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Tory MP calls for churches to be banned from holding marriages if they refuse gay couples

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  1. Blimey, I can’t believe a Tory MP said something progressive and decent. The world really is a strange place.

    I agree completely. Though I would go further and insist that gay people get full marriage, rather than the apartheid sop of civil partnerships. And that religious groups should not be allowed to refuse to hold them.

    Are religious groups allowed to choose whether they grant a mixed-race couple a marriage or not? Can they choose whether to marry a disabled person? The answer is no, and if they tried (and there is plenty of precedent for it in christian dogma) they would be considered utterly beyond the pale. If religion is not justification for racist or anti-disabled sentiment in our country then it damned well shouldn’t be justification for homophobic discrimination.

    The bottom line is that religious organisations are bound by the laws of the land just like every other organisation. There should be no special exemptions just because they promote ridiculous antique nonsense.

    1. Actually, I believe that church’s are free to approve or deny any couple’s request to marry – a priest/pastor can simply say yes or no (it’s why many church’s will not carry out inter-faith marriages). They don’t have to give a reason, they can simply say no.

      Personally, I would not want any church or religious body to be forced to carry out a CP or equal marriage against its will – who wants to be married by someone who is against it, who is only there out of force? Religious ceremonies are very different from civil ones and that should be remembered, they are spiritual blessings – if someone whom I knew was opposed to me was forced to, I would forever remember that and it would make the wedding feel false.

      1. I completely agree with you there, phoenix.

      2. I completely agree with Phoenix as well. It is a question of religious liberty.

        The Roman Catholic church is entitled not to marry divorcees and not to marry/civil partner gays and lesbians. They are also entitled not to recognise the religious validity of such unions performed elsewhere, though they must accept the legal validity.

        The fair arrangement is that everyone is entitled to civil marriage / partnership. If legal and religious rules happen to coincide, let religious and legal ceremony be performed as one, if the couple wish. If they don’t coincide so be it.

      3. Tim Chapman 2 Sep 2011, 10:32pm

        I think the Church of England has to allow people to marry in a church with which they have a qualifying connection, eg one of the couple or a parent lives in the parish. Everyone has a qualifying connection with at least one parish, so they are entitled to get married in their local CofE church. Individual clergy can pick and choose, but the church must provide a minister who can officiate.

        Once same sex couples can marry, they should get the same entitlement.

      4. Jock S. Trap 8 Sep 2011, 10:21am

        I have to agree with that phoenix. Bigotted people hardly make for a happy occasion.

        Luckily that is not all who wish to perform such ceremonies.

  2. The inherent inequality is CPs. I don’t agree with this MP. First of all, CPs aren’t performed, they’re merely a registration between a same-sex couple. There are NO vows exchanged as in marriage and rings aren’t mandatory, they are NOT marriages.

    If this MP persists, it’s only going to exacerbate the strong resistance by some of them to call for a ban on marriage equality. He needs to be advocating for full civil marriage equality instead to address the inequality. Not one of them from their party has come out in support of it. Why is that I wonder?

    1. Not meaning to stir the pot, but I certainly remember exchanging vows at my civil partnership ceremony. We exchanged rings as well. No, neither of these are required, but the same is true for any union held in a registry office – whether a CP or a hetero marriage.

      1. Ours was a ceremony that included vows as standard, and included exchange of rings if desired. We were also given a bottle of champagne and a hug by the woman registrar at the end.

  3. Surely what he is saying is that the legal part of the marriage carried out by the government registrar in the church as part of the ceremony is at question. I agree. The government is clearly breaking its own equal ops policy if it offers this service in an unequal manner. It should be available only for those who wish to make use of the full service of registering marriages between both opposite sex and same sex couples. If churches do not want to offer same sex marriage then the government should not be seen to condone that by allowing registrars in those churches. People marrying in such churches should have to do what couples do in France, where they go to the registry office for the legal registration and then have the church marriage service (with no legal standing) in the church as a separate thing.

    1. I was just going to ask, because i don’t really get the MPs point.

      So this means, that in the UK a wedding ceremony in a church is legally binding and you don’t need to go to whatever government entity is in charge of legalizing the mariage/civil union?
      I wonder because in the rest of europe and a big chunk of the rest of the world, ceremonys in churches don’t make you legally maried.

