious groups are openly hostile to the concept of civil partnerships because it offends their religious doctrine. Lord Alli’s amendment in the other place would permit ceremonies within religious establishments. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the Government do not intend to introduce compulsion to religious organisations that do not want to have civil partnerships in their buildings?
    Mrs May: My hon. Friend raises an important point. This was a significant part of the debate when Lord Alli’s amendment to the then Equality Bill went through in the House of Lords before the general election. It is clear in his amendment that this is a permissive power, and that is the basis on which the Government are operating. We have no intention of introducing any element of compulsion. It will be for religious groups and faith groups to decide whether they wish to take up this opportunity.
    Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): I do not think anybody wants a form of compulsion that forces churches to do anything they do not want to in this field. That is a bit of a red herring. The right hon. Lady has said that the Government are considering allowing the use of religious rituals, ceremony and symbols at civil partnerships. If she is going to do that for civil partnerships, may I urge her to do it for civil weddings? Many people do not want to get married in church but would none the less like to have some religious readings or music.
    Mrs May: In response to the hon. Gentleman’s first comment about no compulsion, I am grateful that he supports Government policy on that issue. He is right that extending the ability to have religious elements to a civil partnership ceremony or to hold such partnership ceremonies on religious premises raises an issue about the equality with civil marriage. We are taking steps as regards the Lord Alli amendment and we will make announcements in due course.


    I (brian gilbert) hope that the Deputyy Leader of the House will be able to mention the steps that the Government are taking to investigate it (marriage equality) as an option and perhaps to introduce legislation before the end of this Parliament.


    If we do not stand for equality, we do not stand for the basic human principles of decency. It is important that we do all that we can to make those principles a reality in this country. I cannot give my hon. Friend an answer on civil partnerships, other than to say that the matter is being discussed

  29. whats all the fuss about…..most gays and indeed hetrosexuals never go near a church. it does not mean aything to people that dont go regular to church, its just bullying again….

  30. I’m with Jim – I’ll only believe it when it’s 100% official.

    I was watching a review of the Sunday papers yesterday and they referred to this story by saying something like “Same sex marriage coming soon” but when they actually got round to discussing the details, all they were talking about was having religious CPs. :(

  31. I would be horrible to be fobbed off with lynne feathestone saying that we can call ourseleves married or that we can call our cp ceremony in the Quaker meeting house a marriage if we want but that technically and legally same sex partners can still only do a CP!!! I don’t want to just say that I’m married I actually want the marriage certificate…

  32. This all started in a muddle by the introduction of CPs in the first place. Things that start in a muddle generally end in one.
    The feeling of being 2nd class continues as those couples in a CP will now be wondering if perhaps they did the correct thing.
    Can you imagine straights ever being uncertain what marriage meant?
    There is only one way forward and that is to make CPs open to couple of any sex. In fact IMHO all unions should be CPs conducted in secular circumstances.
    Those couples that then wish to go onwards and have their union blessed by a religious organisation then so be it.

  33. I hope we get marriage equality I want to marry my partner in not too distant future.

    There is no reason to not have marriage for us, it isn’t religious it was around before that. I don’t care if religious marriage doesent happen.

    I want state marriage, me and my man are spiritual but not religious so having religious marriage isn’t right for us

  34. Kevin

    “What right do the church have to deny services based on sexuality.”

    Because its their institution, their edifice and there is a legal alternative for everyone else. It contravenes the very principles they were founded on and adhering to a religion is optional, not organisations that everyone has to deal with. If you choose not to adhere to a religion, you aren’t (in tehory) disadvantaged in any way as there is always an alternative marriage in a register office. It sounds like you just want pretty photos for your wedding.

    If they allowed same-sex unions, they’d have to allow atheists and all other religious/non-religious demoninsations to marry in their buildings. As much as I dislike religion, where there is a fair alternative for me, I’m ok with them keeping that rule.

    “Its about time people stopped hiding prejudice behind religion.”

    That’s what religions are based on, always have been, always will be – regardless of what ‘gay Christians’ on here say (I find that such an oxymoron). If they’re so prejudiced, why do you want the right to marry into those institutions when there will be a legal equivalent for you just around the corner at the register office? You need to ask yourself that question.

    “Hotels shouldnt be able to deny service, neither should the church/mosque/synagogue.”

