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Higher fees ‘prohibiting civil partnership ceremonies in religious buildings’

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  1. Yet we KEEP being told that marriage and civil partnerships are completely equal and the same thing with a different name (an oxymoron in and of itself).

    1. Well the fact that it’s a different name makes it unequal let alone the 1000+ benefits and the cost of fees for religious buildings

  2. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 3:26pm

    Well, for once the religious establishments cannot be blamed for this.

    This is a blatant and obvious demonstration of the disparity and inequality between Civil partnerships and marriages. Those people that still continue to rant on that we should retain CP’s even if we get same-sex marriage take note: This is the farce you will continue to support. Drop the damn thing and allow all CP’s to be automatically upgraded to marriages AT NO COST. (The government cocked it up by accepting this compromise in the first place, so they should pay to put it right.)

    1. Religions will lose their current right to host same sex unions altogether under the Tory proposals for so called equal marriage.

      1. There is no plan in the current proposals to prevent religious groups from participating in CPs.

        Now, I agree they should be able to host marriages of same sex couples if they wish to do so, but even if that does not happen they will still be able to have religious CPs (as I understand the plans)

        1. Still not EQUAL!

          Why are you still willing to settle?

        2. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 9:23pm

          Yes, but there IS one preventing religious same-sex marriages. They should be left open to religious institutions to decide for themselves. It is not down to governments to impose their will on what churches should and should not do.

          1. johnny33308 16 Apr 2012, 11:37pm

            By the same token, it certainly is not the right of any religion to impose its will upon our Civil Society as the Christofascists and the Islamofascists are trying continuously to do in numerous areas of our lives. Unless they cease doing so, we should FORCE them to bend to our Civil will….if they can do it, so can we…..

  3. Disappointing that the Home Office were too chicken to make a comment. Sure it is a matter for local authorities what they charge but it would not have been too controversial for a Home Office spokesperson to say “Whilst fees charges for licensing of marriages and CPs are a matter for each local authority to determine, it is our opinion that …”

  4. “It says the process of getting a licence for civil partnerships on religious premises and registering to hold a religious marriage are “entirely different, therefore it is not possible to directly compare the two”.

    Why is that? According to almost every anti equal marriage group/person the 2 are one and the same apart from the name. And marriage is only an 8 letter word where civil partnership is 16(17 including the space). So are they charging £170 approx. for each extra letter?

  5. Yet more reason why the equalities fight must continue. It is almost as if becase we are gay and quite often have higher disposable income we are seen as a cash cow! It truly is shameful!

    1. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 9:25pm

      It’s not just gays. They will find any damn way they can to squeeze money out of people until the pips squeak.

  6. It’s ridiculous, it should cost the same amount

    Oh and separate but equal doesn’t work1

    1. work*

    2. “Separate But Equal” is always 100% but about 50% equal (which isn’t equal at all).

      Bottom line, “separate but equal” is ALWAYS separate but NEVER equal whether it be applied to water fountains, buses or marriage rights.

  7. So much for different but equal!

  8. There’s no good reason why councils should charge so much more for a licence to carry out Civil Partnership ceremonies than for one to carry out (straight) marriage ceremonies.

    1. Good is the keyword there >_>

      Homophobes never have a good reason for any of their beliefs, reasons, etc

      1. Greed, homophobia… probably both

  9. ‘Due to the lower administrative burden, registering to perform religious marriages for the first time costs a building in the region of £120.’

    For civil partnerships, local authorities must issue a licence after ensuring adequate fire precautions and health and safety measures for those visiting the venue, which involve site visits and higher costs.

    so what they are saying here is: adequate fire precautions are required for civil partnerships at the cost of £1500 but not needed for preforming religious marriages (costs only £120)

    is it because CP’s are smoking hot?

  10. IMO homophobes are just looking for another way to make life harder for us LGBs

  11. Incredulous 16 Apr 2012, 4:04pm

    So mosques have been applying to host such events?

    1. are you interested in having your cp in mosque?

    2. I doubt it. Islam is way more homophobic than Christianity, which isn’t surprising considering it’s more evil (yes that is possible)!

