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Church of England: Marriage equality proposals ‘legally and conceptually flawed’

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  1. More people want to get married, so that will be the death of marriage? How on earth does that logic work? Only a quarter of marriages happen in CofE churches, so they’re in a minority already. And for someone like me, who was brought up with no religion, whose family all had civil marriages, what does the CofE’s thoughts on the subject have to do with me???

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jun 2012, 12:49pm

      Exactly… there is no logic… it’s just another attempt at stalling to satisfy the bigot.

      Yet again religion is trying to dictate how we should all be and conform to it… it’s complete nonsense.

    2. This sounds like a missive composed by Andrea Minichiello Williams and the less said about her, the better.

      In fact, are the CofE brave enough to say who contributed to this press release? No points for guessing…

    3. It’s all a load of s–t, but let’s be honest even if it’s true the question we should be asking is “So what?”

  2. Now we know; the churches are only concerned about genitals. Just like the producers of pornography, only the correct mix of genitalia is important. This is, evidently, the standard of true ‘faith’.

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jun 2012, 12:50pm


      You wonder what kind of people they are when clearly All they can think about is sex… yet they have the nerve to call all others perverts.

      1. im quoting Stephen Fry here but i think its fitting, though a little out of context:
        “It’s the strangest thing about the church – it is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now they will say we, with our permissive society and rude jokes, are obsessed. No, we have a healthy attitude. We like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly; because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult. It’s a bit like food in that respect, only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese, and that in erotic terms is the church in a nutshell.”

        1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2012, 9:59am

          And Very well put too!!

  3. Jonathan Wright 12 Jun 2012, 12:12pm

    You can tell these religious are sexually frustrated celibate bigots – all they do is think of sex.

    Maybe if they dipped their stick once in a while they would actually see the good and love in the world and not hark on about sex, relationships (they’ve never experienced) and enforce their views on the wider populous.

  4. Others will do an excellent job of excoriating the melodrama of the Church’s submission, so I’ll leave that alone.

    On the legal arguments, it is the church, not the state, which “mistakes the ceremony for the institution”. Other churches, notably the Catholic church, do not view all legally married couples as having a religiously valid marriage – they make their own decision about whom they consider married, and they are free to do so.

    So if the CofE wants to declare that it will not consider same-sex couples to be married for religious purposes, that is their legal right.

    The CofE hasn’t taken up that right, because they’ve been happy enough with the state’s definition (while individual vicars may choose not to marry divorcees, remarried couples are considered married). Same-sex marriage may lead to a change.

    But I fail to see how this constitutes disestablishment. Even between church and state, disagreement need not mean divorce.

    1. Mumbo Jumbo 12 Jun 2012, 12:20pm

      “Others will do an excellent job of excoriating the melodrama of the Church’s submission”

      Including many from within their own ranks. See here from Giles Fraser:

      1. Cardinal Capone 12 Jun 2012, 12:30pm

        I gave it a thumbs up and it came out minus. It’s a good article.

  5. Peter & Michael 12 Jun 2012, 12:16pm

    Having Same-Sex Marriage will mean Equality for LGBT people. We mean to upgrade to Same-Sex Marriage as soon as the law is enacted, we do not wish to be second class citizens anymore, as the cofe wishes, they have become deluded with sex and their congregations are dwindling, because younger people have become more educated and accepting of LGBT peoples.

  6. I honestly don’t think these creatures of the church know what love feels like. Their whole idea of marriage seems to be based on mechanics. Just in case any loving couple get the wrong idea perhaps they could put instructions on the church marriage certificate: in – out – shake it all about.

  7. Mumbo Jumbo 12 Jun 2012, 12:18pm

    More pompous, self-serving, self-important, disingenuous, sub-intellectual, dissembling, melodramatic, sex-obsessed, pearl-clutching waffle-snot from the men (and they are all men) in magic hats.

    Their sense of entitlement is sickening.

  8. Cardinal Capone 12 Jun 2012, 12:21pm

    Immature grandstanding by the fearful and uncompassionate right wing of the anglican church.

    If they believed in religious liberty as much as they claim, they would allow the more inclusive members of the church to carry out same sex weddings as a matter of conscience.

    1. BASHING RIGHT WING ANGLICANISM?! Bless you my dear. (My apologies if the caps lock gave you a headache).

  9. When two atheists get married I am sure they consider their marriage very distinct from a religious marriage. The church constantly act as if marriage was somehow their property. About a third of heterosexual marriages take place in church and then it’s often for the sake of the photos or to please Mum.

