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Religious groups say gay marriage ban blocks faith freedom

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  1. If only more people like Richard Holloway, (the former Bishop) were to speak!!!
    Pity he is not a the current Bishop of the Anglican Church in Scotland

    1. His comments are a very welcome contribution to this debate. I dont think there should be a prohibition on religious organisations being able to conduct same sex celebrations (My preference would be for all marriage to be civil and if a religious aspect is sought then this should either be a separate celebration or bolt on to the civil marriage. However, if the law remains that religious organisations are able to conduct marriages of both a civil and religious nature then this should extend to both same sex and opposite sex couples.)

      1. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:29pm

        Exactly. Either civil or religious for whatever faith group is open to this. It is a choose and should be a choose but do people really want a wedding/marriage from someone they’ve force to do the service? Hardly gets the day off to the right start. No why not give the reputation and costs to those who openly support and want to perform marriage Equality. Let those that don’t suffer the consequences.

        Their bigotry, their discrimination = their loss.

    2. concernedresidentE3 29 Sep 2011, 12:56pm

      there is no anglican church in scotland and never has been. The Episcopal church was originally part of the Church of Scotland, a Psbyterian body. They split from the Cof S at the end of the 18th century because they wished to have bishops and later formed an agreement with the Anglicans. I know it seems pernickety but saying they are ‘Anglican’ implies that the hierarchy of the anglican church has authority over the Episcopal. It does not and they have always been far more liberal than Anglicans. Holloway was outspoken in favour of gay issues throughout his period as primate of the church (as were many of his ministers and other people in the Episcopal church) even when the Anglicans in England wavered between hostility and silence.

      1. Hi ConcernedresidentE3
        Very interesting historical survey of the development of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. What I do not understand is that if the Episcopal church is part of the Anglican Communion, how is it not Anglican in the sense that if is not subject to the authority of the Anglican communion so to speak.

        On their website they claim to be part of the Anglican Communion?

        1. jamestoronto 29 Sep 2011, 2:15pm

          The “Anglican Communion” is a loose world-wide grouping that includes many national churches that are not subject to the authority of the Anglican Church of England. Many other types of churches are in communion with one another but are not subject to one another’s authority. Canada’s Anglican Church for example has a General Synod that elects the Primate of all Canada. The synod is not subject to nor is the primate subservient orders from any other Anglican body. The Anglican Church of Canada is in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, for example but neither is subject to one another. Similar but not the same-thinking.

          1. Hi Jamestoronto
            Thanks for this information.

          2. jamestoronto 29 Sep 2011, 10:08pm

            @John K Hi yourself you are most welcome.

    3. Absolutely, JohnK – Richard Holloway is a lovely man.

      1. Martin Lawrence 30 Sep 2011, 3:50pm

        Rehan, you’re right: I know him personally.

        concernedresidentE3, you’re wrong: the SEP is part of the Anglican Communion, which means they are in communion with the See of Canterbury, the Old Catholic Churches, and all other Churches in the same Communion.

        JohnK: he is still a bishop. As one of the Holy Orders, once consecrated you remain a bishop unless you legally resign your orders.

  2. I agree with what they say…

    However, the thing I hate most is having any religious org have any say on what rights I should have,although I’m happy that these faiths are on our side and that hopefully they will be having “meetings” with the CEO (Eng/Wales) before March 2012 to shape the consultation in a way that ALL forms of marriage are open to us….hope it’s not only the caths and CofE that are meeting with Lynne

    It’s interesting the debate is soley on SS marriage…I don’t think the Catholics etc would be too happy with straight CPs as well, yet nothing is said about straight CPs yet I thought this was still being discussed in Scotland? Also religious CPs in Scotland, nothing is said about it…Are we finally coming down to what the real agenda is at last…gay marriage!

    1. Its a public consultation, it should be open to all commentary (regardless of how palatable that is, or how much we agree with it) – thats the point of democratic consultation. If we value democracy, then we should not just seek views that agree with our position but welcome all views.

      I am very happy these faiths are on our side.

      1. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:31pm

        Indeed. It’s with these faith groups that tip the scales into our corner and a fairer system for all.

    2. Tim Hopkins 29 Sep 2011, 1:48pm

      Unfortunately the Scottish Govt’s consultation paper does not ask about mixed sex civil partnership. However, it does ask “If Scotland should introduce same-sex marriage, do you consider that civil partnerships should remain available.” Obviously one can answer “Yes, and they should be available to mixed-sex couples too” and say why.