      For exmple in germany the government pays for the staff of churches and buildings (like hospitals they run). It would make sense to say, if you discriminate, we stop funding you with taxes. But to fore them performing marriages i’m not sure what to make of.
      Seriously, i believe that with gays who want to get married by institutions that tortured and killed gays for centuries, theres something seriously wrong.

      1. Basically, the priest pulls double duty as the registrar. However, churches are free to approve or deny any couple they see fit (as others point out, try getting married in a Catholic church if you’re divorced), which is why I think this MP has his head in the clouds.

        Demands like this will only serve to alienate the religious factions even more – part of me wonders if it’s a deliberate ruse, the Tories are easily the most homophobic mainstream political party in the country.

        1. And not just Catholic churches, Phoenix. A friend was refused a church wedding by a C of E church because her future husband was a divorcee.

          I agree with your last paragraph. I was slightly suspicious about this too. Religious groups are always claiming they’ll be forced to perform same sex CPs, and, conveniently, here is their ‘proof’.

          1. Sounds like a ruse to me too.

      2. The state grants a licence to premises, be they religious or not, to marry people.

        The point the MP is making is a totally valid one as it is a legal matter not one of religious freedom. Because the state is involved in granting licences it has a duty to ensure that said licencees act in accordance with principals of rights as defined by the EU and UK governments.

        The right to religious freedom is what is called a Qualified right under EU law, which means it is trumped by other rights such as the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation for example.

        That is why the couple who refused to allow the gay couple to stay in their B&B on ‘religious grounds’ lost their court case.

        If a gay couple are religious and do want to be married in whatever demonination house of god they subscribe to, then they technically have the right under law to expect the same rights as a straight couple should they so wish to marry in accordance with their faith.

        1. And I should add, if any religious institution doesnt want to have to marry gay couples in line with their technical legal rights then they absolutely dont have to retain their licences to perform the legal ceremony and can simply perform a religous ceremony!

    2. Hi there, Mike is my MP and I have been in some correspondence with him on several gender and sexuality issues. He most certainly isn’t homophobic, and is also an atheist. I suspect that he takes the view (and not as a pot stirrer) that people should be equal under the law. He supports Gay Marriage and believes that IF the state offers marriage to gay people then all registries (ie the town hall, and churches) should implement this equally. If you want a church marriage but the church won’t marry gay people then the registration bit will have to be done at the town hall. The religious bit will still be done in church as before.

  4. Civil partnerships or marriage whichever the couple irrespective of sex chooses.
    That IMHO is the only way forward and no opt out clause for anyone.

  5. Interestingly, if same-sex marriage was introduced, the established Church would *have* to perform marriages for same-sex couples. Individual ministers could opt out, but couples would be able to parachute another willing CoE minister in from elsewhere.

    I don’t really think this interminable process of allowing CPs on religious premises (effectively just removing the taxi drive between place of worship and registry office, since the CP ceremony would still have to be separate) is anything more than a dead end. The religious organisations and couples who want marriage want *marriage*. Once marriage equality comes in, nobody is going to want a CP on religious premises.

    1. Tim Hopkins 2 Sep 2011, 1:24pm

      This is untrue. It’s clear that if same-sex marriage was introduced, religious bodies would have the right to choose whether or not to marry same-sex couples. The Equality Network (and Stonewall and other LGBT organisations) support that position. As others have pointed out, religious bodies can already set rules about who they marry, for example refusing to marry divorced people.

      To try to force the likes of the Church of England or Catholic Church to conduct same-sex marriages would be wrong, doomed to fail, and the attempt would be hugely counter-productive.

    2. Spanner1960 6 Sep 2011, 12:52am

      Why? One can get married in a registry office. The Church is not a necessary element to get married. I respect a churches wishes, and it’s a bit like joining a club; if you cannot abide by their rules, then you cannot join. That still does not prevent you from getting married elsewhere.

  6. I don’t agree. Churches have always been allowed to choose whom to marry. They reject people because they’re divorced, for example.

    Why isn’t this MP pushing for MARRIAGE EQUALITY? That would make things MUCH more equal. We could then all choose whether to have a civil marriage or, if acceptable to the church, a religious marriage. CPs are what divides straight and LGBT people, not the whims of churches.