  10. I don’t think ANYBODY is going to confuse gay marriage with a straight marriage. I’m not sure about other countries but in the U.S. there are many legal rights conferred with marriage such as child custody, inheritance rights, end of life decisions, even being able to file a joint tax return. Gay, lesbian, and Trans people just want the same rights as other couples.
    If the Church of England s truly concerned about the state of marriage they need to deal with the huge rate of divorce, unwed mothers.
    Also with their logic, any married couple without children is somehow less valid.
    The whole logic is just hogwash and the church needs to quit trying to discriminate against people and evolve with the times. This is why I don’t support any organized religion any more.

  11. the church of england has no relevance and should be closed down.

  12. If it was by Church’s rules, the Sun would still be turning around planet Earth. Church of England show us more of your anachronous and pedantic angles, and lets us prove you the contrary?

  13. I see that Tatchell or Summerskill or the Home Office reply to the fundamental points, though, namely that marriage reflects a natural biological reality – that a man and a woman are needed for the procreation of new life. By denying the fact that one of the fundamentals of marriage is the possibility of procreation and the establishing of a new natural family, a) we do not recognise that marriage would be ‘diluted’ if the law is passed, and b) we seem to have become so irrational as a society that we cannot see the biological and fundamental difference that exists between opposite-sex sex and same-sex sex.

    As a rational gay man, I fear for this country and for the gay community.

    Rights are not based on emotional need, but on objective facts. Civil partnerships recognise gay love, and does not impact on marriage – it also reflects other so-called homosexual unions throughout history. This whole ‘we have to get married so we’ll redefine the institution’ is, frankly, hysterical.

    1. Putrid bloody apologist. Sit at the back of the bus if you want, don’t expect any bloody company.

      Procreation is meaningless. It is not covered by law. And marriage is not denied to the elderly, infertile or any one else who cannot or does not wish to conceive. Your argument is blathering cr@p.

      1. Without as much vehemence I second this point. Plenty of people who neither can nor have any desire to have children are not denied marriage but same sex couples are denied it for the same reason. Besides there’s nothing wrong with redefining an institution, it’s been altered various times through its history. What’s one more positive alteration going to do.

    2. “I see that Tatchell or Summerskill or the Home Office reply to the fundamental points, though, namely that marriage reflects a natural biological reality – that a man and a woman are needed for the procreation of new life.”

      In what way is insisting that every married couple need to have children to be “properly married”, actually a sustainable position for the planet

    3. But marriage has NOTHING TO DO with having children through coitic means.. Marriage is about love, commitment, legal kinship rights, togetherness, solidarity and social partnership. The ability to have children through coitic means is as utterly irrelevant to it as the ability to play in a mixed doubles tennis tournament. Marriage is a social construct that we define as we wish. It has nothing to do with biology.

      Animals of all kinds can have children, but they’re not allowed to get married.
      Plenty of unmarried people have children. Plenty of married people don’t have children. Given this, marriage cannot have anything to do with children. That’s objective fact for you.

    4. If you don’t agree with same sex marriage – by all means, do not have one.

      Don’t let your perceptions (which many disagree with vehemntly) be a barrier to others achieving civil rights.

    5. Is a cointelpro really needed? Cristians must be getting desperate.

  14. This is the same Anglican Church that in Uganda has been pushing hard through the Uganda Joint Christian Council to bring back the so-called ‘kill the gays’ bill that would introduce capital punishment for homosexuality in certain circumstances. (Recently joined by the Roman Catholic bishops in this move!)

    The SAME church under the SAME rule. These Anglican Bishops need to examine the morality of their own brethren, the Anglican Bishops in Uganda, before dictating to the rest of us. And if they conclude that the Ugandan bishops are mistaken and should not be advancing such a political stance – then perhaps their hypocrisy might become self-evident to them. If one group of Bishops can be wrong about how to deal with homosexuality – so can another.

  15. Marriage basically comes down to 1) a contract entered into forever, and 2) procreation. So why can infertile people get married and divorced?

    Homophobia really is the last prejudice!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Jun 2012, 12:43pm

      Civil marriage doesn’t mandate procreation. Thiis has more to do with sex, the sex act in fact wrapped up in homophobia. I often wonder how a religious cult would view a hetero marriage wherein the male suffers from erectile dysfunction that not even viagra or other medication can remedy? These cults will provide the lamest of responses when it comes to infertile hetero couples but then again, it’s all about sex, the penis in the vagina nonsense as if hetero married couples don’t engage in orther forms of sex that the cults frown upon.

      One thing this article has proved and really puts idiots like Ben Bradshaw in a bind is that the CoE does NOTeven regard CPs as marriages either, while the likes of Bradshaw and other gays who don’t think marriage is necessary think otherwise. The CoE also states that there must be a distinction between marriage and civil partnerships so again, proof positive that CPs are not the same, no matter how people try to portray them as being.

  16. Another press release and another own goal by the CofE. Every time they say ‘dilute’ or ‘cheapen etc. in this context it riles my friends and family who would perhaps otherwise be indifferent to the matter.

    I don’t even think they consider that we are actually people being talked about in that way.