  3. The key is to not require all faiths to recognise or perform same-sex marriages, but those who do should have that very choice, simple as that. I don’t know why there is so much opposition by the government, makes NO sense. Obviously it has its reasons but exactly what they are, no one knows. We’ve yet to have an explanation about it. I’d also like to know the reason for delaying the consultation in England for the second time. What is that about?

  4. Dr Robin Guthrie 29 Sep 2011, 11:33am

    An interesting angle.

    Never thought about it that way.

    Well said Bish…

    1. and from you Dr Guthrie, to a bishop, that is a compliment!

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 29 Sep 2011, 12:29pm

        And a sour faced aithiest one at that. I must be ill…. ;-)

  5. Dr J. Ratburger 29 Sep 2011, 12:36pm

    Yes the fundies can’t have it both ways. If there’s a right not to marry some one in your church because of a scriptural interpretation, then there must also be the right TO marry someone in your church if your denomination has a different interpretation. Freedom cuts both ways.

    1. Martin Lawrence 30 Sep 2011, 3:57pm

      Quite. The Law in Scotland is currently exactly that on heterosexual marriages: subject to the discipline of your particular Church, a minister may marry, but does not HAVE to marry, any couple, provided the Registrar has supplied the appropriate paperwork.

  6. How about this – the removal of ALL legal recognition of religious marriages,.

    Do as they do in France and the Netherlands – offer no legal recognition to any religious marriages. Legal marriages are held in the town hall. And those of a cult persuasion can follow through with a non-legal religious service if they wish.

    I want these tiny little churches to stop with whatever campaign they are engaged in. Regardless of their intentions what they are effectively doing is ensuring that cults get a say in our secular democracy.

    I do not want the catholics or the protestans or the muslims or the jews to be involved in setting our laws.

    Andf I do not want cult members acting on behalf of their undemocratic cults and trying to impose their world view on the rest of us.

    Religion is dying – church attendance is at a record low.
    Anybody with an ounce of common sense or anyone who supports democracy should be celebrating this.
    Religion is at its core a divisive, hateful and undemocratic

    1. Just to clarify when I say ‘I do not want the catholics or the protestans or the muslims or the jews to be involved in setting our laws.’

      INdividual catholics and muslims and jews should have the same rights as other people tio be involved in our political system.

      But when they try to impose their cult’s teaching on all of society – that is when they start to undermine democracy and foment hatred and division.

      1. Righteously said, David. you are more egalitarian than the opposition.

      2. The thing is when you prohibit an organisation (whether religious or otherwise) from participation in democratic consultations by government – how do you decide which are acceptable organisations to use and which which are not without discriminating unfairly against one or more of them.

        For example, I am a health professional, I am a member of a regulatory body, I am a member of a professional council, I am employed by several health care organisations … I could contribute to a consultation on health care either as an individual, or as a representative of one, some or all of these organisations (in separate contributions I would suggest). All are valid.

        If a religious organisation has what they pertain to be relevant commentary to make in a consultation and we welcome organisations making contributions to consultations – should they not be permitted to have their voice heard, provided they exercise honesty and responsibility in their contributions?

        1. as an ex catholic I can say from experience, the Roman Catholic Church(RCC) rarely exhibits common sense nor are they honest or responsible. I study religion and it is clear to me that the Anglican Church is also not to be trusted to have the best interests of people they do not approve of, in mind.
          There are good people in both of these organizations. But the political hierarchy is simply to autocratic, because they believe in the infallibility of their little book. And Frankly, what is happening in Africa with the AC is appalling.

        2. A health professional is a professional in his/her field so is an appropriate person to be on a regulatory body.

          A cult is certainly not qualified to talk about laws or democracy. Its field of expertise lies in ‘god’.

          It is not a valid comparison

          1. @David

            You misunderstand my comparison. I was in no way suggesting that a health professional should not be on a regulatory body. I was trying to say that I can give my own opinion as an individual, I can give my employers opinion, my professional bodies opinion, my regulatory bodies opinion etc etc to a government consultation on a health specific matter. All these opinions may be slightly different in emphasis etc and all are relevant.

            In issues where religious organisations already have some input, then surely it is churlish not to expect individuals of faith, faith based organisations and quasi religious organisations to have an opinion to offer. You, personally, may not value their input and may indeed disagree with some or all of it, but nonetheless they have an opinion, the government are seeking opinions and they should be permitted to express their views. That does not mean their views will definitely influence the outcome – but they will be unable to say they were ..

          2. … not heard.

