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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backs religious marriages for gay couples

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  1. Suddenly Last Bummer 5 Jul 2012, 1:15pm

    Whatevs. If Nick Clegg said it was raining I’d look out the window and check for myself. The guy has zero conviction left.

    1. That There Other David 5 Jul 2012, 2:43pm

      I really don’t get why people are still banging on about the Lib Dems being in the Coalition. Yeah, they had to drop some policies to do so, but can you imagine what the Tories would be wasting time on if they’d got into power on their own? Cameron wouldn’t even be contemplating marriage equality, he’d be using the Commons time to bring back fox hunting! Just look at the likes of Michael Gove to see what the whole of the Cabinet would be like. Even worse, imagine if the Tories had attempted to govern with the help of the DUP!!

      This is unfortunately the best government we could have got from the options available at the time, Lib Dem U-turns and all. We don’t live in a perfect world, and Labour were clearly discredited and in need of some time in opposition to regroup.

      So, under the circumstances Nick Clegg and co. should be cut some slack IMO. Things could be much much worse than they are, for us and for pretty much the whole of the UK.

  2. Great to hear this from someone in the coalition. It’s just a matter of time before this comes in.

    No point standing in the way of it!

    1. Dave Page 5 Jul 2012, 1:56pm

      Yep. If the Bill proposed by the Equalities Office doesn’t include this, Lib Dem MPs will submit amendments to introduce it.

  3. Who cares.

    Why these politicians keep banging on about cult marriage is beyond me.

    At what time in 2012 is civil marriage equality legislation going to be published.

    I mean the horrifically offensive and unnecessary consultation on marriage equality is now complete.

    All that is now needed is a timetable for its introduction (which will include a clause which allows those cults who want to perform same sex cult weddings to do so).

    Whether or not a religious cult is allowed to perform same sex marriages is such a tiny, almost irrelevant issue considering how disgustingly bigotted the largest cults in this country are.

    1. Equal but separate is not equal.

      1. And focussing on trivialities like whether or not minor cults can perform marriages is an utter waste of time.

        Most cults oppose same sex marriage so why is there all this focus on the tiny cults who favour it.

        Nick Clegg needs to get same sex civil marriage legislation published and start doing his job.

        Instead of wasting time pandering to minor cults.

        1. “Minor cults” who are helping us in this fight, even when the proposals are for civil marriage only.

          So is it a case of “equality for me, thanks quakers etc now go get stuffed”?

          1. That seems an entirely reasonable interpretation of what dAVID is trying to say.

            Thats why I find his viewpoint and language abhorrent and ignorant.

          2. Religious cults are a law unto themselves.

            (As a catholic divorce trying to remarry in a catholic cult building).

            Religious marriage in a cult building benefits only a very tiny number of people.

            Inviting ANY cult into a discussion on equal marriage before we have even achieved civil marriage equality serves no purpose other than to let ALL cults think that they have an input into marriage laws. (Hint: they don’t)

          3. And thanks for finding my language ‘abhorrent and ignorant’ Stu.

            (See, I can play your trick of thanking everyone for anything that they have said).

          4. dAVID

            A pleasure, always willing to give an observation – something you do not seem to scare from either.

            Abhorrent and ignorant is a fair description (in my view) of someone who seeks to prevent equality for others – which appears to be your aim.

          5. dAVID

            The debate theat Nick Clegg, Nick Herbert, Yvette Cooper and others are seeking is for marriage to be equal (whether relgiious or civil). Now, if you want half hearted equality (because it doesnt affect you personally) and you are happy for others to have to sit on the back seat or choose which water fountain to drink out of – then that is for you to justify – I personally find that approach ignorant and abhorrent.

            However, I do find your comments on the tennis story fair and reasonable.

        2. I would never call equality of civil or human rights a trviaility – whether they affected me or not.

          You might conceive that other peoples rights are trivial – that would not (in my view) be a very humane viewpoint or what that engages with the issue of equality or humanity.

          1. *** or one that engages …

        3. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2012, 6:20pm

          So dAVID support for our fight, our cause, our Rights is pointless… “an utter waste of time”?

          You want equality it seems but clearly want to cherry pick who supports us.

