In one sense this is progress …
In another, Peter Tatchell is entirely correct that it is odd that the government is amending regulations to permit religious CPs for those denominations that wish to engage with them but still saying that same sex marriage will not have any religious content …
Seems a strange contradictory message that ministers are giving
It makes no sense at all, it is clearly a sop to anti-gay religious bigots and can be for no other reason.
The fact you use the language “and can be for no other reason” suggests strongly you are being blinkered …
I find it odd that there will be the ability to CPs in religious buildings but, the impression I have of the marriage consultation suggests, there will be no same sex marriages in religious buildings …
Clearly there are some religious groupings who want to be able to marry same sex couples, and some who have yet to determine if they will or will not, and others who choose not to …
In order to facilitate the marriage of all LGBT couples in a manner that is acceptable to all of those couples, then some same sex marriages will requires a religious component at some point …
I specifically said “a sop to religious bigots”, that doesn’t refer to inclusive churches.
I don’t know if that is what you meant but heyho!
That was what I meant …
I was just can perceive that without clarity the use of “religious bigots” can be seen to relate to ANYONE religious …
Actually I said anti-gay religiouis bigots, I couldn’t be much clearer nor more spoecific than that Stu.
Maybe not …
There is however, a tendency on the comments on PN to regard all who are religious as anti-gay bigots …
Can we stop pandering to what bloody religions want? Is the the UK or Iran? I am fine with not obliging religious bodies to perform a ceremony or allow the use of their premises (although I laugh at the CoE, who were happy to take my openly atheist brothers and his 7h Day Adventist bride to bes money because the couple wanted pretty wedding photos and the church wanted the cash) but they have no right or authority to shove their dogmatic drivel down my throat and limit my rights because of it.
Hear, hear …
Couldn’t agree more! Thankfully as a pagan I have no need of ANY church to marry my partner…if and when that happens!
As always it is double standars with the church
Call it pandering if you want – but my pandering is not to religion but to those gay people who are religious – thats who rights I wish to uphold …
Interesting that you mention the UK and Iran, Valsky. I believe that those two countries are the only ones in the world whi have unelected clerics sitting in their legislatures.
Now that is something that needs to change … there is no place for clerics in parliament (unless they have stood and been voted in by free legitimate vote) …
Two other countries with clerics in their parliament are Uganda and Somalia, but that to me reinforces the need to reform our parliamentary system to exclude unelected bishops. Perhaps one route would be an entirely elected second chamber?
Agree with you 100% on an elected 2nd house, Stu. Then if clerics sit, fine, because we elected them. And we could replace them if they didn’t deliver what they promised when they wanted our votes.
Absolutely, completely elected – and as you say if a cleric wishes to sit then they should have the opportunity to stand in an election.
Is my history correct in thinking Henry VIII brought the bishops into the Lords to enable him to pass laws enabling him to execute his wives?
If I am correct, all the more reason to try and improve the level of scrutiny we have in those legislating on our behalf.
Oh wow, look at that, the usual nonsense about clerics in their legislatures. Pathitic to see that there are no new ideas these days. Care to explain why having unelected clerics is an issue? Care to explain why it’s any worse than having unelected politicians full stop? Care to look at the British Constitution (without the tiresome puerile comment of ‘Britain doesn’t have a written constitution, use some brains) and understand the nature of the established church.
Calm down, dear …
If you read the comments, you will see that it is suggested that there is an entirely elected second chamber …
I would not disagree with a written consitution or bill of rights …
As for why clerics are worse … worse may be a bad choice of adjective … but why they are more symbolically significant is that legislators should be blind to orientation, gender, race, faith etc etc – they should act with impartiality on all legislative issues – clerics may be able to do that, but there is a perception that they can not be completely impartial on issues of orientation or faith, and for me that is worsened by them not being elected … By removing unelected clerics we remove one form of ambiguity as to potential bias in the second chamber …. preferably I would prefer all members of the second chamber to be elected …
Wait until we get civil marriage equality and the state cult sees that the much needed revenue it needs to keep it running is going to those denominations who support us, you’ll see them do an about turn.
For f*** sake.
This news is really very, very minor.
Only tiny little churches like Unitarianism, reform Judaism and Quakerism get any benefit.
the 3 bug churches – catholic, c of E and Islam remain as bigotted as ever.
In usual moronic fashion Ben Nokill of Stonewall acts as if this piece of crap legislation is major progress.
We are still 2nd class citizens denied access to civil marriage simply because we are gay.
And most churches remain as poisonously, hatefully bigotted as they always do.
Civil marriage equality is the ONLY thing that should be under discussion,.