            Gagging opinion we do not feel comfortable in accepting or listening to or disagree with is an antipathy to democracy.

    2. I kinnda agree..

      It’s confusing…there’s seems to be a few campaigns going on at the same time…

      The PT one, where he’s banging on about straight CPs and his legal campaign even though no-one knows what kind of partnerships scheme is a good alternative to marriage ….

      Religious CPs or religious marriages or both or none…heavens knows what the intention is and is complete mess and holds up everything and could be discussed at a later date after civil marriage!

      Civil marriages ie what the majority of lgbt people want and has absolutely nothing to do with any religious faiths and should be gotton on with immediately and yes it’s nice to have support from liberal faiths and shows a different view to some of us on religion….BUT the stakeholders” on this one is US only!!

      1. Tim Hopkins 29 Sep 2011, 1:55pm

        Remember that this news report is about Scotland. In Scotland all the organisations working on this are united that same sex marriage should be introduced, and that religious and humanist bodies that want to should be able to solemnise them just as they do mixed sex marriages. And that civil partnership should be opened up to mixed sex couples.

        To me, the argument “Let’s forget about religious same sex marriage because the majority of people want a civil one” is no different in type from “Let’s forget about same sex marriage because the majority of people want mixed sex ones”.

        And of course your “US” includes lots of LGBT people of faith, including a number of the faith reps at the press event yesterday.

        Equality is exactly that, and if religious bodies and humanists can do mixed sex marriages, they should be able to do same sex ones also.

        1. Yes I agree we should be allowed to marry our partner and not be restircted to civil ones only. That’s what straight couples have and there shouldn’t be a difference. But in Eng and Wales we haven’t been promised that. Religious marriages are nowhere on the agenda, only religious CPs. Why Lynne Featherstone has decideson that , time restriction or that’s the only thing the lib dems think they can get anway with, who knows. But if that is the decision then the stakeholders are the majority of LGBT people and NOT religious orgs and unfortuntely not religious gay people .. One liners from the equalities office saying that the consultation will be shaped in part by religious orgs is confusing when they don’t have a part in civil marriage. What in Eng and Wales is going on? Scotland seems to have sorted itself out but down here we seem to be shifting goal posts season by season…..sorry to vent my frustration on what is happenning down here on what is a Scottish story….

    3. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:35pm

      Trouble with altering how marriage is now is that is will do us harm because it will be seen as changing for us as a community not for the common good.

      Good idea, though personally I’d prefer to have it equally as it is, no arguements.

      However still got to say glad these group are supporting and helping the fight but still the arguement remains… what has civil marriage go to do with religion?

      When will the bigots stop hijacking, the selfish single minded……(please use word of your own choice!!)

  7. The make-up of modern Britain: 70% of us claim to be Christians… and only 1.5% are gay

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 29 Sep 2011, 1:20pm

      What do you expect from the Daily Wail.

      Of course, the usual bigoted commentators are typing away apoplectic at the gall of gays wanting rights.

      We are only 1,5% according to this drivel therefore not worthy of warranting rights.

      1. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:45pm

        It sounds like the Daily Mail giving themselves more justification to carry on being homophobic to me.

        Like they need excuses.

        Clearly reality isn’t a big thing to the Daily Mail and it’s readers.

    2. “only 1.5% are gay”

      Er, you getting your “facts” from the NARTH homepage? You really should make an effort to educate yourself Matthew, your stupidity is truly offensive to normal people.

    3. And where oh where did the Daily Heil get their highly inaccurate figures from?

      How about this …

      Interestingly, another Tory paper, who points out gay population is around 6% (400% more than the Daily Heil claims). I would argue the statistics in the Daily Telegraph report are marginally low. 1.5% from the Daily Heil is inconsistent with all other recent estimations.

      or this:

      Where the BBC statistics demonstrate that 14% of people in England are regular church goers …

      Well, Matthew – don’t think much of your statistics and the ones I have quoted are consistent with many other studies around the same time suggesting yours are rogue statistics (strange you pick those ones, eh …?)

      1. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:42pm

        Yep. Can’t see Daily Mail telling the truth on thesae figures it doesn’t suit their bigotted agenda and people like Melanie Phillips would explode if they had to accept the real figures.

    4. The fact that the Daily Mail is quoting “Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute, only highlights Steve Doughty’s support for, or indirect promotion of the extremist fundamentalist pressure group the “Christian Institute”
      Check their very creative embroidary – so to speak.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 29 Sep 2011, 2:19pm

        I love the way these christian web sites NEVER allow comments on their “stories” published as “fact”.