          I just prefer support, not really bothered who it’s from.

          1. If we support equality – then we support equality, not pick and choose which bits or who it applies to.

        4. @dAVID

          >”Most cults oppose same sex marriage so why is there all this focus on the tiny cults who favour it.”

          Your logic would lead to “Most people have a straight marriage, so why is there all this focus on the few people who favour equal marriage?”.

          dAVID, have you forgotten that YOU are a member of a minority?

    2. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2012, 6:17pm

      Surely it has to be welcomed that some religions wish to fight our corner.

      Whether you like it or not some Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual people are religious too dAVID! To them, it matters.

  4. Great to hear that ministers in the coalition are now realising that whilst its not reasonable to force religious organisations to breach their religious convcition by forcing them to marry a couple they feel that is religiously inappropriate for – it is equally unreasonable for those religous organisations to be legally prevented from doing so, if their conviction is that it is the right thing to do.

    Nick Herbert made similar statements in the last week or so.

    I am hopeful that amendments will be lodged regarding any government bill on equal marriage that will ensure religious freedom for those who wish to secure equal marriage.

    Equal but separate is not equality.

    1. I was going to ask if the government’s plans can be changed to include religious marriage as they don’t at the moment, but you’ve already answered it in your comment, Stu!

      I really think it would good if they did decide to add religious marriage to their plans to ensure full marriage equality for LGBT people.

      1. Absolutely.

        Any bill passing through Westminster can have amendments tabled in either the Commons or Lords. Sometimes (as I would hope in this instance) it is a constructive aspect of the parliamentary system that allows democratic accountability and review of proposed legislation. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be done maliciously to delay and prevent legislation happening.

    2. Separate can be perfectly equal. The current official proposal not about equality at all, but about “gay marriage” – a different marriage, rather than access to the same marriage. Unfortunately years of “gay marriage” nonsense rather prepared the way for that, and now we have to correct it.

      1. If you want to sit in a different part of the bus and be segregated but call it equality; If you want to be restricted to drinking from particular water fountains, but call it equality bedcause you can drink; if you want to have the beaches you can relax on be specified and call that segregation equality because you are permitted access to a beach … if you want to call that equality – then that’s your choice. You do not speak for me.

  5. As for Anglican Mainstreams rhetoric that no one will end up getting married – they need to look at the world around them and realise that their worldview is not shared by many and they should not be able to dictate their worldview.

  6. Dave Page 5 Jul 2012, 1:56pm

    Not exactly news. Nick has been a supporter of equal marriage, including equal religious marriage, since before he was in Government – and it’s been Lib Dem party policy for ages too. But happy to see people raising it.

    If the draft equal marriage Bill presented to Parliament doesn’t include religious marriage or mixed-sex civil partnerships, Lib Dem MPs will submit amendments.

    1. If the act doesn’t allow religious marriage, then a court case will correct it, but will take at least 3 years, during which discrimination will have continued to hold sway, and religions will continue to have a basis in national law to vilify us. But our politicians are probably planning on it happening that way, so they can claim to have defended religions.

      The European Convention allows a government to decide who may marry, but once a government allows us to marry it would become religious discrimination to not allow a religion to marry those the state allows to marry. And religious discrimination is serious.

      1. Why wait 3 years?

  7. Canon Chris Sugden of the group Anglican Mainstream … told the Standard: “If you remove gender from marriage, then nobody ends up married.”

    That surely must win a prize for convoluted illogic of the most bonkers level.

    1. Chris Sugden is part of the Anglican Mainstream organisation that clearly seek a theocratic UK.

      This story is not about their rhetoric – but about achieving real equality and freedom of religion for those organisations seeking to support LGBT people.

      Sugdens freedom of religion is not damaged by any proposals from government – his marriage will still exist, he will be able to marry (or not) couples that his religious beliefs allow him to and no one will force him to do anything he doesn’t believe in.

      His arguments are fatuous, disjointed, ignorant and demeaning (of himself and others).

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jul 2012, 2:26pm

        We are technically a theocracy. We have a monarch, the head of the state church which is part of the government and allowed to meddle in the political process by sitting in the unelected House of Lords and who get to say who is entitled to marry and who isn’t. I don’t know of any other European monarchy where the monarch is the head of state religion. Either way, I concur with your comments about Canon Sugden. He’s an ignorant, mendacious tosser.