And there is no need for a consultation on it. It needs to be enacted by the end of 2012.
The government is acting as if this borderline useless development is amazing progess. It’s not. It’s a worthless scrap designed to shut us up.
Dude, I hate religion of all varieties, but to Unitarians, reform Jews and Quakers this does matter.
And in theory a rebel vicar/priest/imam/purveyor of fairytales could apply for permission. The heads of these religions can say what they want but there are always people who will do their own thing regardless of doctrine.
Unitarians, reform Jews and Quakers are very low in numbers. aren’t they?
I don’t see why equal civil marriage legislation was not immediately introduced. This would by default solve the issues of these minor cults being allowed to offer marriage if they felt like it.
For the vast majoroty of LGBT people (and also the vast majority of religious LGBT people) this latest change will have absolutely no impact whatsoever.
Yet the completely irrelevant Stonewall and its homophobic leader Ben Summer(No)Skill acts, as well as the government is pretending that this is major progress.
Iti s not – we are still 2nd class citizens.
We have very few people in the UK who are Chinese (less than 0.4% of the population according to 2001 census).
Because there are not many of them, perhaps we should forget their human rights and that they don’t deserve to be treated fairly?
Now, to be such an argument is reprehensible – although it appears to be the same logic you are using regarding Lutherans, Quakers, reform Jews etc – there aren’t many of them – they don’t really matter …
That is the entire point of equality and fairness – all minorities matter, be they Chinese ethnicity people or Quakers …
Religious marriage is not a human right. Nor is it a civil right.
Civil marriage is a civil right alreadty enjoyed by the Chinese population pf Britain.
And I sincerely hope you are not equating freely chosen, voluntary, learned beliefs with race.
Just perusing the UN Universal declaration of human rights, I would contend all the following articles appply to ensuring equal and fair treatment in terms of marriage:
Article 1 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2 – Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article 7 – All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration
Article 16 – (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a …
… a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
Article 18 – Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
I tend to regard the universal declaration of human rights and the ECHR as being good indicators of how human rights should be regarded and they given respect to those who follow a religion … I tend not to score which equality is more important than another – as that leads to other forms of prejudice and bigotry – I try to respect everyones rights (provided they exercise them with responsibility and awareness of the impact they may have on others and try not to damage others rights).
I agree entirely ! Miss Featherstone is playing to her homophobic bosses. Imagine if she was acting like this in relation to any other groups. Can you imagine this approach being played in relation to racial or gender equality? Can you imagine her giving women only half of the right to vote? Or ethnic minorities half the right of everything? The second class status is being institutionally imposed from the very top, from Miss Featherstone herself. Even if she isn’t a homophobe herself, she fears her homophobic bosses and is playing right along with them. She should come straight and emphatically end all distinctions between sexual orientations instead of creating more obstacles to the equality process. These obstacles are designed with only one purpose, to appease the homophobic voters.
I am a Reform Jew. My place of worship is called a Synagogue, not a church. Just wanted to make that point clear.
Quite right, Robbie. More evidence of sloppy reporting by PN. I believe the announcement actually referred to religeous premises, which is more incluseve.
Just a curiosity, anyone heard of any religious organisaton that is not Judeo-Christian that wishes to support same sex marriage or CPs?
I’m pretty sure the Buddhists wouldn’t have a problem with it.
Agreed – this is smoke and mirrors. “Allowing” civil partnerships in religious establishments will change nothing. The CoE, Catholics, etc. will still refuse to perform the ceremonies. The more inclusive religious institutions already provide “blessings” for same sex relationships. This is a deception designed to make us think we’re moving towards our goal of equality when in reality is it nothing of the sort.
By the way Ben NoSkill of Stonewall has not announced how his group is campaigning for civil marriagwe equality.
Seeing as he was caught red-handed engaging in a homophobic campaign against equality, his point blank refusal to answer questions about his bigotry means that he should be sacked as head of Stonewall with immediatel effect.
I’m probably being incredibly dense, but isn’t Peter Tatchell’s point moot?
Gay marriage isn’t allowed full stop at the moment so whether religious gay marriage can exist is a nonsense, they can’t exist but that’s because gay marriage doesn’t exist.
In just a few short years we’ve gone from no formal state recognition of same-sex relationships to having civil partnerships, to soon having the right to have a civil partnership within religious buildings, soon “proper” marriage will be an option.
It’s probably just a matter of time before the same religions who lobbied to be allowed to perform CPs start kicking off wanting to perform same sex marriages and then provisions will be put in place on an “opt-in” basis.
But the church can refuse to marry a straight couple so as long as they can refuse to marry a gay couple they’ll be happy.
Your last sentence does not make sense.
