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Call for congregations to reject Church ban as religious civil partnerships come into effect

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  1. Absolutely endorse Peters position that individual churches, priests etc should follow their conscience and reject the stance taken by the Church of England and show humanity and encouragement to those LGBT people who seek a religious element to their CP (or marriage – when the law is changed).

  2. Since this lot always claim that God’s law trumps human law perhaps the tiny minority of them who actually think that their God permits sanctified gay relationships perhaps they might defy Lambeth and hold the blessings anyway?

    Will there be any?

    I doubt it.

  3. I want marriage not a business partnership.

    And yes, independent priests/vicars etc should have the choice to host same-sex marriages, not be forced by the “leader” of their beliefs to tell them otherwise!

  4. Peter & Michael 5 Dec 2011, 4:30pm

    As we understand the situation, most of us whom pay council tax, also, have a parish tax precept to pay also. The parish tax goes to the c of e to pay for parish councils and any excess is paid to the c of e. Our question is, if the law stating goods and services cannot be denied to LGBT people, why can the c of e discriminate in this way. Surely, it is up to a parish council to decide to enact Same-Sex marriage in their church and those that don’t will be at odds with the Equality law regarding goods and services. Anyway, for those that are religious ‘what would jesus do’.

    1. Its a misnomer that parish councils are anything to do with the Church of England …

      Parish Councils are for civil parishes and not linked to the Church of England in any way (see

      The Parish Councils of the Church of England are usually referred to as Parochial Church Councils

  5. “Bible is no guide in the gay marriage debate”
    “The Kirk’s claim (your reports) that the Bible “promoted” (sic, doesn’t it still do so?) heterosexual marriage is both naive and irrelevant. The arcane marriage rules of the ancient Jews are hardly relevant to modern Christians; do men still marry their dead brother’s widow?
    More relevant would be Jesus’s own teaching, but unfortunately he was rather vague on the subject. There is no evidence he himself was married (unusual in itself) or that he encouraged marriage. Indeed, questioned by priests on the matter, he appeared to suggest that marriage was irrelevant in the face of resurrection.”

  6. (Cont’d from above)
    The reason for this attitude was his expectation that the world was about to be turned upside down by the appearance of the kingdom of god, a belief continued by St Paul.
    Consequently, an appeal to the Bible is no guide at all to this dispute over homosexual marriage.If the Kirk still believes in the coming kingdom, why is it bothered about people’s sexuality?
    Steuart Campbell

  7. Ooer missus 5 Dec 2011, 6:56pm

    Perhaps a win-win solution would be for all the gay Christians to decamp to the quakers or Unitarians who have
    long been accepting of gay people and are keen to host ceremonies for us, either marriage or CP.

    It’s clear that the Anglicans at the top prefer to bow to intolerance than to stand up for their gay members.

    1. as long as they aren’t bullied by the big boys and are allowed to do what they want…the church of Scotland has rejected the opt out religious CPs legislation in their consultation response despite the fact they have the opt out, is that fair to impose their views on the Quakers…In any case, Quakers want to do marriage and not CPs. Again more bullying from the big boys. No point decamping to a nicer denomination if the big boys are still going to impose their values on them.

      I see anglican mainstream are ecouraging eveyone to scupper this change by asking people to write to the house of lords

      1. Total fear mongering and use of the old “slippery slope” fallacy by Anglican fundamentalists, as well as reversal of the real religious liberty, that of some denominations that want their members to have this choice. Hopefully the Lords will see through their efforts to impose their religious views on everyone.

      2. Unitarians want to do full same-sex marriage as well.


  8. What has suddenly happened to all the bleating of Christians, including former Archbishop Carey, about being permitted to manifest their religious conscience now?

    As far as the CofE goes why cannot individual priests and their congregations be permitted the right to manifest their religious conscience on whether or not to provide civil partnerships in the parish church.

    Must one’s religious conscience once inside a totalitarian style religious institution magically vanish, only to be conveniently pulled out of the magician’s hat to be used against officially sanctioned popular targets like LGBT’s , women who wish to regulate their reproductive capacity, also to be conveniently used against effective factual sex education in schools.

    No religious conscience is to be permitted within the CofE regarding religious civil partnerships, how’s that for complete hypocrisy.

  9. CP are still secular, clergy can’t perform CPs that still going to be done by a non religious registrar…you’d have to convince the council to issue a licence and a registrar to attend the church to do the rego…Clergy can still defy the Synod by hoding marriage cermonies for gays!

  10. I think we’ve all forgotton what this change is, it’s not a religious CP, it’s simply the registration of a secular CP in a religious premise and the registration is still done by a registrar who is not a minister and the council has to ok the the building for a licence. The ceremony happens before or after the registration. There is no CP ceremony, there’s a marriage ceremony which is completely seperate to the CP registration.