  12. Same old story…
    Equal of course ….but not quite equal…..
    and people wonder and ask me why we want equality when we have it already ?

    1. Sadly, it’s often gay people who ask why we want equality when we already have it.

  13. This is a strong argument in favour of marriage equality!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Apr 2012, 4:42pm

      Now, more than ever!

  14. George Broadhead 16 Apr 2012, 4:41pm

    Why any self-respecting LGBT person would want to have a ceremony of any sort in a building owned by a homophobic religious institution is beyond me.

    1. de Villiers 16 Apr 2012, 4:46pm

      Life is rarely black or white.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Apr 2012, 4:47pm

      The Quakers, Unitarians, Liberal and Reformed Judaism aren’t homophobic institutions and welcome equal civil marriage, not just CPs. Why should they be discriminated against? Some gays are people of faith and have every right to a religious ceremony if they so choose. I’m an atheist, but think this is grossly unfair and discriminatory. Proof yet again just how unequal CPs are.

      1. George Broadhead 17 Apr 2012, 2:25pm

        I deliberately used the phrase “A building OWNED BY A HOMOPHOBIC RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION” and was referring to Roman Catholic Churches and mosques, for instance.

        I am well aware of the liberal stance of the institutions you mention.

    3. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 9:28pm

      Don’t automatically equate being religious to being homophobic.
      Many people of faith are wholly supportive of same-sex marriage, and LGBT people as a group.

      1. George Broadhead 17 Apr 2012, 2:49pm

        I deliberately used the phrase “A building OWNED BY A HOMOPHOBIC RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION” and was referring to Roman Catholic Churches and mosques, for instance.

        I am well aware that institutions like the Society of Friends, the Unitarian Church, and Liberal and Reformed Judaism are supportive of same-sex marriage and same-sex relationships as are Humanist and secular organisations like the British Humanist Association and the National Secular Society.

    4. That’s just plain nasty and wrong! What’s your agenda, it’s certainly not promoting FULL LGBT equality?

  15. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Apr 2012, 4:41pm

    So much for Ben Bradshaw’s insistence that CPs are equal to marriage, ha ha! The laugh is now on you Bradshaw.

  16. Tim Hopkins 16 Apr 2012, 4:43pm

    I agree! Interesting btw that this story is illustrated with a typically Scots wedding pic, since the “CP on religious premises” law does not apply in Scotland. One reason we’re pushing hard for religious ceremonies to be allowed for same-sex marriage in Scotland by religious groups that want to do them – at the same price as mixed-sex ones of course!

    1. Tim Hopkins 16 Apr 2012, 4:44pm

      Oops I was agreeing with Dromio, 3 above, rather than George or Robert specifically!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Apr 2012, 4:54pm

      I’d noticed that too. Handsome couple though!

    3. Whilst the very handsome couple may be both Scots, they might live in England, Wales or Ireland and be having a CP in kilts due to their heritage

      1. Ben Bradshaw’s Civil Partner wore a kilt af their Scottish ceilidh reception in Herefordshire. I read it in a Daily Mail article at the weekend – one which used Bradshaw’s comments as proof that there is no need for same-sex marriage.

  17. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Apr 2012, 4:53pm

    The C4M gang including Lord Carey et al will be gloating, I’ve no doubt.

  18. Do these costs apply to all venues which want to carry out Civil Partnership ceremonies, such as hotels, resturants and country houses? The article seems to suggest the higher costs only apply to religious venues – or that’s how I read it, anyway.

    1. Well religion is a scam so it’s fitting!

      1. the.kitty.channel 16 Apr 2012, 6:37pm

        Absolutely outrageous. It should be a level playing-field, that’s what ‘equality’ means, innit? In the interim, I agree with (by Spanner1960, although of course having to take the long way round isn’t as romantic. But maybe if enough people did that, then the councils would have to re-think, or is that too optimistic?!

        1. I agree, I think that it should cost the same, even though civil partnerships shouldn’t exist (equal marriage should) and I think that religious people/buildings should be free to marry same sex couples if they want to (or perform civil partnerships for the time being).