        Scared of opposing ideas are they?

        1. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:42pm

          I think so…. lol

        2. Exactly
          Or rather, when a group of us from Pinknews began debating in a friendly manner with them on their Face Book. Guess how many of us were removed? . . .
          Which in many ways higlighted how freedom of expression for the Christian Institute equates only to their right to express their hatred of homosexuality, and how no one should hold or express a different opinion

    5. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:37pm


      You keep tellin yourself that darlin!!

      Deluded much?

    6. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:40pm

      I think you can stop reading Daily Mail drivel when you get to the line Modern in the headline.

      Only Very sad individuals believe what they read in the Daily Mail.

    7. @ Mathew. Last time I went to church on a Sunday about 99% of the people were senile pensioners, and the other 1% were on a day out from the local mental asylum. And the congregration constituted 0.00005% of the local community. And there was a 50% chance the priest was a pedophile. And don’t forget that probably 95% of daily mail readers are bigoted right wing conservatives who know little about what what modern day Britain is. I bet if you asked those 70% who you think claim to be christian, 95% of them couldn’t even list what the ten commandments are, and 99% didn’t even know the names of the 12 disciples. So much for your 70% of christians. They don’t even know what their religion stands for.

      1. What were you doing in a church?

        Were you there to admire the architecture or something?

        1. Maybe doing touristy stuff or had been to a wedding or funeral?

    8. The daily mail and their so called Christians followers are probably peeved by the EHRC’s recent submission to the European courts …all in our favour…..I think those 70% Christians should be excluded from the consultation on “civil” marriage, none of their business..not religious and anyway if we did have religious marriages they’d have so many opt outs then why should they care…..

    9. Jock S. Trap 30 Sep 2011, 8:42am

      Predictable as ever Matthew…. Yawn!

  8. jamestoronto 29 Sep 2011, 1:41pm

    I am not certain of the fine points of a religious ceremony in the UK or other European countries but here religious officials (ministers, rabbis, priests etc.) are licensed by the civil authority (provinces) as are several civil officials. In a religious ceremony, the minister, etc uses the phrase “by the authority vested in me by the Province of — I now pronounce you to be (term determined by couple) so that the civil aspect is wrapped up into the religious one. Of course, the couple can have a purely civil ceremony which may be performed by a judge, justice of the peace or a municipal clerk under the authority of a marriage licence. Federal law specifically exempts religious officials from same-sex ceremonies when their church does not approve it. Civil officials however cannot refuse. If they do they lose their licence to perform all marriages.

    The answer is so simple. Civil ceremonies and those ministers who want to, religious ceremonies. Forest for the trees??????

    1. Tim Hopkins 29 Sep 2011, 1:59pm

      Yes, the answer is that simple. This is much how it works in Scotland, except that civil marriages are done by “district registrars” (and they can’t turn people away); while religious marriages are done by “approved celebrants” who are from a wide range of churches and other religious bodies and also from the Humanist Society of Scotland. And they are allowed to turn people away, for reasons of religious compliance including that they are divorced, transsexual, the wrong religion, etc.

    2. In England most ministers of the Church of England, RC church and Methodist church are authorised to register marriages in their church for the purposes of civil registration. Some other denominations eg United Reformed, Baptist etc have some ministers recognised in this way. Many of the newer churches or other faiths require a registrar from the state to be present in order to carry out the civil marriage registration concurrently with the religious ceremony.

      1. jamestoronto 29 Sep 2011, 10:20pm

        @Stu That’s a bit discriminatory on the newer churches don’t you agree? My cynical side tells me it’s just another way for the state to collect another because I’m sure the registrar doesn’t do it for free. It must get crowded around the couple. I am trying to visualise them saying “I do” not once but twice. Interesting info.

        1. @jamestoronto

          I agree there is a severe lack of transparency and there are also questions about the level of training and propriety in terms of the civil marriage and non state registrars

    3. “religious officials (ministers, rabbis, priests etc.) are licensed by the civil authority (provinces) as are several civil officials. ”

      They certainly are.

      And those licenses need to be be removed from them.

      Thanks to the hatreds and bigotries inherent in ALL religions (all religions believe that THEIR version of the fairytale of Moses or Jesus or Mohammed is the correct one and that everyone else is wrong) they quite simply cannot be trusted with this legal power.

      Before someone is allowed to officiate at a legal wedding they should be obliged to state that they will treat everyone equally.