        1. Whether the UK is or is not a theocracy is a debatable point, I certainly wouldnt see it as a true or pure theocracy. However, there is far too much influence in and interference with the democracy of the state by the CoE.

          I think perhaps a better word for what I was tryign to say is that Canon Sugden and his supporters seek an ecclesiocracy.

    2. Dan Filson 5 Jul 2012, 2:46pm

      What arrogance to call the body Anglican Mainstream. Who is to say what Anglican mainstream opinion really is?

      1. Well official CoE policy hardly appears to be mainstream opinion.

        1. Dan Filson 5 Jul 2012, 2:56pm

          Hard at times to say what the official line is!

          1. In regards equal marriage I was thinking of the official submission to the government consultation – which many, many leaders and members of the CoE have publically said does not speak for them.

    3. Cardinal Capone 5 Jul 2012, 3:26pm

      No one is planning to remove anything from marriage. It’s a straw man argument.

      1. The only arguments debased organisations such as Anglican “Mainstream” have is rhetorical fallacies.

        They might like to make them sound true, reasonable or valid points – however, the truth is they have no substance, no basis in fact, no relevance and are mere attempts to divert attention from the facts, reasonableness and integrity of ensuring equality in terms of civil marriage and freedom of religion for those who wish to support LGBT people.

        They know their arguments are unreasonable so they hide behind fallacies.

    4. Sadly, Anglican Mainstream are well funded and have influence in the Church of England.

      The woman who said that introducing equal marriage would lead to children being taught about scat is part of AM – completely bonkers.

  8. All this faffing is because we have an established religion in the UK.
    De-establish the religion, get rid of the unelected bishops in the second chamber and bingo! The problem wouldn’t exist.

    1. Sure, but in the meantime lets not prevent those religious organisations that wish to exercise their religious freedom to support same sex couples in marriage from being able to do so by making it illegal. Lets enable and encourage them to exercise their religious freedoms.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jul 2012, 2:32pm

      Let’s hope that once equal marriage is legal, their opposition will hasten their demise and irrelevance. They are completely out of touch with civil laws and rights and should not be allowed to have any input in matters that do not affect them directly. If millions pf people joined the National Secular Society, it’s quite feasible that disestablishment could become a reality. I bet every poll up and down the UK would support such a move.

      1. In the meantime lets not fail to encourage full and meaningful equality in marriage including within those religous organisations that wish to exercise their religious freedom by supporting LGBT people who wish to marry.

    3. Dan Filson 5 Jul 2012, 2:47pm

      Let’s focus on achieving equal marriage. Changing the world may take a bit longer

      1. Fair point!

        Equal marriage that is equal and not separate would be a strong preference!

      2. Dan Filson 5 Jul 2012, 2:54pm

        That comment was intended to relate to the comment about getting rid of the established church and removing bishops from the second chamber. The real point is that much as we should seek to enable churches to celebrate if te choose, same-sex marriages the same as other marriages, it must be made clear that there is no compulsion intended, now OR IN THE FUTURE, on churches to celebrate same-sex marriages. But the price they may pay longer-term for their bigotry may be, ultimately, the withdrawal of the tax concessions conferred on religious bodies. Freedom carries responsibilities, and if religious bodies choose to discriminate they must ultimately expect consequences.

        1. Perfectly reasonable.

          Freedom of religion is not enhanced by preventing those religious organisations who wish to support LGBT people marrying from doing so.

          Freedom of religion is not enhanced by certain religious organisations dictating to other religious groups and society in general how they should deal with issues.

          However, as you rightly say, those religious organisations that do seek to dictate should rightly expect consequences – both in terms of loss of support, public perception, dwindling numbers and ultimately possible disestablishment.

  9. I agree with Nick Clegg that religions should be able to marry same sex couples if they wish – it’d be weird to stop them doing so.

    However, I still don’t want any mention of that in the initial legislation. I want it to be CIVIL marriage only because I don’t want religions to have the slightest excuse to stick their (largely) lying, mis-informing, prejudiced noses in. I’m SO p*ssed off with all these religious people interfering and spreading cr*p about equal marriage. They should be told “We’re discussing CIVIL marriage – butt out”.