    These are different things. A B&B is defined as a ‘service’. And the practical implications are different. If you get stuck in the middle of nowhere without a bed for the night, it isn’t a church you go seeking, is it. Marriages are not daily, weekly or yearly occurrences for people, they are supposed to be a one-off.

    “Any organisation be it christian/Islam/Jewish should automatically loose its tax exemptions if it chooses to deny marraige ceramonies to same sex couples.”

    I agree with that, but only because ALL religions should lose ALL their tax benefits. Any whiff of a religious institution acting like a business should see that tax exemption vanish.

    The fairest thing to do would be to make religious weddings non-legally binding and make everyone have a civil marriage. Then, the religious could get a blessing thereafter. It should lead us onto the path for a real separation of church and state – the relics just keep clinging on.

  35. Jock S. Trap 14 Feb 2011, 9:53am

    I think the fact this is being put forward, esp by a Tory, government shows so many things have changed. All those who keep harping about the 80’s crap, not wanting to live with us here in 2011, this proves things have changed.

    Do I think there’ll be the same ol Tory bigots who’ll try and stop this, sure but the fact is they are not the the majority. The fact this is even being considered by a Tory government speaks volumes. If they do get this through I hope they continue to see the good.

    If you ask me would this have happened without the coalition, well that’s maybe difficult to answer, but edging probably not. So maybe the coalition isn’t so bad.

    Sadly there will be those who’ll continue to moan about something because quite frankly they much rather nothing happened so they can keep on whinging.

    What I have to laugh at is the way certain newspapers have reported it. Deliberately leaving out the important parts like the fact that the paper suggests that this is open for ceremonies to take place in churches, mosques, synagogues, temple etc and the fact that this would be up to each religion, therefore not forced upon.

    Honestly, it’s as if they are deliberately created bad feeling by mis-information to create hatred. Nothing new though with the likes of the Daily HateMail though is it! The comments there too are clearly from the uneducated.

    There is also the case that too many people clearly can’t read but just don’t want to know so they can make a scene. Very much like those here that can’t seem to stop living in the past.

    Great News. Would have been good if PinkNews could have been up there with the rest and reported it earlier being that it is important news but guess it’s better late than never.

  36. Incredible and from a `conservative’ govt. It leaves little excuse for the homophobic politicians here is Aus.

  37. Dr Robin Guthrie 14 Feb 2011, 9:56am

    I concur wholeheartedly with mmmmmmmm.

  38. Dr Robin Guthrie

    Now, if you can just persuade our government, Queen and religious leaders it’s a good idea, I’d be terribly grateful.

  39. Jock S. Trap 14 Feb 2011, 10:17am

    @ Kevin

    How can they be forced into it? Doesn’t make any sense, being that they will fight for anything they don’t want, the prison vote, for example. Kinda think thats rubbish.

    As for picking holes in allowing religions to choose, that has to be right.

    The Church of England has already said that it wouldn’t allow any of it’s churches to be used yet several parish C of E churches have had votes to allow such ceremonies. St. Martins in Trafalgar Square, London is one too.

    If we start to demand all churches do against their will then they creates a serious problem. There will be plenty that do but we all know this is going to be difficult and don’t see why some would deliberately try to create tentions.

    Seriously though there are plenty of people who question why Gay/Lesbians would want to marry in a church, yet there are plenty of religious Gay people who’d love to. Do you think for a minute they’d want such a magical day ruined by having such a bigotted person perform the ceremony?

    No, it will be that those plenty of willing people who wish to help us, clearly that is where the support should go.

    To those still whinging about that, I take it you’d much rather it be all or nothing!

  40. Mumbo Jumbo 14 Feb 2011, 11:02am

    Meanwhile, from her padded cell, our Broadmoor correspondent writes:

    It’s difficult to be offended by her anymore. She has become merely laughable. A joke. A sad joke.

  41. “The spokesman said the change will “lead to inconsistencies with civil marriage, have unexplored impacts, and lead to confusion, with a number of difficult and unintended consequences for churches and faiths”.”

    Better that churches be confused and take the brunt of any unexplored impacts and unintended consequences of marriage equality rather than individuals and a continuation of uncertain marital status for same sex couples, it’s people’s rights that must be considered first priority not institutions.

  42. Let’s see if gay marriage is something the LibDebs can hold the Tories to!

  43. @ Mumbo Jumbo, possibly the best thing to do is to ignore that spiteful intellectual midget & media whore.