Actually it does make sense now I’ve read it again, but some punctuation would have helped! But you’re not quite right. There is one church in the UK that cannot refuse to marry an opposite sex couple. The Church of England must marry any couple in their local church – that is any church to which at least one member of the couple has a qualifying connection. And this same church has stated that it will NOT marry any sex couples at its premises, when same sex marriage is legalised. Cake, eat.
…. any same sex couples ….
Not entirely the case – there are some exceptions, although for the most part provided the marriage is legal and at least one of the couple resides in the parish of the church concerned or is on the church electoral roll then the marriage should be conducted either by Banns being read on 3 occasions prior to the marriage or by issue of a special licence.
However, divorced people (particularly where their ex partner is still alive) may have problems. It is not a requirement for the church to marry them and Peterborough diocese recommends that a bishop (not local vicar) should decide whether this marriage would be conducted in the church.
None of this, however, gives any reason why the church should not marry a same sex couple where there was no legal reason a civil wedding could not occur.
I think Peter Tatchell is referring to next years proposed consultation on same sex civil marriage equality, the government has already stressed that same sex religious marriages will not be part of that consultation.
This does seem rather disingenuous and certainly inconsistent with the Governments present crowing over religious civil partnerships due to be introduced end of December, the religious freedoms for individuals and churches that it claims will be honored by this move.
I do agree that there needs to be some clarity brought to this by the government
I do not see that there is going to be a requirement to perform CPs in a religious building – it will be a “opt in” process, if that is feasible (in the governments eyes) as a workable option, then surely it could work with same sex marriage?
Excuse me but what is talk about Religious Gay Marriages? Are we going mad. Here in Malta, we are fighting for Civil Gay Marriages because we do not believe in our Catholic Church. We are citizens of the Maltese Nation and not the Catholic Church. It is sheer madness to involve religion. If ever the Church in Malta will allow Gay Marriage, I will be the first one to say a big NO THANK YOU. I DO NOT NEED YOUR BLESSING.
Agreed – civil marriage has NOTHING to do with religion.
And religious LGBT people, and athesit LGBT people are not allowed to access the legal contract of civil marriage simply because we are LGBT.
This is grotesquely offensive.
Thats fine for you, but what about gay Christians who want a church marriage …
Its not how I would structure marriage out of choice – but if we are going to let opposite sex couples marry in church, perhaps we should let same sex couples do so, if they would find some value in it
Hold on here. Why is getting married in the Church so important? Many a straight couple have run off and been “married” by a Justice of the Peace in a civil ceremony.
What’s important is that the laws and rights given to straight couples also apply to same sex couples. What I mean is dealing with issues such as when a partner is in the hospital, when they have children and estate issues, just to name a few.
This development is incredibly minor. We are being thrown worthless scraps to take attention away from the fact that we are 2nd class citizens with 2nd class legal recognition of our relationships.
what’s the fuss – it’s not compulsory yet!
It will never be compulsory. Religious cults have always discriminated and will continue to do so.
That’s good, that it will be never be forced on people to do it. now we just need this to over-lap into business, hotels etc.
I’m pleased to say that Peter and Hazelmarys appeals is next week! :D
Would you tolerate a B&B putting up a sign saying “no blacks welcome”?
If not, why on earth should a business be able to be prejudiced about the orientation of their clientelle
Why should there be opt outs from the equality act?
You live in the dark ages and thankfully your anachronistic views are dying
Tatchell is quite right. These churches are performing same sex marriages already! The issue at stake here is that the straight marriages get legal recognition while the same sex ones do not. This is a blatant inequality and needs to be changed.
Religious gay people don’t want civil partnerships- they want church marriages. And yes they do get church marriages now, but with no legal standing or recognition. When it comes to crunch time on issues like hospital rights, inheritance etc they have nothing unless they do a civil partnership.
It makes no sense to allow same sex marriage from 2013 if it is only a partial form of marriage equality- equality for atheists but not for gay people who go to church!
To make it worse the Scottish government plans to allow full marriage equality, including church weddings, so religious gay couples will have to head north to Gretna Green for their nuptials. Please let’s not allow such silliness to happen. Full equality and nothing else!
Thank you for saying that so well. Equality for atheists but not for people who worship. All or nothing. It only works if Equal = Equal
Absolutely it must be complete equality for all same and opposite sex partners, regardless of belief systems that they follow – or don’t follow …
Its true isn’t it? Apparently only those Christians with fundamentalist views are entitled to freedom. Everybody else’s freedom is apparently subordinate to theirs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes it seems that way, certainly many of them they do not recognise that gay and lesbian people can have religious beliefs let alone religious rights and freedoms.