          What I was saying is that religion is a scam, so it makes sense why they end up charging more money for same sex civil partnerships than opposite sex marriage (still doesn’t make it right)

  19. Isn’t this differential already illegal under the ‘indirect discrimination’ bit of the equality laws?

    I’m sure it would be if, say, black people had to pay more for an equivalent service !

    About 40 years ago West Indians were charged more for motor insurance. This practice was made illegal, even though the insurance industry said that they had more accidents.

    Seems we still have some catching up to do !

  20. Sadly it becomes totally academic under the Tory plans for so-called equal marriage, as the right for religions to host same sex unions will be lost, when civil partnerships are replaced by civil only marriages.

    1. I suspect that may change.

      Lord Alli has said that when the bill reaches the Lords he will challenge the prohibition on religious organisations performing same sex marriages if they wish to do so.

      1. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 9:31pm

        Oh good. At least somebody sees reason.
        (Take note all those naysayers of the Lords – this is where they come into their own and help democracy)

  21. I simply don’t understand what the difference in administrative “burden” would be. If a venue ticks the boxes for hetero marriage, what are the issues??

    1. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 9:33pm

      It means getting out a different sheet of paper.
      Have you seen the price of photocopies these days?

  22. Will BBC Watchdog cover this? this is a disgrace.

    1. I very much doubt it, they cover serious comsumer issues.

      1. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 9:33pm

        I am a consumer, and I am DAMNED serious.

      2. So what’s your opinion of this Aiden? Surely any matter of difference between marriage and CPs should be opposed if you wish to argue that CPs are equal

  23. We need to hold a rally about this I think.

    1. Spanner1960 16 Apr 2012, 9:34pm

      Where do you suggest?

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 16 Apr 2012, 11:49pm

      We need a national rally in suppport of equal civil marriage first and foremost.

  24. Not that I wish to have a Civil Partnership in a place of religion, but I support those who may wish too and this is just one big slap in the face for us in my opinion! It’s typical of this government!

    As has already been said here, so much for equality!!! Makes me sick!

  25. johnny33308 16 Apr 2012, 11:04pm

    More proof that marriage and civil partnerships are NOT at all Equal! More proof that we cannot accept anything short of Marriage! It seems local authorities are purposely making the CP fees higher so as to bar LGBTIQ people from seeking a religious CP. Down with CPs!

  26. Just bring in marriage equality!

    As far as I know what the the Quakers etc really want to do is SS religious marriages and “religious” CPs just highlights further discrimination.

    Just one more argument against CPs and for complete marriage equality!

  27. George, I would like to have my wedding in our local Quaker Meeting House where at least five, probably a lot more, generations of my direct ancestors had theirs and by which they now lie buried. Friends wish to host weddings for same sex couples on an equal basis and are not homphobic.

    I understand that you are a humanist and uncertain about the need for equality in marriage, possibly preferring the term CP for yourself. But please understand that for many, marriage is how we think of our relationships, some of us are religious and not all faith groups are homophoboic. Marriage is the only internationally transferrable term and therefore necessary for that reason if no other. Even those gropus whose present leaderships are homophobic amay not always be that way.

    Are you interested in equality or ensuriing that everyone else conforms to a secular process?

    1. George Broadhead 17 Apr 2012, 2:39pm

      I deliberately used the phrase “A building OWNED BY A HOMOPHOBIC RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION” and was referring to Roman Catholic Churches and mosques, for instance.

      I am well aware of the liberal stance taken by the Society of Friends..

      I have no idea why you should assume that I am uncertain about the need for equal marriage. As a veteran gay activist (you may like to click on my name to vouch for this), I am all in favour of gay marriage as part and parcel of total equality. So is the worldwide Humanist movement.

      1. George, thanks for the clarification. I agree that I personaly find it difficult to think I’d want to have a ceremony in one of the churches that makes homophobic statements. But maybe if I was a member of one of them anyway, and knew that many of the rank and file members did not share the views of the leaders, then I might feel different.