  44. Same Sex Marriage Equality

    South Africa

    Same Sex Marriages Performed in some jurisdictions

    Mexico: Mexico City
    United States: CT, DC, IA, MA, NH, VT, Coquille

    Same Sex Marriages Recognized, not performed

    Aruba (Netherlands only)
    Curaçao (Netherlands only)
    Mexico: all states (Mexico City only)
    Sint Maarten (Netherlands only)
    United States: CA (conditional), MD, NY

  45. Check out Melaine Phillips hysterical rant about the evils of Gay Marriage . . . thats right – nothing new there!

    . . . . . . . . . .

    A few hysterical snippets

    “If still in doubt, try this thought experiment. Imagine the Government was planning to recognise polygamy and polyandry (marriage with more than one woman or man), or marriage between ‘zoophiles’ (people who have ‘loving and committed relationships with mammals’, or bestiality to you and me) and their, er, partners.”

    More hysteria

    “Pinch yourself — a Conservative Prime Minister effectively endorsing the idea that upholding Biblical morality and the bedrock values of Western civilisation is bigotry. He may be a Conservative, but he is no conservative. True conservatives seek to conserve what is most precious in a society and defend it against those who would destroy it.”

  46. Congratulations from Germany.How we envy you…
    we don’t even have the same tax rights, adoption right etc…
    My partner and I want to get married. It’s our biggest wish but we can’t.

    You can very proud to be british today



  48. We will “consider” gay marriage is not the same as we will “aprove” gay marriage. Forget it not … there’s a long long distance between these two viewpoints. Another empty “message of support” from “big society” illusionists.
    Gay tories —> Duhhhhhhh

  49. Meanwhile, bankers are swimming in philanthropic champagne.

  50. This will, no doubt, mean that evangelical vicars who won’t officiate at gay “weddings” will be sued. I don’t call that tolerance – I call that gay fascism.

  51. … and the old, poor, disabled and vulnerable are expecting the “big social transformations” that will make their lives change. Change for sure… their livelihoods are being sold … and the money will be channelled to “big champagne philanthropy”.

  52. @ JohnK,
    Scaremongering beast Melanie has quite an X-rated and pornographoc imagination doesn’t she though.
    If it’s okay for her husband to marry an animal like Mel I guess anything might seem likely to her.
    Desperate and increasingly out of touch with reality…poor dear.

  53. Tim Hopkins 14 Feb 2011, 1:12pm

    Re Melanie Philips’ contribution to the debate – actually English law has long recognised foreign polygamous marriages, for example through English courts granting divorce settlements to one of several wives of the same person.

    So – ignorant as well as unpleasant.

  54. Mumbo Jumbo 14 Feb 2011, 1:29pm

    BRITAIN today asked Melanie Phillips to wait a second while it settled into its favourite chair with a big bag of crisps:

  55. I think that the COE will wait for the furore to die down and then start quietly accepting money for ceremonies.

    My avowed atheist bother and his non-christian girlfriend got married in a church because they thought that the pictures would be pretty. No one cared that they had no faith, they just wanted 800 quid (plus extra for organist and bell ringers).

    I see some, including professional troll Melanie Philips are already speaking out. They do not realise that they are on the wrong side of history.

    Take the USA. Not that long ago it was illegal in many States for mixed race couples to marry. We look back at that law and the people who supported it with revulsion and disgust for their narrow-minded bigotry. The same will be true of those who rail against marriage for GLBTQ people. Human rights are just that – they cover all, not just the oppressive majority.

  56. Hey mmmmmmm, are you opposed to marriage equality then?

    “Because its their institution, their edifice and there is a legal alternative for everyone else. It contravenes the very principles they were founded on and adhering to a religion is optional, not organisations that everyone has to deal with. If you choose not to adhere to a religion, you aren’t (in tehory) disadvantaged in any way as there is always an alternative marriage in a register office. ”

    Your quote there sounds awfully word for word what the anti-gay people like to argue:
    Gay people have a legal alternative, civil unions, so they legally do not need full marriage equality.

    In the USA here, that’d be like saying inter-racial marriage should still be banned because the church is who opposed it – so, what should we call inter-racial marriage since the name ‘civil union’ is already taken? Or do we use ‘civil union’ for all the couples the government and church deem unsavory?

  57. @Dr Robin Guthrie


    Brighten up my day, many thanks

  58. Yes, marriage equality, but will they have the guts to call it simply “MARRIAGE”, not some pony cop-out alternative like “Same-sex secular legally-binding interdependent relationship contract” or some such bollocks as usual.