  17. Jock S. Trap 12 Jun 2012, 12:48pm

    This is a nasty attempt to halt this equality… yet another.

    I repeat to those concerned, if you don’t wish to marry anyone you love who just happens to be of the same sex… Don’t!

    It doesn’t affect you, your marriage or even your religion just your own damaging bigotry.

    The only people it does affect is those who chose to marry… or not too. Either way the option should be there and you lot should stop your discriminating ways to suit your religious freedoms! It’s damn right shameful and appalling!

  18. Somebody might want to remind the Church of England that they only reason they exist today is because Henry VIII wanted a Church that would allow him to divorce, so he formed said Church, made himself the Head of it, and redefined marriage by allowing divorce.

    Now I would argue that divorce is a *much* bigger threat to the institution of marriage than same-sex relationships are, and yet the very church that did this ‘radical’ redefinition as now acting like a beacon of traditional marriage? Ha.

  19. I listened to Ben Summerskill and some religious nutter on the Today programme. Ben’s case was logical while – as one would expect – the religious bigot spouted spurious nonsense such as the disestablishment of the CofE [how I wish]. In spite of their rantings, the CofE and the like do not own marriage as this is defined by the state; and their ever strident and hysterical bigotry shows they have lost the argument.

    1. I have to disagree. I thought Ben came across as snotty and superior and looked worse than the church guy.

  20. Hacker of the Yard 12 Jun 2012, 12:54pm

    Dissenting churchmen should get their own submissions in before Thursday!

  21. Do I really need to write anything here? *insert standard Jae comment here*

  22. Why does every press release by the Cof E gets the militant gay ‘marriage’ lobby run like headless chicken? Is that how the truth hurts?

    1. “Why does every press release by the Cof E gets the militant gay ‘marriage’ lobby run like headless chicken? Is that how the truth hurts?”

      Barbed projection . . .

    2. Truth? What would the CofE know about truth?

      Why does every press release about gay marriage from the myriad LGBT organisations out there result in……..oh, hang on, it results in nothing because they’re never printed!!

      Headless chickens run round in no clear direction. I think you’ll find that the ‘militant’ gay marriage lobby is very focussed in its response to this.

    3. Because most of their press releases are lies/misrepresentations or simply cr*p, Ken. Presumably YOU are quite happy for any organisation to lie and misrepresent YOU, would you?

      But why do you care anyway? What’s your interest in other people’s marriages and relationships?

    4. Why does every press release by the CoE get the militant anti-equal-marriage lobby running around like a headless chicken (and to the nearest gay website, eg you, Ken)? The possibility of the truth hurting?

    5. I love it that u keep refer to gays as militant – makes me feel very butch. Please keep doing it

      1. I think Ken used to be a militant anti-gay lobbyist, but his arguments are so weak and wishy washy – that he’s no threat to equality any longer.

    6. >Truth

      Pick one.

  23. If you could reason with religious people there would be no religious people.

    1. Cardinal Capone 12 Jun 2012, 3:05pm

      Faith is pretending to know something you don’t know.

  24. I can still hear the clutching of straws! Anyone else?

    1. Mumbo Jumbo 12 Jun 2012, 1:28pm

      I can still see the clutching of pearls :-)

  25. I’m getting so bloody fed up with the churches (of all demoninations) venting their homophobia, becausecthat’s all itbis. They have no scientific, theological or moral weight behind them, they’re just bigots.

    I’m also annoyed at the prominence they’re given – they’ve just been given top billing on the BBC lunchtime news. No other hate group would be fawned over like this.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Jun 2012, 5:01pm

      What do you expect from the BBC, it’s run by a Catholic who opposes equal marriage.

  26. Cardinal Capone 12 Jun 2012, 1:30pm

    Had a quick look at their submission and legal opinion.

    It’s ironic that much of it argues that under human rights conventions, they would be unlawfully discriminating against us. They do not see that as a bad thing. Quite shameful really.

  27. At least I learned from the article that the CofE is becoming so irrelevant that they only perform a small minority of 1 in 4 marriages. And 9 out of 10 of those are probably people who don’t even know who Jesus is.
    I went to a CofE wedding last weekend. It was the most vacuous ceremony I have ever been to. I nearly walked out at the beginning when the vicar started spouting a ‘sermon’ about how marriage is the union between man and woman, but stayed and laughed at him instead when he proceeded to talk about how marriage is not and has never been about love, but about families wealth coming together – and then asked everyone to leave donations in the tray at the back of the church.

  28. Here is a blog which addresses the reasons the Church of England is entirely wrong – morally and spiritually – with regards their response to the consultation and their attitude to equal marriage:

    I would be interested in hearing thoughts or feedback on the blog

    1. Really good blog, Stu.

      Covers most of the issues – hence I guess its length.

      You do some it up well though that the church are demonstrating institutional homophobia in their approach.