    Then when the initial civil legislation is in place, and the sky hasn’t fallen in, of course, amend it to permit religions that choose to do so to also carry out same sex marriages. I think it’d be easier this way. The whole process seems to be taking long enough as far as I’m concerned and I don’t want it slowed down any more than necessary.

    1. I agree completely (as I almost always do with you, Iris!).

    2. Your view is fatally short-sighted; just as was that of those who advocated for civil partnerships back when. Nice for those who want an unequal civil marriage, but no one else.

      All these little-step approaches essentially concede the right of others to keep us unequal. The source of that belief in our inequality is religion, and so religion has to be tackled, whilst allowing their adherents rights in their own lives.

      Equal marriage, with religions marrying who they believe they can, equally, and the bigot religions revealed for what they are, is the utter bedrock of our being equal people, everywhere, in every thing.

      The fact that the bigots oppose that so fiercely demonstrates its necessity.

  10. de Villiers 5 Jul 2012, 5:05pm

    Perhaps one answer is to remove all power from all religions to perform civil marriage and to require all civil marriages to be performed by the local mayor in the town hall.

    Then religions can hold whichever services they wish – in this way having any religious meaning they require – with civil marriage being reserved for state officials in state buildings.

    1. In the French manner? Yes, that would be the best solution by far. However, I understand the issue is really that the CoE is the Established church.

    2. de Villiers 5 Jul 2012, 8:26pm

      It seems normal to me! It is in the French manner. If the English churches are speaking of the separation from the state then perhaps this would be a response.

      1. It makes a great deal of sense to me too!

    3. Not going to happen.

  11. Jock S. Trap 5 Jul 2012, 6:14pm

    He is absolutely right although we can expect those religions that wish us hate and division to use this argument to somehow get other to believe they will be forced even though they won’t.

    This is only because they don’t want us to marry…. Nothing else. They argue for shame for themselves only never on merit.

    So, yes… Religious Freedoms do mean those that wish to celebrate and perform marry regardless of gender, of orientation.

    1. Those religions deny us marriage because they hate us, and have long used us to boost their power. We have long been their ultimate scapegoats. Marriage is the ultimate test of that, but not everything they wish to deny us.

      Once it is determined in national, and then international law, that religions may only control their own, consenting members, even in respect of the ultimate scapegoats, then we shall be free, and so shall many others.

      This matter is that important. The current official proposal is a disgraceful surrender to the abusive bigots.

  12. GulliverUK 5 Jul 2012, 7:40pm

    Make sure you let The Telegraph know how you feel, by voting in their poll.

    Some previous polls have got 20,000+ votes with 75-80% in favour of equal marriage.

    This one is currently low on votes and going the other way.

    You don’t need any sort of account to vote.

    1. Interesting.

      Three answers for people supporting equal marriage to split the vote to make it look less favoured.

      However, 58% of Telegraph readers appear to support one or another of the options for equal marriage in the poll (as at 22:50).

      Please vote in the poll if you have not already

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jul 2012, 12:05am

      Let’s hope the numbers for equal marriage increase while the those totally against equal marriage fall. I think Nick Clegg is right. As time progresses the negativity towards equal marriage will diminish. The hysteria in the first days of the consultation seems to have peeked. Once the naysayers get wind of France introducing it next year, I think a lot of them will have to resign themselves to the inevitable whether they like it or not. They’re outnumbered. I think the Telegraph and probably the Mail realise that. They can bleat and rant all they want, it’s coming.

    3. Its a pretty filthy trick that the Telegraph splits the pro-reform vote 3 ways, but doesn’t split the anti-LGB vote at all. At this moment, the combined vote for at least civil marriage is a clear 54% majority. The results page should say that.

  13. David Wainwright 5 Jul 2012, 11:52pm

    Not sure that I need or require Judas’ support and assistance in this matter , just wish he would not sully our cause with his name .

  14. Ray Crossman 9 Jul 2012, 9:38am

    Nick Clegg Dictator.
    How dare he try to force Christian Churches to marry queers.
    I wonder sometimes what Nick clegg sticks up his arsehole.

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