  59. In the end I think the French system will have to be adopted – a secular marriage contract for all as the only legally valid one, with religious ceremonies a private optional add-on, plus the right of religious groups to opt in or out of particular ceremonies in their buildings.

  60. George Broadhead 14 Feb 2011, 2:14pm

    “Given the Church’s view on the nature of marriage, the House of Bishops has consistently been clear that the Church of England should not provide services of blessing for those who register civil partnerships.”

    Whether you think it should be forced to or not, this is surely a futher example of the C of E’s entrenched homophobia.

  61. Will this lead to a change to the Gender Recognition Act? Right now, Trans people must divorce in order to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate, otherwise there’s a “Same Sex Marriage” created, which was absolutely anathema.
    Now that same-sex marriage is allowed, this odious provision is not necessary.
    I bet it’s kept in though.

  62. ZRK

    “Hey mmmmmmm, are you opposed to marriage equality then?”

    Erm, no, I just said that. But civil marriage equality for all is all that we are entitled to. It’s all anyone is universally entitled to, in fact. Religious weddings are up to the religious institutions to decide.

    “Your quote there sounds awfully word for word what the anti-gay people like to argue:”

    Bull s**t it does. And everyone else on here seems to have understood what I said (and agreed with it). It’s just you that hasn’t grasped what was being said.

    “Gay people have a legal alternative, civil unions, so they legally do not need full marriage equality.”

    No, that’s not what I said is it. I said everyone should have CIVIL MARRIAGE. You know CIVIL MARRAIGE. Civil partnerships are a poor alternative. I’m not sure how you have construed any of my points to imply I am against marriage equality. Again, I think it’s just you not reading properly.

    Go and read my posts again. I can’t actually make you understand if you can’t absorb what I said above.

    “In the USA here, that’d be like saying inter-racial marriage should still be banned because the church is who opposed it – so, what should we call inter-racial marriage since the name ‘civil union’ is already taken? Or do we use ‘civil union’ for all the couples the government and church deem unsavory?”

    You are mixing different principles. Interracial marriages were opposed by the church, but the church shouldn’t be forced to conduct them them. But interracial marriages should be guaranteed in CIVIL law. And thus called MARRIAGE like all others. The church doesn’t have a monopoly on the institution of marriage, I thought most people had understood that. After all, straight people who get married in a register office are still considered as MARRIED, not ‘civily unified’. Same word, same legal standing.

    As I said above, ALL people should be made to have a CIVIL MARRIAGE and then top it up with a religious ceremony if they want and are permitted by that religious institution.

  63. I am a gay christian of the church of England HTB and we must be thankful that things are improving so rapidly. We must also be patient, the church is changing and we are lucky that is happening. Some people in my church support civil partnerships and they tolerate me and i’m gay and it’s very unfair to imply the C of E is witholding progress.

  64. Brendan

    The C of E IS witholding progress, the official spokespeople have come out against religious marriages for gay people. It’s only a few liberal churches that have said they are happy to, not the majority by any means.

    To be honest, you are going to face a lot of opposition because, in fact, you are trying to change church practices and beliefs to suit you personally. It’s almost as bad as the church trying to make us straight.

    Unfortunately, you don’t have a ‘gay right’ to be let in a church. It’s a club with rules like any other. You have a right to practice your religion in the eyes of the state, but not necessarily in the eyes of the church itself. You just have the right to civil marriage. But then if you want to try and be part of an institution that descriminates grossly against a few groups, then that’s your choice, as unwise as most people could point out it is.

    Sorry, but you can’t change the Bible, the Koran or the Tora, they are set in stone. Which is why they have been overriden by progressive state laws.

  65. Dr Robin Guthrie 14 Feb 2011, 3:36pm

    “Some people in my church support civil partnerships and they tolerate me and I’m gay ”

    – Brenden.

    Well good for you, if you are quite happy to simply be “tolerated”.

    I suppose it all depends on your definition of “tolerance”

    1. To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit.

    – Well I for one do not need permission from anyone to be the way I was born.

    2. To recognize and respect (the rights, beliefs, or practices of others).

    – Getting there I suppose.

    3. To put up with; endure.

    – This is the most likely definition of Christian Tolerance.

    “Tolerance” is an open word.

    If someone tells me that they tolerate me as a gay man, I simply tell them to ‘F’ off and I don’t really care if they do.

