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Nick Clegg says churches should not face equal marriage ban

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  1. And the Daily Fail mouth-breathers will interpret this as churches being forced at gunpoint.

    Just get on with it, right now this is nothing but exploitation for political gain and it is causing harm by stirring up homophobia.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Aug 2012, 5:30pm

    Typical of bloody right wing ‘christian’ opponents to spread lies and instill fear. The ECHR in NO WAY will mandate that religious denominations will have to recognise or officiate same-sex marriages. None of the 11 countries with equal marriage force any religion to anything against their ethos. Their laws are quite specific and state that civil marriage shall be ‘gender neutral, nothing more. It’s about time someone in government put this one to bed once and for all. It’s fear-mongering and pandering to homophobia and the worst examples of bigotry.

    1. that and the ECHR has no proper influence to force anyone to do anything they just advisory decisions.

      1. Craig Nelson 13 Aug 2012, 9:58pm

        This is an important point. ECHR rulings do not apply directly to states – it is entirely down to national Parliaments to bring legislation into line with rulings from the ECHR. The whole thing is silly anyway because the ECHR has always protected religious freedom.

  3. o yea just like all those heterosexual marriages they are forced to conduct?

  4. Check out my blog about CBBC’s new series Marrying Mum and Dad

    1. relevance?

      1. Sorry, it was a bit off topic – but it does deal with marriage and discrimination.

  5. Big Lord Farey of Clifton is probably already in overdrive.

    1. I met him a couple of years ago – had to escort him around an event. I found he had a high opinion of himself, wasn’t what you’d call an intellectual, and was most interested in th free canapes.

    2. Spanner1960 14 Aug 2012, 1:04pm

      Is he another big farey then? ;)

  6. This argument about religious freedom ought to be very effective. I just dont see how anyone willbe able to justify favoring some religious views over others.
    And thank you, Nick Clegg.

  7. While I welcome his comments that those religious institutions that want to be able to marry same sex couples should be able to do so, I think that by making these comments at present, just adds fuel to the anti-equality lobby.

    I would rather they get the law in place allowing same sex couples full, equal marriage, then allow those institutions that want to be able to offer same sex marriage ceremonies the right to do so.

    1. I would prefer if the government took an even stronger line. Why on earth are my taxes going to fund religious schools and religious charities that do nothing that preach discrimination, intolerance and hatred? It is a public scandal that I have to contribute to funding it! Where is my religious freedom?

      1. Freedom from religion

  8. GulliverUK 14 Aug 2012, 9:17am

    Isn’t it more likely that the ECHR “would” intervene if same-sex couples were denied the same rights, to choose a religious marriage? But that means finding a church which wants to carry that out, since no church is forced to marry divorced couples against that churches beliefs. No church has been forced to marry anyone — well, unless you cite Henry VIII, but he invented the CoE !

    It would be shocking if the law was left so that Civil Partnerships could be offered in churches that want to, but Marriages for just same-sex couples was denied. Clegg is not only doing what is right, he is heading off a legal challenge which would come in the future.

    Remember what Sentamu said about Civil Partnerships in churches;

    “I live in a liberal democracy and I want equality for everybody. I cannot say the Quakers shouldn’t do it. Nor do I want somebody to tell me the Church of England must do it or the Roman Catholic Church must do it..”

    1. GulliverUK 14 Aug 2012, 9:23am

      Remember that the law protects churches from legal action, Section 202 of the Equality Act. All that is required is to add the words “or Marriage” to the existing “Civil Partnerships”. And the system is church-by-church, venue-by-venue, and OPT-IN system. Every church or venue that wants to conduct a Civil Partnership must opt-in by approaching the local council, and paying the registration fee (remember there was some outrage because for CPs, due to some quirk at the Home Office, this was many times what it is for marriage – don’t know if that got resolved).

      If you don’t want to carry out Civil Partnerships in your church or venue you simply do …. NOTHING. And you remain OPTED-OUT. You can’t be sued if you don’t offer that service, just like a gentleman’s outfitters can’t be sued if it doesn’t offer childrens’ or womens’ clothes.

      No straight couples have sued over churches refusing to re-marry them, no gay couples have sued in any place where it’s been legalised.

      1. Derek McAuley, Unitarian Chief Officer 14 Aug 2012, 9:52pm

        Matter of the fee for registration of premises for civil partnerships remains an issue. It can be £1000 plus fo only 3 years compared to £120 for marriage with no timescale. This is a major deterrent and few religious premises have yet registered. I am working with colleagues at Quakers, Liberal Judaism and now the United Reformed Church to highlight this impediment to Government.

  9. Another great move by Mr Clegg on this issue. Most welcome.

  10. I think it’s time that the UK Government only recognized civil marriages as is the case in Europe where a religious ceremony follow the civil one if the couple want it.

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