        It was your from your comments on the story about Ben Bradshaw that lead me to wonder whether you were uncertain about the need for marriage rights as well as CP’s. I can’t rememebr the exact wording but I think you repeatedly asked for a justification of why there was any real difference. Glad to hear that you are not in doubt.

        I was aware that you were a long term campaigner and am very glad to hear what you say. But I have to say that, in my experience, not everyone who is a veteran campaigner can be assumed to be supportive of marriage equality.

  28. My comment above was a reply to George Broadhead’s earlier one

    1. George Broadhead 17 Apr 2012, 2:57pm

      I deliberately used the phrase “A building OWNED BY A HOMOPHOBIC RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION” and was referring to Roman Catholic Churches and mosques, for instance.

      I am well aware of the liberal stance taken by the Society of Friends.

      I have no idea why you should assume that I am uncertain about the need for equal marriage. As a veteran gay activist (you may like to click on my name to vouch for this), I am all in favour of gay marriage as part and parcel of total equality. So is the worldwide Humanist movement.

  29. Costs more for gays to marry, than straights????

    Not just inequality. It is greed, full stop. Want to charge more for gay marriages with these outrageous fees and charges.

    Some marketing has gone wrong when you think they would be bending over backwards for this sort of income for events like this.

    Mind boggles with disbelief and dismay at the mentality of these institutions when they are crying poor.

    Need to have look at how to have fair and just prices for across the board within all these institutions for everyone.

  30. GingerlyColors 17 Apr 2012, 6:56am

    Excuses, excuses.

  31. Debra Reynolds 17 Apr 2012, 9:25am

    I am one of the Civil Partnership Registrars in Brighton & Hove and would like to correct the facts contained in this article. We do not and would never discriminate against same sex couples. The fees are exactly the same for couples who are marrying and for couples entering into civil partnerships. If you visit our webpages http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk and check out the fees you will see for yourself. The fees to license a church for civil partnerships are set at £650 for three years and to licence a commercial property for the same period we charge £1352. The same statutory fee of £84 is payable by couples getting married in a church or having their civil partnership in a church. I am disappointed that Pink News did not check this out before scaremongering.

    1. So is this really about churches being charged the standard fee instead of getting a discount purely because it’s a religious building? I wondered about that. The article isn’t completely clear about it. Can anyone clear things up?

      1. Is the commercial price (e.g. that a hotel would pay) of a marriage licence and a civil partnership licence the same? The article suggests that the price difference between them only applies to religious buildings. Anyone know?

    2. Sorry Debra but sloppy journalism is what Pink News is known for!

      1. Did you read the actual article or Debra’s comment? I spent a good bit of time looking at her website and could not find the fees for a religious premise to be licensed for civil partnerships. Regardless of whether it is 1352 (or the 1502 quoted in the article) or 650, this additional fee to hold civil partnerships is significantly more than the 120 fee to be registered to hold marriages. By requiring the religious groups to pay a significant additional fee to host civil partnerships, it places an additional burden on same sex couples that want to have their ceremonies in a religious building. That is the point of the article (and the point that Debra does not address in her comment at all).

    3. According to your website, it only costs 120 for a religious building to be registered as a premise for the “solemnization” of marriages. This appears to be a one time fee. But to be approved for “registering ” of civil partnerships in that same religious building, they will have to pay 650 or 1352 additionally every three years. I’m not sure the actual fees since I could not find anything on your website about religious premises registering for civil partnerships. You do see that a one time fee of 120 is substantially less than a recurring fee of 650 payable every three years. I think the argument is why should the religious building have to pay such a high additional fee or actually any additional fee at all. If the religious premise is already registered for weddings, why does it need additional approval (and an expensive three year license that is not needed for it to hold marriages) just to be allowed to also hold civil partnerships? Non-religious premises don’t require separate approval and fees to hold marriages and civil partnerships, why the extra burden on religious properties?

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 2:44pm

        Why doesn’t Ben Bradshaw provide us with answer since he believes CPs are equal to marriage and all we really need?

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