    Do people “tolerate” the disabled.

    or perhaps “tolerate” Jewish people.

    Again, I suppose it;s all down to how you are “tolerated” and by whom.

    Anyhoo, Rant for today over. Must get back to work.

  66. Jock S. Trap 14 Feb 2011, 3:51pm

    @ Brendan

    It’s not about being ‘tolerated’. It’s about being accepted.

    Tolerate/Tolerance are excuse words.

  67. Since the Lib Dems are the only major party with a policy supporting equal marriage, for them to encourage their coalition partners to agree to this in Government would be a real coup.

    Then again, I’m preparing for the worst – given the way that civil partnerships in religious buildings has been wrongly reported as “gay marriage”, I’ll keep my fingers crossed but not hold my breath for now.

  68. Dr Robin Guthrie 14 Feb 2011, 4:01pm

    Oh Joy.

    Another take on the Daily Wail’s resident freeze dried old sourpuss.

  69. Pavlos, Israel only recognises same-sex civil marriages performed outside the country. It does NOT allow its own gay couples to marry within its borders, but there is a form of civil union available to Israeli gay couples. Finland may be the 11th country this year, then Denmark will probably follow suit.

  70. @brendan you sound like you need a front lobe labotomy.

  71. mmmmmm:
    Religious institutions are seen as authorised bodies that can allow a marriage, as can a ship’s captain.
    As long as a ceremony makes a couple married, and is recognised by law, there should be no problem

    It is pointless and daft expecting people to go through both a civil and a religious ceremony. If the church says yes, than that’s cool, if they say no, then you get a registrar to do it.

    Please stop trying to divide people, it’s bad enough as it is. If the church dont want us, fine, but lets please all keep it simple and make all these various options “A Marriage”, that is legally acceptable both in UK and abroad, irrelevant of sex, gender or sexuality.

  72. Josk S Strap: It’s not about being ‘tolerated’. It’s about being accepted.

    Dont be so naive. Laws can make me put up with a lot, that doesn’t make me necessarily accept them.

    Don’t be so naive as to think one day everyone will all love gays, any more than they like blacks, Asians or even women. That’s just human nature.

    Homophobia will always exist as long as there are homosexuals. All one can do is educate and integrate.

  73. Spanner

    Nah, not a chance.

    While marriage in church is allowed for some and not for others, an inequality will persist and be used as a basis to discriminate. The B&B couple were told that they were not ‘married’ and couldn’t stay on account of only having a CP. SOME churches holding religious CPs won’t eliminate that inequality. It’s full, legal marriage that is identical for all that we need.

    To counter the inequality, we don’t need to change the church, but we should make the legally binding part of the process a secular, civil affair. The church should have its legal powers revoked. After all, its Christians who are complaining that for them marriage is more than a legal contract, not us. If that’s what they think, fine, hand the contractual obligations over to the state and just conduct the spiritual and religious part.

    Civil marriages for all is not going to divide any society. But keeping the church in power, will.

  74. Gay Marriage has Archbishop of York Dr John Santamu
    vestments in a spin

    More CofE inclusivity tolerance and equality

    “the Church of England has pledged not to allow any of its buildings to be used for civil partnership ceremonies”

  75. This argument that marriage equality poses problems for the CofE, or any other church, is a stinky red herring that people keep trying to pull out of the bin!

    Full marriage equality poses no threat to anti-gay religions.

    No change in the law is required.

    The UK does NOT need to move to the Napoleonic system where only civil weddings have the force of law.

    Here’s why.

    Churches are exempted from anti-discrimination law in relation to weddings, as in all other aspects of their services.

    When was the last time you heard of a synagogue being sued by a Christian because she wasn’t allowed to get married there? When did you last here of a divorcee suing the Catholic church for the right to marry in church?

    That’s right: Never.

    Religions already have the right to discriminate in their services. They have been engaging in religious discrimination, sex discrimination and marital status discrimination for as long as they’ve existed, and no government has ever moved to stop them.

    Whether marriage equality, religious CPs, both, or neither are introduced, churches will continue to be free to discriminate when deciding whom to bless with their rituals. The CofE will be just as able to refuse to conduct my wedding as they are right now, whether on the grounds of my atheism, my pre-existing marriage, my lesbianism, or my insistence on wearing those really spiky heels that do terrible damage to wooden floors.

    That’s why it’s called marriage equality, people.