    1. Tim Hopkins 2 Sep 2011, 1:25pm

      Hear, hear!

    2. Tim Chapman 2 Sep 2011, 10:45pm

      But Iris, if we achieve marriage equality and the established church can refuse to serve us, but has to serve opposite sex couples, then it’s not marriage equality.

      1. I’m pretty sure a church doesn’t have to ‘serve’ anyone, can’t they reject any couple (gay or straight)?

        & tbh I’ve always seen Marriage Equality as a secular civil matter. We can’t really force a religious person to recognize or solemnize a gay union.

        1. Tim Chapman 3 Sep 2011, 10:00am

          Straits have a legal right to marry in the Church of England. As long as the Chuch of England benefits from a single penny of my taxes, I want that right for gays too.

          Why are so many people unclear about the defenition of equality?

        2. Tim Chapman 3 Sep 2011, 10:50am

          “tbh I’ve always seen Marriage Equality as a secular civil matter.”

          I haven’t.

          “We can’t really force a religious person to recognize or solemnize a gay union.”

          “recognise”, no, recognition is a thought; “solemnise”‘, yes, solemnisation is an act. Everyone can think what they like, but not act as they please. If you can’t act without discimination, then don’t act – just think. That’s what this MP is advocating and he’s absolutely right.

    3. Iris – this is a quote from Mikle’s own website:

      Commenting, Mike said: “Discrimination in today’s society should not be tolerated. It’s distressing that so many countries around the world have appalling gay rights. As a supposedly civilised country, we should be pushing for a society where everyone is equal before the law. Quite simply, same-sex couples should have exactly the same marriage rights.”

      http://www.mikeweatherleymp.com/2011/09/05/same-sex-couples-should-have-exactly-the-same-marriage-rights/

      I think his views on churches (he’s an atheist) are perhaps a little more interesting to the press and are new, whereas his support for same sex marriage isn’t new and isn’t news.

  7. What a complete and utter moron this MP is.

    A church is not currently obliged to hold ANY wedding – gay or straight. (Try getting a straight wedding in a catholic cult building if you are divorced for example).

    Does this MP not realise this,

    The ONLY thing that is required is to remove the CP apartheid laws from our books,

    Equal access to civil marriage and CP’s for same sex and opposite sex couples,

    And the churches completely ignored – religion is dying in this country already. Let’s help to speed that process up.

    1. de Villiers 2 Sep 2011, 6:58pm

      More bile and vitriol from this board’s favourite preacher of spite.

  8. Personally I think all religion should be banned until scientific proof can be supplied of its existence.

    1. de Villiers 2 Sep 2011, 6:58pm

      How very fascist.

    2. Michaelangelo 2 Sep 2011, 11:51pm

      How “tolerant”.

      Many you would like to ban love and kindness, too?

      Why not ban “science” until “science” can prove its own existence?

      I sometimes despair of the fact that most commentators on this site, maybe reflecting the gay community as a whole, are just interested in the right to have sex with the same sex and force others to bow to it and worship homosexuality as if it’s above reproach. It seems that all other things, that exists outside the LGBT bubble, shoudl just be “banned”!

      1. “are just interested in the right to have sex with the same sex and force others to bow to it and worship homosexuality as if it’s above reproach.”

        And YOU despair at the comments here after that travesty? Seriously, is logic and reason something you just read about or do you make a effort to avoid it?

  9. Iris, quite!

    Andy, if we had same-sex marriage, the C of E would NOT be bound to perform them. In the 10 countries that allow it, there is an opt out for religious denominations recognising let alone performing them. In fact, the consultation will stipulate that no religious denomination will be compelled to comply with the new law if and when it passes. If such stipuliation isn’t included, you’ll see an even bigger backlash from our opponents which could scare politicians into not supporting passage of the law. Believe me, they will be more than vocal once the consultation begins. I can almost hear Rowan Williams et al warning against armageddon.

  10. agreed. but please, first marriage equality!

  11. Hodge Podge 2 Sep 2011, 1:10pm

    Wow, interested guy. He’s wrong though, it really would be too far into people’s rights to be left alone to make religious organisations do this.