Look at any fundamentalist religion (or even the not-so-fundamentalist ones) and the message throughout history is “compliance or death”. Their aim is to make you think the way they think. If you think differently then they have no use for you and would rather see you dead or enslaved. The bleating about “religious freedom” are nothing to do with freedom, but about religious privilege.
Miss Featherstone needs to cancel the useless consultation process. She is paid to plan and implement the equality process. Can anyone imagine her consulting racists on how to implement racial equality? That’s exactly what she is doing to sexual orientation.
Whilst I agree that the consultation was probably unnecessary, particularly as the government has already decided there should be marriage available for same sex couples …
I do wonder if better law might be written by identifying all the legal issues that can leave loopholes and grey ness in advance. IT might be a beneficial side of consultation
If you don’t want loopholes, start demanding miss Featherstone to drop the useless consultation immediately. The initial approach already has an immense religious loophole because she herself decided to include it in. We’ve got enough knowledge to write the best possible piece of legislation a thousand times over, if she doesn’t know how to do it, perhaps she shouldn’t be doing her job. She could come up with some plans by the end of this month. Then she’d need to present them to everybody, amend the text if necessary, and in two or three months time she’d have the best possible legislation, only waiting for her boss to sign it. Instead they both are wasting everybody’s most precious time and money in an totally unnecessary consultation process which will consider the views of anti-gay organisations. If she really wanted to implement sexual orientation equality, she couldn’t be farther from making it a reality.
I do get where you are coming from, but some of the best legislation that we have has been formulated out of considered consultation – because it preempted issues that occurred later and avoided the need for clarifying or tightening legislation.
Morally, there is no need for a consultation (in myview), practically it may be helpful …
Here is a religious leader who has news of inequality, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUzWq7FRZ_s&feature=related
Marriage for everyone needs the support of the government. The government however should not be forcing any religion to hold marriage cermonies in their churches if they for religious faith reasons do not wish to do so.
The rights we as gay people have won must not force others to alter their religious beliefs to accommodate us.
To this point it is easy for gay rights groups to get Church Of England on side but not likely with the Catholic Church.
Strange that all the arguments never ever mention the group that we dare not discuss Muslims.
I hear no argument from any group whatesoever trying to get Immans or mosques to facilitate gay marriage. Why Not?
Clearly muslims will state their religious beliefs do not allow it. Christian churches say the same so why are we insising on browbeating christian churches but leaving muslims out of the arguments.
I fear we are undoing a lot of hard fough achievements won in the last twenty years on a divisive issue that we are debating now.
We’re debating equality, and we shouldn’t stop until we get it.
Absolutely, we need full and true equality where everyone is treated with the same respect and value as another – that does not necessarily identically treated or one homogenous answer, but the value and respect is comparable.
It may be that we have to keep taking steps towards equality, and we should welcome the progress that is made each time it happens – but maintain the pressure and argument for equality.
We should also remember that every right we gain brings with it responsibilities and we need to remember that by exercising some rights we infringe other peoples rights.
We need wisdom to chart our course through this journey to equality. We will make mistakes but the goal is something to be treasured.
Bear in mind that when slavery was being abolished, many of the “owners” screamed that their “rights” were being trampled on.
It all depends on your point of view, as Obi-Wan would say.
You certainly could argue it that way …
But at the time that slavery was being abolished we neither had a universal declaration of human rights, ECHR etc etc to use as a landmark of how to test legislation …. we do not …
All international landmarks on human rights including treating all people fairly and comparably and freedom of religion, is there whether we like it or not …We sign up to international obligations and expect others to abide by them – we can not pick and choose which clauses we will abide by and which we will not … We need to test all our legislation against a backdrop of internationally respected human rights declarations.8
I agree. We should also be critcizing Islam. Afterall, hey are the most homophobic out of all the worlds major religions.
Yes, we should also be criticising Islam for it’s homophobia. No, they are not the “most” homophobic of the world’s major religions – the message coming out of the Vatican and Evangelical right demonstrates that Islam has no monopoly (or even leading position) on homophobia.
Look, if the CoE or the Catholics think one is evil, one stops attending their services, stops giving them money, and starts pointing out that they’re being jerks. One does not try to use the legislature to force priests to perform weddings they do not believe in. The proposed bill goes exactly far enough.
It’s not like being refused bread or accommodation for being gay – their particular brand of marriage is not a product to be bought. If they don’t want you, why do you want them?
“It’s not like being refused bread or accommodation for being gay”. What planet are you on? Haven’t you been paying attention.