      Great blog.

  29. Paddyswurds 12 Jun 2012, 1:54pm

    The video accompanying the BBC 1 news story on this subject this morning really does put the whole religion thing in perspective. I have never in my 50+ years seen anything so ridiculous as the cadre of old men in gold embroidered frocks and pointy hats sashaying down the aisle of some church or other One of them was resplendent with gold crozier which if melted down would feed a starving African country for several years, given the price of gold today. These deluded old men really need to take a step back and have a good long look at themselves and realise that their days are numbered as far as being able to dictate to people as to how they should run the government and more importantly their lives both public and private. Isn’t it time the CofI was disestablished and all the Abrahamic cults be compelled to pay taxes, but more importantly to Shut the Phuc Up

    1. Cardinal Capone 12 Jun 2012, 3:03pm

      A pointy hat is essential for moral authority.

    2. Paddyswurds 12 Jun 2012, 3:59pm

      oops…CofE **

  30. So you’re afraid that someone will take you to the European court of human rights because you’re being a discriminatory bigot in in refusing to marry same-sex couples?

    You’re afraid that the government’s commitment to letting religious groups continue in their privileged right to bigotry won’t be strong enough to prevent the law from forcing you to offer your services equally?

    All I can say is GOOD. Churches should be forced to offer their services equally just as everyone else is. Compelled by law to offer marriage to straight and gay couples alike. The florist and the photographer and the limo hire people are legally compelled not to discriminate. The civil registrar is legally compelled not to discriminate. The venue hire for the reception is legally compelled to discriminate. There is no reason a church should be exempt.

    Being founded with an ethos of pre-modern homophobia is not a good reason to be exempt from equality law. In fact it’s even more reason to apply it, and hard.

  31. I presume this claim that marriage is only between a man and a woman is based on the bible? The same bible that commands a woman who is raped to marry her rapist? That tells us the earth was made 6000 (or 7000) years ago?

    Reliable document, that.

    The C of E doesn’t have a relationship with me, so why should I worry if it feels it’s place of priviledge is threatened?

  32. If the church wishes to protect marriage from something that really threatens it, perhaps it should be campaigning against divorce. But then again, the Church of England only came into existence because of a divorce. Other people getting married doesn’t have any effect on anyone else’s marriage.

  33. Yes, a masterclass in denial of basic Christian values of charity and loving your neighbour. What hypocrites. The Church of England will soon be a minor club of irrelevant, reactionary, fundamentalist bigots. No wonder attendance is in decline.

  34. who cares what the church think about gay marriage ? you dont consult the inmates of a lunatic asylum on government policy, and by the same logic we shouldnt be consulting the inmates of a church !

  35. On a lighter note, does anyone know where Jean is? I wish ‘she’d’ give us a barmy Jeanism so we could have a bloody good laugh and relax a bit. C’mon Jean!

    1. Probably had a heads up about the new trolling laws and thought it would be a good time to disappear :P

      1. Ah…shame!

  36. As has been pointed out, the ability of divorced people who aren’t allowed to remarry in church to have a civil wedding has done nothing to threaten the CoE’s established position so far, so their logic in the present argument is notable for its absence.

  37. Cardinal Capone 12 Jun 2012, 3:32pm

    Less than 2% of the population regularly attend church, but their priests want to define marriage for everyone.

  38. Kornelijus Norvidas 12 Jun 2012, 3:43pm

    ‘to protect position of church of England and other religious bodies’. Thank you very much for incredible openness; discussions on gay marriage is more about power, than ethics.

  39. Kornelijus Norvidas 12 Jun 2012, 3:46pm

    ‘Warning’ just two days before end of consultations.- So, with the motto: last word must belong to us.

  40. The Church of England state that as a matter of doctrine and derived from the teachings of Christ himself, that marriage in general – and not just the marriage of Christians – is, in its nature, a lifelong union of one man with one woman.

    The Church of England (and other churches or religious organisations) are free to consider this as their definition of marriage. However, it is grossly unfair and arrogant to presume that they can require that civil law is governed by the doctrine of any religious organisation. Most people in the UK are either not religious or not actively religious. It is wrong that any (or all) churches dictate how civil law interplays with every person in the nation.

    Other churches and religious organisations do not hold the doctrinal views that the Church of England state here (indeed some of their own leaders do not hold these views). Sticking rigidly to the doctrinal view espoused in civil law denies religious freedom (or freedom from religion) to those

    1. who do not hold those views.

      The Church of England regularly remarries divorced individuals into new marriages. This would appear to be contradictory to their doctrinal response to this issue. Therefore, its sheer hypocrisy (and arguably homophobic) to delineate on grounds of same sex couples, when similar actions are not taken on divorced couples.