  12. Churches are like clubs, surely they should be able to set their own rules? It would be so much better if (as has been pointed out above) we followed the French and Dutch practice and only civil marriages were legal, with church weddings being nothing more than an optional extra – a costume party, as they so often are these days anyway.

    1. Tim Chapman 2 Sep 2011, 10:52pm

      They’re not like clubs. They get tax breaks, including charitable status, they are obliged to conduct weddings for hetros with a qualifying connection, and they have unelected personnel in our parliament.

      1. Michaelangelo 2 Sep 2011, 11:46pm

        They are not “obliged to conduct weddings for heteros”. If someone’s not a member of a Church then a) they can’t make use of her sacraments and b) (if they’e sane) they wouldn’t want to receive her sacraments.

        Only one Church has “unelected personnel” in the House of Lords and might even sometimes have to conduct weddings – in extremis – and that’s the Church of England. It’s status only exists within England (not Scotland or the UK) and it a matter for Parliament – many Anglicans would rather the Church were disestablished, which is why the Oxford Movement was formed in the 19th century. As the CoE is the State Church, Parliament creates its laws for it. This is not the situation with other Churches or religious bodies.

        They get tax breaks because a) they’re not for profit anyway, and b) are charities, that often contribute to society at large, thus saving the nation billions of pounds a year. If gay clubs did the same, then thy, too, might get the same tax exemptions.

        1. Tim Chapman 3 Sep 2011, 10:18am

          You’re wrong. I work in a CofE church and we’ve had couples wishing to marry in our church who’ve never set foot in the place. They’re legally entitled to marry here if one of the or a parent lives in our Parish. They don’t have to be members of the Church of England – I’m not aware of a membership register anyway. The Vicar can opt out if he wants (for any reason, eg he objects to divorcees remarrying) but he must arrange a substitute pries to officiate.

          Often they’re not interested in the sacrament, they go through the motions for the sake of the lovely photographs (it’s a pretty, old, rural church).

          In any event, if they were required to be members, what’s to stop them pretending. Half the congregation at my chuch assume I’m one of them until they take the trouble to learn that I’m an atheist. I could easily lie (although I, personally wouldn’t as I answer to a higher authority than ther god, and that’s my conceince).

          1. LiveandLetTive 6 Sep 2011, 9:23pm

            Why in the world would you work for the Church of England if you are an athiest? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

    2. A Club? Perhaps, but one in which God sets the “rules”, not man

      1. You really believe that, do you? How stupid. Look up Council of Nicaea.

  13. douglas in canada 2 Sep 2011, 1:59pm

    i think one of the problems in Canada is the fact that church ministers do double duty, legally representing the provincial government [marriage licenses are issued by the province, not by the country] and spritually representing the church.

    Over time, people have come to believe that a marriage is therefore a “church” matte, when, in fact, it is a legal matter with an additional church component.

    If we could move to a system where the legal part of the marriage happens in City Hall, folowed by a trip to a house of worship to receive a spiritual blessing for those who wish it, a lot of problems would be solved.

    Unfortunately, because church ministers have been involved fin marriages for so long [and they have made so money much doing this!] they think it is their right to determine the legal implications of marrage.

    If we could separate the two components, and the locations at which they are performed, much of the debate would cease.

    1. douglas in canada 2 Sep 2011, 2:01pm

      [PS - is anyone else having trouble with their comments window bouncing and fluttering if you type more text than the window holds? This is very frustrating - and that's why the above post has so many errors - My apologies - Can Pink News fix this problem?]

      1. Yes, it’s very annoying. You can get around it by doign a cut-and-paste from a Word doc. I think it’s to encourage shorter posts – ?

        1. ‘Doing’, even.

  14. This guy has my vote!

    1. Dan Filson 3 Sep 2011, 6:40am

      Just on the basis of that???!!!

    2. Dan Filson 3 Sep 2011, 6:41am

      Just on the basis of that?