  76. If the initial step is relgious CPs and this proves to be non controversial and does not result in churches’ “freedom” to refuse them being challengd then when we finally get marriage equality it would work on the same principle anyway..this argument about being forced to do something is nonsense and the govt has been clear about it anyway… If the UK churches are like the Australian ones, then it probably won’t use relgious arguments but you’ll find it will all be about children and propagation of them which we can’t do and which they think you can only do if you are straight and married!!…the common argument in Australia is that marriage is one of the bedrock institutions of society, which is the basis for forming families and which is underpinned by tradition…I don’t think relgion will be a popular argument anyway! You’ll also have the carzies who think gay marriage will lead to all other kinds of marriages ,,,and of course there is the daft argument that in whilst the economy is in such dire economic troubles marriage equality is too expensive or too trivial to consider at the moment!

    At least the gay community are now speaking in one voice and are all for marriage equality!

  77. Mihangel apYrs 15 Feb 2011, 10:33am


    the confusion is that the “civil” part of marriage is subsumed in the religious flummery because the officiant also stands in as registrar.

    If we required 2 processes, registration, then the religious bit, for a church wedding people would recognise the difference.

  78. the point is not about civil weddings having religious conotations or held at religious venues. this is the couples decision! even though I question how there are gay people that have religious beliefs! the point is that equality in marriage is there and people can choose! simple!

  79. mmmm:
    Dont be so daft. The Church invented marriage, and they are never going to have that taken from them.

    As for inequality, would you really want to have a marriage in a church overseen by some homophobic priest that has been forced to carry out the role? No.

    Churches should be viewed like clubs. A lot of people kick off about golf clubs that ban women and the like, but so what? It’s not about inequality, we just don’t want you. Simple as that. It gets bloody ridiculous when the Boy Scouts are forced to take on girls, or The Mother’s Union has to accept Fathers. Horses for courses and all that.

    The way I see it is you can get married in a number of ways, and as long as however it is done is a legally recognised process, then fine. Gays will never be accepted in all churches, but so what? Don’t go there. There are plenty of other options. All this crap about same sex church weddings and str8s having Civil Partnerships is complete bullsh|t.
    All it does is confuse the issue and muddy the waters. Just keep it simple. Marriage for everyone. That’s all most of us ever wanted anyway.

  80. Dr Robin Guthrie 15 Feb 2011, 4:28pm

    I think you will find that the church did NOT invent marriage.

    The prevalence of the concept of marriage came to the forefront of culture when humankind evolved from hunter gatherer to agriculture and pastoralism which occurred during the neolithic/agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago.

    Originally “marriage” was a private, binding contract between clans (families) to form an alliance, thereby increasing the clan’s chances for survival in war against rival clans. A “dowry” was given by each clan to “seal the deal”. Marriage was contractual, considered a passing of “property” between clans as a symbol of intention to honour the agreement being made.

    Read more:

    As usual, religion stole it and claimed it as its own, wrapping it up in hocus pocus.

  81. Mihangel

    “If we required 2 processes, registration, then the religious bit, for a church wedding people would recognise the difference.”

    Don’t agree with that. People will just ask ‘are you married?’ as normal, but not where you got married, especially if the church has its right to grant marriage certificates revoked. And thus it will be a question of married/non-married, not religious marriage/no religious marriage.

    The legal equality is all we need and all we have the right to ask for.

  82. Spanner

    “Dont be so daft. The Church invented marriage, and they are never going to have that taken from them.”

    Erm, no they didn’t (see Dr Robin’s post)

  83. OK, I stand corrected. Nevertheless, the Church was ordaining marriages long before civil ones were offered.

    The idea that one could sideline and push the church to one side is naive in the extreme. Both the Protestant and Catholic churches wield incredible power, and it is constantly obvious that politicians of all parties are terrified of them, and avoid any kind of confrontation, hence the whole Civil Partnership cop-out in the first place. They went as far as they could in creating a ‘gay marriage’ except in name, just to ensure the God-spotters didn’t come down on them like a ton of bricks.

    Demanding that all marriages should be first and foremost a civil process is not only blinkered, selfish and inconsiderate to Christians, it serves no real purpose. The bottom line is, if a church marriage directly equates to one in a registry office, then there is no problem. Itis simply a process of dropping CPs and allowing marriages to be held for same sex couples as well as mixed sex. It really is as simple as that.
    How hard can it be, for crying out loud?

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