      Church of England state that they follow an authorised liturgy with regards marriage derived from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 and they are entitled to that view for themselves and for those who wish to engage with them. They state that this view includes that “marriage is given as the foundation of family life in which children may be born and nurtured in accordance with Gods will, to his praise and glory. In marriage husband and wife belong to one another and they begin a new life together in the community. It is a way of life that all should honour and it must not be undertaken carelessly, lightly or selfishly but

    2. reverently, responsibly and after serious thought” It is sad that they seek to exclude same sex couples in the full life of their church. Many same sex couples are Christians or would value a church marriage (having seriously, reverently and responsibly considered the issue).

      Other churches and religious groups and individuals do not share this view. They should not have their religious freedom curtailed because the Church of England (or some of it) feel uncomfortable with the issue of same sex couples marrying.

      Other individuals have no religious belief and they certainly should not have restrictions placed on them because of the beliefs of others.

      Many gay couples are families with adopted, surrogate or natural children (possibly from prior relationships). They provide love, nurture, support and integrity to those children. They should not be denied the right to bring up children in a committed and loving marriage because some others are uncomfortable with their

    3. relationship.

      Not that long ago, there were many churches that taught that slavery was an institution supported by God. They shut their eyes to the bad fruit being borne by the slave system, and they ignored all the things the Bible says about loving your neighbour as yourself, and the equality of human beings. They would find that handful of passages that mentioned slavery (after all, it was part of the culture in which the Bible was written) and they would try to apply those verses to us today, without acknowledging that they were based in the culture and no longer relevant to us. The abolitionist movement had an uphill battle in some respects because there weren’t specific verses that said, “slavery is bad.” Instead, they had to rely on the overall message of Scripture, and that’s not easy to do. Today there is cherry picking of many issues of Scripture (or liturgy – even that which dates back to 1662 (why 1662? – why not before!). There is clear evidence in Scripture that

    4. equality was something Jesus valued – and it’s the hypocrisy of religious leaders that he regularly condemned.

      The Church of England state that their views are not merely drawn from liturgy and doctrine but which are also drawn from their commitment, as the established church in England, to the common good of all in society.

      Effectively the Church of England appear to be arguing that common good of all in society is established by preventing equality of all in society. Surely, even church leaders can not be ignorant as to see the impossibility and implausibility of this argument?

      The Church of England stated during their response “It is well known that there is a continuing debate within the Church of England about its declared view of sexually active homosexual relationships. It is important to understand that our response to the questions of same sex marriage does not prejudice the outcome of that continuing theological and ethical debate. Concern is for the way the meaning

    5. of marriage will change for everyone, gay or straight, if the proposals are enacted. Because we believe that the inherited understanding of marriage contributes a vast amount to the common good, our defence of that understanding is motivated by a concern for the good of all in society.”

      Firstly, the good of all in society can not be achieved when you deny equality to some in society.

      Secondly, when you decide that some people should be valued differently (which is what denying civil rights amounts to) to others due to their orientation – then this is forming a judgement that is unethical and inhumane. It therefore, must inform any response to other debates concerning the issue of orientation. Its difficult to reach a conclusion that an organisation which seeks to deny equality, fairness and integrity to couples due, solely, to their orientation is anything other than institutionally homophobic. That is a set of attitudes and values which are unscriptural, and fail in their

    6. ability to love their neighbour.

  41. Art Pearson 12 Jun 2012, 3:52pm

    The only thing that is ‘legally anc conceptually flawed’ is the Church of England’s fixation on Same Sex Marriage.

  42. Dominick J. 12 Jun 2012, 4:19pm

    What a bunch of lame Gobble-de-Gook the church spouts. WOW and these guys are suppose to be “smart”…

  43. Garry Cassell 12 Jun 2012, 4:20pm

    As a Canadian and a one time Anglican, a country with same sex marriage for many years,,,happy to say the sky hasn’t fallen in.. God hasn’t struck anyone down with bolts of lightening..the church as always is full of sh*t…just power and hatred…

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Jun 2012, 4:57pm

      Garry, were the religious cults as vociferous in Canada during the equal marriage debate, as bad as ours in the UK?

  44. Not one of their arguments make any sense – not that I’m surprised. Why can’t they be honest and say they have only one reason – prejudice?

    All this pathetic scrabbling about to find ‘reasons’ that equal marriage would be bad is laughable.

    And I’m sure that all the infertile straight couples out there are SO happy to hear that their marriages aren’t as “significant” as those of couples with children. What offensive rubbish!

    The C of E is digging its own grave and cementing its place in society as a bigoted, backward organisation who can’t function without having some ‘enemy’ to victimise, whether that be women, LGBT people, non-white people or people of other religions.

    If they spent half as much time thinking about the poor and the suffering as they do about equal marriage, the world would be a lot better off.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Jun 2012, 4:55pm

      And better if they stopped obsessing about sex, particularly gay sex. Well said, Iris.