  15. Tory you are so right, either the church get out of occultism and preach love and walk in kindness and charity, are be shut down, and shut down, because if you are not treating people fair, your not treating people right and your are no christians, and hate isnt right on any turf, its evil that produces what it is, and this so called christians what are they producing , if its outcome is violence , bloodshed suicides, harrassment, broken homes and families, disrupted lives, it aint christian , because its producing evil and abuses, but love, kindness, goodwill, equality, charity, produces all good things and harmony and peace , because its good and angelic, people had better get some sense and know the difference i knew this as a child,

  16. Peter & Michael 2 Sep 2011, 4:12pm

    At Last! A Conservative MP whom has some common sense, no doubt he will be shouted down by the right wing of the Conservative Party.

    1. Michaelangelo 2 Sep 2011, 11:38pm

      He is on the right wing, economically, anyway.

      Just shows that free-market economics leads to a libertine attitude to sex and a dislike of those organisations, such as faith ones, that teach the value of society, self-sacrifice and personal morality.

      1. Funny how free market economics (which is actually monopoly capitalism) just as often leads to precisely the values you say you believe in, even while stripping financial support away from them.
        And the suggestion that people who go to bed with a same-sex partner must necessarily not support these vaunted values is an offensive stereotype.

        1. surely it’s as possible to be socially liberal fiscally conservative as it is to be socially authoritarian and economically socialist. People are odd creations and they don’t always think wholly logically.

  17. I say let them have or refuse any ceremonies they like. Just end all council and other tax exemptions on them, and disestablish the Church of England, and insist bar nothing that all legally contracted employment or use of tax-funded public services involving them obey anti-discrimination law. And, as others have said, let only statutary Civil Marriage for all be legally accepted.

    1. Tim Chapman 2 Sep 2011, 10:55pm

      Agree 100%

  18. Looks like simple publicity chasing and vote harvesting by a cynical MP – surely if you want to get married by a religous organisation you accept the rules of that organisation. Thats not discrimation – it is choice

    1. Tim Chapman 2 Sep 2011, 11:01pm

      surely if you want to stay in a hotel run by a religeous organisation you accept the rules of that organisation. That’s not discrimination – it is a choice

  19. Why can’t we just have civil weddings.

    They all still think you need a church for a wedding :(

    1. Tim Chapman 2 Sep 2011, 11:06pm

      Nobody needs it, but some want it. If some get it, then everyone who wants it should get it.

  20. Are these Tories just pretending or are they really that stupid!! How can you force by law an organisation to marry gays this would set marriage equality back 50 years heyup that’s his idea!!

  21. Michaelangelo 2 Sep 2011, 11:33pm

    Is this man as stupid as he looks?

    Why can’t he just listen to what Tatchell proposes, which, for once, makes sense. If religious groups want to have union services for those of the same sex, let them. But to force those groups who never will allow this (in their own organisation) is just fascistic. It proves that libertarians are just as fascist as socialists – both want to force people to go against their consciences.

    Yet again, I note that Pink News and the MP in question doesn’t want to force Muslims to conduct same sex unions – yet again, it’s “churches” that come under fire – even though the article mentions two (questionable) Christian denominations who want same sex “marriages”.

    Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, so their teaching on it cannot ever be changed. The same applies to most Anglicans. The sacrament can only be given to baptised members, who accept the Church’s teachings. So, active homosexuals wouldn’t qualify anyway. End of.

    1. Tim Chapman 3 Sep 2011, 10:32am

      I agree that no religeons should be forced to conduct union ceremonies against their will. The problem is that currently the established church in England IS forced to conduct union ceremonies against its will. The law gives couples the right to marry in the Church of England whether the Church approves of a particular couple or not.

      Either that stops and no-one has that right in law, or we all have it. It’s called equality.

  22. Why be a part of a church/mosque/synagogue etc. that discriminates against you, just go and find one that doesn’t.

    That’s what the homophobes do when they get a sniff of pro gay sentiment.

    Would any of you want to be married by someone who literally hates your very being?

    Not ideal on what’s supposed to be the best day of your life.

  23. Dan Filson 3 Sep 2011, 6:45am

    Has this MP not got the law confused – at present I believe the Civil Partnerships Act specifically prevents any religious element to a CP event. So at present a vicar cannot preside over a CP event even if he/she wanted to and their church wanted them to do so.

    Personally I think the French two-stage process of first a civil ceremony at the civil offices followed by whatever religious thing you and your church fancy would be fine if you could get churches to comply, but if people want vicars etc to do double-duty that’s fine by me too.