From the outside it is beginning to look like the UK is deliberately trying to muddy the waters with all these new announcements and proposals for England and Wales. The Scottish government’s proposal seems clear and concise. England and Wales look like they are heading towards such a mish-mash of marriage/civil union laws that the average person is going to ned to consult an attorney to figure things out. A clear, precise goal on the government’s part is what is needed. Just an observation.
Absolutely, jamestoronto, well observed. What’s needed is quite simple; forget civil partnerships, just make marriage gender neutral. Then whatever rights are open to Sue and Steve, such as the right to inherit from each other with tax if they get married, or the right to get married in their local Anglican Parish Church, then exactly the same rights would be open to Jeremy and Peter.
I empathize with your views on scrapping CPs to genuinely ensure parity and equality
I do recognise that some gay couples in CPs wish to retain CPs (I know they are a minority …). I also have seen a small number of opposite sex couples would also welcome heterosexual CPs.
That makes me hesitant about scrapping CPs in their entirity
If the UK govt is not bringing in CP equality then I can’t see how straight people are not going to scream out discrimination and inequality. Once we have SS marriage then I can’t see how the UK can continue to offer CPs to gays and not straights. The only scenario that I can see with the current offer by the govt is to allow existing CPs to be still valid and fade out and not to offer any new ones in future. CPs are not an alternative to marriage, they are labour’s attempt at gay marriage. Full rights and obligations of marrigae but not the name. This isn’t how straight/gay partnerships laws generally work in other countries, they’re usually contracts not a pooling of resources like marriage.
I entirely agree, if CPs are maintained (which some people want) then they must be open to single and opposite sex couples equally
There was a half-hearted attempt to bring in civil unions/partnerships here but they never went anywhere. Because they are civil contracts they constitutionally fall within provincial jurisdiction. One province Québec still has civil unions but – get this guys – it is mostly used by straights. The two other provinces that came along with this legislation, Alberta (the “deep south” of Canada) and Nova Scotia still have it on the books but they are largely gathering much-deserved dust. The equal marriage law was passed negating the need for any further nonsense in this area. The lesson of history here, civil unions will die a natural death once equal marriage is enacted. I’m sure of it.
I agree, Religious civil partnership won’t solve the ban on same sex civil and religious Marriage. We need full marriage equality.
Real equality ensures that everyone is treated with equal value in the eyes of the law, and by all organisations etc etc
Peter Thatchel has summed it up for me. He is completely correct on this one. No-one wants to do a secular registration of a CP in a religious buikding anyway , all these religious org have stated they want to do marriages. Scrap CPs and bring in full marriage equality and stop talking about civil marriages. This isn’t eqaulity and I suspect wouldn’t be legal as well to only offer one type of marriage to gays. It’s daft, all the work has been done already in religious CP ,just aopt the same principles for religious marriages. I suspect it would be a legal minefield to exclude religious marriages for gays whilst offering them only civil ones only.
“scrap CPs and bring in full marriage equality”. Thanks, John. I thought I was alone!
Ben Summerskill’s comments relate to a time before marriage equality was not supported by Stonewall and to a time when labour had ruled out marriage for gays. Time has moved on, we are now in a marriage equality scenario for gays and Ston ewall needs to throw themselves into that and all that energy that they say they put into religious CPs need to be put into full marriage equality with straights and that includes religious ones. Civl marriage only is NOT equality and to exclude religious ones should NOT be done by the govt. This is church law being imposed on the public by the govt. The govt should absolutely not impose the Church’s law (ie CofE) on us and likewise the govt should not impose thel aw on any church. .
If we don’t include religious marriage then you might as well throw away the term marriage equality and simply use the term gay marriage becuase it would seem that marriage means a different thing to gays than straights…..
You’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s equality or nothing.
Absolutely full equality is imperative …
Making stepping stones towards it sometimes is a useful process to go through … but I think its time for full equality now
Well, the important fact is that will be approved the marriage (unless it may be only civil), it gives rights, name, and same status of citizen as all.
The religions is a “exclusive club”, that is governed by the rage, in this case rage to homosexuals, if they don’t want conciliate, and want exclude their own members, it’s their problem.
They don’t want to do this? ok, is their decision, the wrong (in the world have homosexuals that follow religions, the problem is the direction of the religions…)
In the future they will make a rectification, when they will see his fault (or not, XDD)
We have equality in terms of rights as CPs. That’s not the issue in the UK. The issue is the fact that we can not get married becuase we are still classed by some as 2nd class citizens and CPs allow us to be the same but different in some way and by default inferior. The UK has religious marriages and civil , offering one only is discrimination and we;re back again as second class citizens. No law in the UK will force churches to do gay weddings, This new change to religious CP proves that. So why not adopt the same principles and give us marriage equality.