      1. Thanks, Robert. You’re right about the sex obsession. Their repression and their huge burden of guilt makes them obsess about sex all the time. It’s like when someone tells you not to think of an elephant – and it jumps right into your mind :D They also seem to have a fascination with gay sex in particular. Then they blame us for these thoughts and hit out at us.

        I find it very sad that they can’t seem to see the love in LGBT relationships. Their attitude is immature and insulting.

  45. I do indeed “assert that men and women are simply interchangeable individuals”

  46. What a load of rubbish (to put it politely). Ironic that they should be saying this on the same day that a report comes out saying that 71% of Brits, including three out of five people of faith, are pro-equal marriage. This proves that the people who run these religions are not only out of touch with the general British public, but also their own followers.

  47. The name of the make believe person you spoke to at the Home Office, is?

    You have been caught out in your lies too many times, Aiden.

    Bear in mind the new trolls law – you could be culpable at some point.

    I am pleased that 71% of British people support equal marriage. (77% according to a Catholic survey). The government are clear in their determination to ensure fairness and equality.

    According to Lib Dem sources – they have made it very clear to Cameron and Theresa May that this is one of their clear and distinct lines in the sand – and are happy to see the coalition collapse if need be, sending right wing extremists out of government for many years.

    The majority required for a Commons victory is already clearly on the side of equal marriage.

    Your soundbites mean nothing.

    1. I see the Lib Dems are not voting in the (for want of a better phrase) vote of confidence in Jeremy Hunt tomorrow. This is the start of them flexing their weight (I hope) and I would expect their stance on equal marriage to be robust and strong.

      Tories can not back down on this a) they will look two faced b) they will lose almost all LGBT votes c) they will will look bigoted d) the coaltion will collapse and it will not be long before they are out of government (in the current economic situation – and in the light of turning their backs on their promises) then probabty for a generation.

  48. I wish the church would just go away!

  49. I can’t wait for the schadenfreude when equal marriage becomes law – then the likes of the C4M, CI, Dorries, Brazier, McCartney, Aiden, Ken etc – it’s going to be so much fun to remind them what they said.

    Sweet deluded people that they are – they deserve to be reminded of their failings and false predictions – based on their bigotry and lack of ability to understand that being British is being fair and honest and transparent and tackling bigotry, unjust prejudice and extremism.

  50. A Baptist preacher in the USA addressed his congregation over the last few days and confronted them about their concerns about Obama endorsing same sex marriage. He said: “Why are you so upset, why did it bother you so? Why were you so emotional you had to clothe your anger with the Bible and justify your bigotry with scripture? Why did you have to do it?

    “We often major in what Jesus minored in. Have you ever read the Gospel and heard Jesus say anything about homosexuality?”

    These questions and other issues he raised could be equally addressed to the bigotry of the Church of England.

  51. Well I daresay that the Church of England has nothing to fear from the European Court of Human Rights; the way the Episcopal Church of Scotland is going, gay Anglicans can just elope there.

  52. Do you feel relieved now Aiden? All those sleepless nights worrying about the sanctity of marriage and of course sex must take its toll.

  53. It always makes me laugh when religious organisations state their concern they may be forced to conduct same sex marriages and the government’s reassurances they won’t. ‘don’t worry church of England, we promise u can still carry on with your bigoted, out of date, nasty views’. Similar to how we treat my old racist gran – don’t upset her too much, cos she won’t be round for much longer.

  54. “…to remove the sexual ‘complementarity’ of men and women in the legal institution of marriage is to assert that men and women are simply interchangeable individuals”

    You mean to say that men and women would be… *gasp* EQUAL??
    Well, we certainly can’t have that, can we? Gotta keep treating those women like inferiors!


  55. Dear Church of England, than you so much for making the case that clergy should be permitted to solmenize same-sex marriages along with civil authorities. What a sensible approach.

  56. Great debate on same sex marriage on Channel 4 news tonight.

    Canon Giles Fraser was very strong and vocal in his disappointment at the manenr in which the Church of England have entrenched themselves in homophobia in a manner that neither represents him, represents many otehrs in the church, benefits the church or is on any sort of sound theological basis. The Director of Communications for the CofE tried to sound not homophobic, but he was trying to use sophisticated versions of “but I have friends who are gay”.

    Well done Canon Fraser.

    If anyone hasnt seen it – worth watching on 4oD

  57. The protection afforded by Article 9 to religious organisations is strong…I consider that requiring a faith group or a member of its clergy to conduct same-sex marriages contrary to its doctrine or the religious convictions of its members would violate Article 9. Any challenge brought on human rights grounds seeking to establish a same-sex couple’s right to marry in church would inevitably fail for that reason. In balancing the rights of a same-sex couple and a religious organisation’s rights under Article 9 (in particular, in relation to a matter such as marriage, so closely touching upon a religious organisation’s beliefs) the courts would be bound to give priority to the religious organisation’s Article 9 rights.