  24. Yes all religions need to be banned that promotes viiolence and hatred, its what keep kaos ands wars going on and bloodshed everywhere, in otherwise peaceful atmoshpheres, you must take out the root of the evil and violence and its racism and bigotry, and hate instigators, also the rabbis in this nations jewish realms are going to have to be arrested for their crimes against humanity, aclu lgbt sldn lamda legal had better get on top of this evil, these occult monsters have tried to find another way to abuse lgbt people what insane people would even go to these types of ab;usive religions i dont know get out of all of the religions and go to a gay one are dont go at all , what wrong with you people you go and file a charges against any so called rabbi and pastor who tries to violate your own grown private persoonal lives, these people are just men like you you are grouwner than they and they have no right in your private lives that trespassing into your individual and h;;uman righ

  25. The jewish rabbis in our nation and in their nation has to be under human crimes watch , against humanity and indivudual rights these people are way disturbed and another abusive religious accult, that is sick and wicked and polluted , they arrested one rabbi for beating a man in the middle of a religious order for going out with his famiily somewhere he did not tell their order, these people had better stop getting involved with satonic people and their clicks and clubs like david karess and jeff warrens , what hell is wrong with them, people are grown and you dont let any face to face person come into your realm and invade in your privacy with your family, you are just as grown as they are, its like the next door neighbor coming over to your house and telling you they dont like your furniture and to change it in your house, people had better wake up and start getting these bad religious orders shut down and rabbis and pastor arrested for haarrassment and invasion in other private li

  26. There where 44 rabbis and priests arrested either in new york or washington last year for sneaking around with under age boys and girls and women, they had purchased appartments all in a row with some other the other men polilticians where the vice squad task force found out they where going their having sex trafficking flow through these private apartment they had secretly purchased, and was apart of this underworld trafficking of women and young people sex assault, this is the same perverted rabbi that got the nerves to tell the gay community any thing about their lives at all and they are scum and filth, themselves, a disgrace to human kind it has been the same about these relighious hate groups you always find out they are doing the most hidious evil things themselves and trying to govern the lives of others hippocrites and monsters, they have to be arrested for their evil and harrassments they are just bad people evil and twisted, occultism they have no rights to others

  27. I don’t agree with forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want to, but I have always been in favour of religious gay marriages for those groups that approve!

    Recently however I have been thinking of a complete reversal in my thoughts:

    1. Scrap Civil Partnerships
    2. Scrap legally recognised religious marriage.
    3. Introduce Civil Marriage legally for all.

    Then nobody would be allowed a legal religious marriage, sure they can have the ceremony infront of whatever God(s) they want in whatever religious building they want… But legal recognition? No sorry… Go to a registrar for that!

    That way everyone is in the same boat. The gay community will finally have marriage equality, and those on the religious right can see what it feels like to not be recognised by your state for who you are…

    1. Isn’t that like smashing up someone else’s toys because you can’t have them? Church Weddings are lovely, and those churches or religious organisations that want to perform them for gay couples obviously should be allowed to as a matter of religious freedom.

      1. I don’t think so – in France, and I think in the Netherlands too, only civil marriage is recognised by law, it doesn’t mean people can’t have their ‘lovely’ church weddings as well if they want to.

  28. weetzie, exchanging vows at a civil partnersips is voluntary, in a civil marriage mandatory. Rings have always been exchanged or at least by one of the two spouses during a hetero marriage, religious or civil for as long as I can remember. Part of the marriage vows mention “with this ring”. There is no requirement for a civil partnership to have it since it is not a marriage, not even under the law.

    None of the 10 countries that allow same-sex marriage mandates that religious denominations must perform or recognise those marriages. They all have a gender-neurtal law in regard to civil marriage. Religious denominations are free to do as they wish and not bound by those laws. So be it. There are several denominations who are willing to marry us, so for those who want a religious marriage or civil partnership, they can avail themselves of those services. Who cares if the C of E or Roman Cult don’t want to. They don’t control civil marriage anyway, none of their business.