      1. Not all religious groupings have the right to exercise the role of registrar from a civil basis in England.

        I would argue from this context that whilst personally, I do not feel any religious group should have the right to civil marriage registration processes – that the current scenario where some have that right is unfair whichever viewpoint you take on religious groups having this right. If you think they should (then subject to appropriate training) then all should, if not all then none …

        Personally, I think civil marriage should that, not religious – but as said earlier couples may choose to bolt on religious aspects …

        The current state of affairs in unfair to all

  9. Jock S. Trap 29 Sep 2011, 2:25pm

    Excellent, this is what is needed. In with the open minded and out with the closed.

    This is why these groups are Very significant in our fight for marriage Equality.

    1. @Jock S Trap

      I know you kind of got where I was coming from in my concern at LGBT attacks on some people of faith and some faith groups as being counter productive, in comments in the past …

      However, I am very pleased to see some more level headed commentary from others on and off PN with regards the issues of faith and LGBT issues.

      I’m sure the Christian Institute, RC church or some extremist Muslims will disappoint me soon with they vacuous comments … but whilst I will never agree with the theological interpretation of the religious, I do accept that some of the rhetoric on both sides has been ignorant and unhelpful.

      Hopefully, we are beginning to move forward again

      Good issue to debate this one

      1. jamestoronto 29 Sep 2011, 10:14pm

        Sad to say but the latter part of your comment will probably always be true. There’ll always be one or two idiots everywhere one goes. I wish it weren’t true but…

  10. jamestoronto 29 Sep 2011, 10:36pm

    If I understand it correctly, the consultation is to be on the HOW not the IF of same-sex marriage. And if this right, then the organisations opposing same-sex should have almost nothing to say. If the chair does its work according to the parliamentary mandate. Really all they could say is “We oppose this measure therefore we have not one single suggestion to implement it.” If the spokesperson wanders off topic the chair should call him or her to order and insist on getting to the suggestions or sit down. If the mandate is properly adhered to opposing should be finished all in one sitting then the committee could get on to the real briefs of the process not the feasibility of equal marriage.

    1. @ jamestoronto

      The consultation is on the IF, actually. The Scottish Government have said that no decision has been made and won’t be made until the consultation has finished and the responses looked at. They have continually said that they “recognise there are a range of views” on same sex marriage and they want to hear them all before making a decision on whether to proceed with it, although they do say they are “tended towards same sex marrige.” But I’d like to know what happens if the responses to the consultation are overwhelming against same sex marriage? It wouldn’t be hard for the catholic church, for example, to run a campaign getting people to respond to the consultation. Would the Scottish Government just drop the issue in that case and not take it any further?

  11. Set the gay people free, free to get married and have an equal life, like that of any other person.

  12. You dont allow hate groups to tell you who to be nice to and not be nice , you be upstanding honorable, human rights people , and treat other fair and right, you seperate yourselves from hate ministries and place your own ministries under churches of love and kindness, and continue to marry all those adults who love each other the same heteros and gay marrages, real love, you dont let others tell you to mistreat others , get a gay lawyer and a human rights lawyer and the aclu, and you get them out of your inidvidual rights, do as the epistoclses did that seperated their churches from the hate churches and or marrying gay couple and ordaining gay ministers and so are several other religious organinzations , a presberterian church just started, there are other churches seperated from the so called main district occults , you do the same and continue to walk in love and fairness, they the biggots are the evil and false churches of hate and satan , it does not take a brain scientist

  13. Glad to see that Pagan representatives were also involved in this meeting!! Some used to use the excuse that Marriege was for men & Women to marry because marriage was for continuing the line of the family! Well we can still do that!! Just need to take a slightly different root some times and in ALL truth marriage is NOT just about having children! Marriage is a pledge of love between two people!!!

  14. Being gay/Lesbian/Bisexual had been cursed by all religious. hey are demon/evil/spirit as an animal. Time would proved by its fact.

    God & Religious don’t even care you and willing to punish you instead.

    God may not prevent natural disasters, everything is subject to the fall of humanity into ‘sinful that effects on everythings’ for ex: disasters, disease, resources limited, crisis & suffering as universe by against the laws of nature (Genesis 1:1). Revenge of God, Kingdom of Heavens & Mother of the Earth is ‘JUST STARTING’ God killed millions in the bible…..allowed almost every loss possible on this earth for ex: Job, Status, Sick, Deep grief, AIDS/HIV, Horrible, Loneliness, A Catastrophe Ballet. Let’s Keep praying and let’s see how that goes…Hurting was to realize what’s coming. ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’ (by the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!!)

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