    Opinion given to Liberty by leading counsel on the issue which the CofE state would lead them to be legally compelled to conduct marriages. The opinion also stated that as gay couples would have other options including civil marriage and some religious celebrations that

    1. article 9 would protect religious organisations.

      The lies that the CofE are telling in this comment highlight the disingenuous nature of their arrogant and homophobic campaign.

      As another poster has said the Church of England appear to be institutionally homophobic. That does not mean every person involved with the church is homophobic – but they need to either consider their position associating with a rankly homophobic organisation if they do not share the reprehensible views the church have published today – or they need to find a strong way of changing and directly challenging the church.

      It appears rotten and homophobic to its core today. It is not meeting its mission to love its neighbour – instead its is tramplping over them and fighting to deny civil rights and equality. Its as horrific as those churches that sought to keep slavery. The church should be ashamed, some people in it are – unfortunately some clergy and some members are relishing and enjoying their bigotry.

  58. Do not worry about a church that tends to disappear in 20 years. Church of England, very quiet, your time will come, and we are here fighting to separate there once and for all of England.

  59. The CoE now only represents a minority of the UK population – it has a creed dear to its heart based on misogynist outdated prejudiced and bigoted medieval beliefs.

    This is the 21st century where we value equality, no persons relationship with another has any more validity than any other relationship, whether between man and woman, woman and woman, man and man. The church and it’s very happy bigots are welcome to come and join the rest of us in the 21st century as long as they act like caring humans and learn to accept and value all regardless of race, creed, sexuality and gender in or out of marriage.

  60. There are claims that the church of England are required to marry anyone in the parish who wishes to marry. This is untrue.

    In the Church of Englands own leaflet on marriage it states: “Some priests may be willing to take such a marriage, others may not be prepared to do so, on grounds of conscience, and may not allow the use of their church either. The law of the land permits them this choice.”

    If the priest can decide not to marry divorcees on grounds of conscience – surely they can also refuse to marry or permit use of the church for a same sex couple on grounds of “conscience”. Precedent has been set.

    Sad that the church, yet again, lie in trying to set forward their indefensible homophobic approach to this issue.

    1. Interesting input from their legal correspondent

      1. Wow – a BBC correspondent has the balls to disagree with the anti-equal marriage brigade!

        “However, critically, that would not compel religious institutions to carry out same-sex marriages.

        It would be more likely to allow religious institutions to choose whether to marry gay couples, and indeed allow individuals within those institutions to choose whether to conduct religious ceremonies.”

        1. So when they say “we may be forced…” presumably what they mean is we may be forced to accept we’re bigots while the more enlightened members of our church happily carry out ceremonies and we don’t want that?

    2. I notice this story is no longer displayed on the BBC news page yet the previous story about the CoE submission is still quite prominent. Someone at the BBC trying to hide it perhaps?

  61. Well far be it for any of us to call you a liar. Right “Aiden”?

    1. Is that like the lie he told about his picture?

      1. Or his name? Or his association with the BNF, or whatever bigotry riddled party he follows? As I say far be it for us to call him a liar :P

  62. Disestablishment, anyone? If the Church of England wants to pander to the backward fundmentalist “Anglicans” in Nigeria and Uganda and its own Anglican Poisoned Stream and Deform (oops, I mean
    “Mainstream” and “Reform”) over this issue, they clearly don’t deserve the title of established state church anymore.

  63. Fantastic blog:

    “Only one thing is perspicaciously clear, and that is where the hysterical arguments against change put by, among others, the Church of England will lie once this saga has run its course – namely, on the wrong side of history.”

    “Two centuries have passed since the C of E was caricatured as “the Tory party at prayer”. With their concern for the downtrodden, the clergy and congregation alike would want to resist that description today. And yet we are in a position where there are the parliamentary votes to write gay marriage on the statute book through a free vote, and the church seems bent on siding with the Tory ultras against a Conservative prime minister. Most vicars are warmly understanding towards the real homosexuals they encounter in their own flocks, and yet in the public debate the church refuses to preach what it practices. The C of E clings on to its anachronistic

    1. established status with the claim that this allows it to serve the whole community, and yet it fights tooth and nail against a small change to extend the ordinary language of love to a minority of relationships that feel keenly excluded from it.”

  64. The Church’s fears seem misplaced. If gay marriage were approved, it would be on the basis of a civil contract which would, in fact, give gay couples no more rights than they presently enjoy with civil partnerships, which the Church of England does support. The European Court of Human Rights has shown that it respects rights to religion and of people to uphold their beliefs. It is very unlikely to force ministers of religion to conduct gay weddings. What it may do is give a sympathetic hearing to those religious groups, such as reformed Jews or Quakers, who would actually like to be able to conduct gay weddings.