  29. Everyone that has any intelligence at all know that racism and bigotry is wrong, This is ;a message to the LGBT COMMUNITY THO, THERE ARE MAJOR BATTLES BEING FOUGHT ON YOUR BEHALVES AND YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS, BUT UNTIL EVERY CITY AND STATE, AND COUNTRY IS CIVILIZED AND HUMAN RIGHTS EFFECIENT AND SAFE USE YOUR COMMON SENSE IF YOU HAVE ANY, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM HETERSEXUAL BARS YOU ARE GAY, YOU KNOW THERE ARE RACIST HETERSEXUAL IN THOSE BARS THAT ARE DANGEROUS , GET YOUR ASS IN GAY CLUBS AND STAY THERE AND TELL YOUR SO CALLED HETERSEXUAL FREINDS YOU WILL SEE THEM IN PUBLICA ARENAS ARE IN SAFE PLACES FOR YOUR ON GAY PEOPLE IN THE DAYLIGHT , DONT GO ON CRUISES OUT IN SHIPS ALONE GO ON GAY CRUISSED, DONT GO TO HETESEX;UAL PARTIES, LIKE PURTO RICO ALL THOSE GAY MEN WHERE INVITED AND THEN KILLED THEY WHERE SET UP BY HETERSEXUAL BIGGOTS , PEOPLE THEY THOUGHT WHERE BE FREINDING THEM SET THEM UP WITH OTHER HETERSEXUALS WHO KILLED THEM IT HAPPENED TO TWO MINORITY WOMEN ALSO THIS YEAR,

    1. Jock S. Trap 8 Sep 2011, 10:18am

      Why the shouting?

  30. GAY PEOPLE YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO START TAKING OTHER PEOPLE WITH YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR CLUBS , DO NOT WALK SOMEWHERE BY YOUR SELF AFTER LEAVING A GAY CLUB , YOU HAVE ALL KIND OF EVIL HETERSXUAL PEOPLE LURKING IN THE DARK WAITING TO DO EVIL , THEY ARE POSSESSED WITH DEMONS , EITHER THEY ARE WAITING TO RAPE A WOMEN OR CHILD OR HARM YOU, THEIR EVIL THE HETERSEXUAL MEN MAINLY, BE CAREFUL ALWAYS HAVE OTHERS AROUND YOU AND WITH YOU TAKE YOUR CELL PHONES TO CALL SOME ONE IMMEDIATLEY IF YOU SEE A CROWD TAU;NTING AN APPROACHING, CARRY YOUR OWN WEAPONS AND MASS SPRAY AND KNIVE,S STOP BEING STUPID, GO TO GAY CHURCHES THEY ARE LIKE YOU YOU DONT HAVE TO PUT ON HEIRS OR BE SUPRESSSED OR OPPRESSED , ;YOUR ATMONSPHERE IS HAPPY A;ND PEACEFUL, AND YOU ARE SAFE , THATS YOUR GOOD INTELLIGENCE, STAY OUT OF RELIGIONS WHO ARE HATE GROUPS YOU ARE JUST ASKING FOR TROUBLE AND ABUSE WHY DO IT , STOP BEING IGNORANT I LEFT A HATE FILLED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH I FELT THE EVIL IN THE ATMOSPHER E OF HATRED AND LIES,

    1. Jock S. Trap 8 Sep 2011, 10:19am

      Shouting just makes your comments unreadable, which is a shame, don’t you think when you clearly have things to add?

  31. I can’t speak for all churches as there will be wide variation in views as to who they ought or ought not marry. But given, in the main, churches carry out marriages in a “spiritual” context, i.e. invoking the blessing of the Almighty etc., it makes sense according to traditional theological understanding and in order not to incur his displeasure that the people who are to be married are:

    • opposite in gender
    • prepared to keep their vows e.g. love, fidelity
    • not already married (as it happens the law agrees!)
    • not divorced unless in exceptional circumstances

    Of course there will be many folk who will not be or want to be bound by those criteria and some churches who don’t feel thus bound. Folk are always at liberty, provided within the law, to go elsewhere where the bar of qualification is lower. Imo churches should not have to compromise on this matter or be obliged to offer a service they see as being outside their remit.

  32. Jock S. Trap 8 Sep 2011, 10:18am

    Good comments Mr Weatherley. I do agree. However in order to try and progress we sadly have to accept religious discrimination to get our foot on the marriage equality ladder.

    We shouldn’t have to but these tend to be the terms of people with little regard for humanity.

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