    What is PT asking the clergy to do exactly, mimic signing a CP certificate which won’t be valid becuase no religious minister can ever do the CP registration

    The only question I’m not sure of is whether Quakers , who don’t have clergy or minsters, will be able to allow their clerks to do the CP registration as well as the ceremony.

    1. You are right that this is about CP’s in religious premises only though they have been popularly referred to as religious CP’s.
      All this measure has allowed is a very slightly wider choice of venue for CP’s to take place, so few religious establishments officially appear willing to provide this service to same sex couples it will make slim difference.

      1. exactly and the regs do not allow ministers to perform CP registrations, that has to be done by a registrar. It’s no point urging CofE clergy to defy the Synod, it would have be the coucil defy the regs and giving out a licenece without the approval of the synod and getting a non minster registrar to go to an unlicenced building. They tied up the regs so that the clergy can’t do anything, it’s entirely up to the council and registrar!!!!!!

        1. Actually the same applies to opposite-sex marriages – it is the registrar that does the legal bit and the nminister that does the spiritual bit.

  11. I only support the idea of priests carrying out these CP’s in theirn buildings because I know it will cause damage to the cult of England, and division among its bigotted followers; and anything that damages that cult (our offiicial state cult no less) is better for society.

    Allowing CP’s to be held in cult buildings is a meaningless scrap, which will effect a tiny number of LGBT people. It’s been dreamed up to divert attention from the fact that same sex couples are denied access to civil marriage because they are gay.

    And the government’s plan to introduce equality by 2015 is simply not good enough.

    Marriage equality would be a reality by summer 2012 if the will existed.

    I suspect the 2015 date has been conjured up as it’s the very last moment of the government’s life and I predict that come the next election Callmedave will be spouting lies about how he didn’t have time (meaning he never really supported it).

    1. I wouldn’t mind betting the consultation scheduled for March 2012 will face yet another delay. I found it strange that NO explanation was given for the change of date.

    2. No, it has not been “dreamed up to divert attention from the fact that same sex couples are denied access to civil marriage because they are gay.”

      It has been campaigned for by religious organisations that want to do religious civil partnerships (and would rather do same-sex marriages but this is a stepping stone towards that). It has not been handed down from on high, it has been canmpaigned for by the grass roots.

      But let’s keep campaigning for full marriage equality (without letting it distract us from other LGBT rights issues such as homophobic bullying).

  12. This entire issue is futile and pointless. Why is it heterosexuals aren’t accorded the same rights when they have a civil marriage? Makes no sense, in fact it discriminates against them by allowing only gay couples to have an religious element for their “ceremony” which isn’t a ceremony at all really since there are no vows exchanged and rings aren’t mandatory as they are in a marriage and the law of the land does not recognise them as such, legally or otherwise.

    1. Robert,
      Rings aren’t mandatory in a hetero marriage. “Thou shalt wear a ring when thou gettest married.” Funny, I don’t remember that 11th commandment. It’s similar to the other 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not be Gay.” Twas never thus.
      Rings are a tradition and are there to symbolise the continuing, never-ending nature of a marriage. You most certainly do NOT have to have one.

      I am one of those gay Christian people who want and need a marriage ceremony based on my faith, with promises and vows made before my God that I will remain true and faithful to the one woman I love. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse if some local government lackey says I’m CP’d, I want my vicar to bless my marriage before God and my peers and friends.

      1. Is that really so? I thought that in the Anglican marriage service a ring was essential, for the female partner at least. (Going off at a tangent, sorry.)

        1. I may be wrong, but I think rings are preferred but not essential …

  13. Forgive my ignorance, as the head of the C of E should the Queen not have the final say in the matter of what happens in a C of E church?

    1. The Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England (not head of the church) … that (theoretically at least) is God …

      In the preface to the 39 articles of the Church of England, the supreme governor is referred to in this manner:

      “Being by God’s Ordinance, according to Our just Title, Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church, within these Our Dominions, We hold it most agreeable to this Our Kingly Office, and Our own religious zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to Our Charge, in Unity of true Religion, and in the Bond of Peace … We have therefore, upon mature Deliberation, and with the Advice of so many of Our Bishops as might conveniently be called together, thought fit to make this Declaration following … That We are Supreme Governor of the Church of England …”

      Which, whilst I don’t subscribe to their beliefs, tend to suggest that the Queen does not usurp God and needs to adopt wise counsel from her Bishops …

  14. I can’t help feeling there isn’t really a lot of interest in the gay community on allowing CP’s in religious premises, it’s just not much to be excited about.

    1. Hi Pavlos

      Try telling that to all the LGBT Unitarians, Quakers and Liberal Jews. We’re very excited!

  15. The trouble is that Anglicans value consensus too much.

    Fortunately for any Anglicans wanting religious civil partnerships, Unitarian churches will be available for religious civil partnerships to anyone who wants them (as is also the case with opposite-sex marriages). Unitarians are also campaigning for full marriage equality. See

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