    On the positive side, the Church has acknowledged that many homosexual relationships share some qualities of a heterosexual marriage, such as fidelity and commitment. The point of extending marriage to homosexual couples is to acknowledge and encourage that commitment.

    It is an exaggeration to suggest that gay weddings would encourage disestablishmentarianism. The ties

    1. between Church and state are nearly 500 years old in England; loosening those ties would have profound implications for the character of Britain and is very far from being the Government’s intention. Gay marriage, so far from undermining the established Church, is intended to shore up an institution that the Christian church regards as fundamentally important. We need more commitment, not less. Ministers should allay the Church’s fears.

      *Great comment from tonights Evening Standard*

  65. At last, they reveal their homophobia without trying to hide it behind any smoke screen of supposed compassion. There in black and white is their questioning of the assumption that a gay relationship can be as committed as a heterosexual one. We get second class status because in the eyes of the church we are second class. Well personally, I neither need nor seek their approval. Let them blight their own lives with their hateful, ugly, bigoted religon if they wish, but do not inflict that pestilence on me. I am entitled to equality under the law. Equal treatment and freedom from persecution by religious zealots. That’s how civilised people live.

  66. I never imagined is WAS the end of it all. Now the politicians formulate a Bill, debate it in committee etc., bring it to the Commons and so on…. We KNOW its a slow process. But it has been said already -it’s a matter of WHEN, not IF – Marriage Equality happens.

  67. Anyone who thinks the consultation is anything more than a formality to make the “traditionalists” think they’re not just being ignored because no-one really cares what they think is a fool. Gay marriage will go through, why? Because there’s more people in support of votes count. Plus social conservatives won’t vote labour or lib dem hatever happens so their votes are safe.

    Keep dreaming though.

  68. johnny33308 13 Jun 2012, 1:11am

    People, each and every time a ‘religion’ or a religious person speaks out about equality negatively, as in this case, the population is watching and I believe that many are ‘turned off’ by such blatant bigotry spouted by allegedly religious orgs or people… much so, that perhaps millions of sensible people will reject religion in total for good. These bigoted religions are trying to stay alive by fomenting fear among their believers that LGBTIQ will somehow destroy humanity and god wants the ‘believers’ to personally prevent this by any means necessary. Every word from them is another nail in the coffin of Religion….maybe one day mankind will overcome such superstition and what a day it will be!

  69. Okay let me get this straight (LOL). Straight marriages are all about procreating? Yeah because in THIS world with over half the population starving and living in war and poverty, we really need MORE people with MORE mouths to feed with LESS food available. Love the church’s logic. Oh and what else?
    “the commitment that a man and a woman generally make to each other in marriage is to be open to bringing children into the world as a fruit of their loving commitment, then the commitment of same-sex couples (whatever its virtues) cannot be acknowledged as identical.”
    Yeah because I am SO SURE that every straight married couple are loving towards each other. And that no child was the result of a broken condom or a drunken one night stand.

  70. The most telling aspect of this is the Church of England’s stated ‘fear’ that marriage equality will damage its Establishment – i.e. they fear losing their ‘power’, influence and privileged position!

  71. Cardinal Capone 13 Jun 2012, 10:44am

    One of the side effects of the scaremongering by certain churchmen is that their colleagues in Uganda go into an even more homophobic froth, and are now pushing for the Kill the stays Bill again. These people may be a minority here, but in many other countries they are the majority, and their irresponsibility here has consequences elsewhere.

    1. Cardinal Capone 13 Jun 2012, 10:45am

      Should say “kill the gays Bill”

  72. Cardinal Capone 13 Jun 2012, 10:53am

    Did anyone see the BBC news at about 7.30 pm last night? Tatchell vs a very strange man billed as a theologian who seethed hatred and homophobia so visibly, it showed through very obviously indeed. It gave the public a clear view of what some of these people are like.

    1. Which BBC channel was it Cardinal?

      I would like to try and locate that on iplayer – it sounds worth a watch!

  73. Excellent article in the Evening Standard by Douglas Carswell:

    “Gay marriage, it is darkly hinted, would spell the end. The final breach. The thing that finally tears the English Church and State asunder. Legalising marriage between same-sex couples would — whisper it gently — provoke the disestablishment of the Church of England. No more — horror of horrors — would Anglicanism be our official state religion.

    Oh, please! I can think of many sensible arguments both for and against gay marriage. But the idea that we should oppose it for fear it would mean the disestablishment of the Church of England is not one of them. Indeed, it is the one line of argument guaranteed to make me sympathetic to Lynne Featherstone, the minister responsible for this gay marriage muddle”

    He doesnt want the break for the same reasons as me, but I think the church should listen to him.

  74. Did anyone tell the church that eminent lawyers at the law society disagree with them and believe the claims by the church are legally questionable?

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