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Exclusive: Government to support gay couples marrying in church in plans to be announced next week

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  1. Good.

    Let the Christian Institute’s wailing commence!

    1. Cameron is about to receive a lot of wailing emails and letters from the C4M lot.

      If you want to write in support his stance (or not. if you’re against: unlike C4M, we don’t tell you how to think) why not use the Number 10 link below:

      1. Dave North 7 Dec 2012, 2:57pm

        Posted in support.

        His inbox will go into overdrive on this one.

    2. I like the way you think!
      I’ve just emailed in support as well.

  2. Galadriel1010 7 Dec 2012, 12:00pm


  3. Jock S. Trap 7 Dec 2012, 12:05pm

    Excellent news!!

  4. Hysterical Screamer No. 243 7 Dec 2012, 12:11pm

    That’s great news!

  5. Oh Jesus, the Roman Catholic Church is going to go NUCLEAR over this.

    I cannot wait to see them all go apes*it!

    1. Let them! I want to see everyone’s favourite cardinal burst at lest three blood vessels.

      The C4M cretins brought this on themselves. Their blinkered view is so restricted that they didn’t realise where their clamour for religious freedom would lead to.

      It’s going to be huge fun to laugh in their pinched, Puritanical faces.

      1. Don Harrison 7 Dec 2012, 4:35pm

        Only three?

  6. C’mon, Scott, you should know better than this.

    “push for complete marriage equality, meaning religious organisations will be allowed to provide same-sex marriages”

    Please stop pushing the myth that equal marriage is synonymous with same sex marriage.

    How are the needs of intersex and non-binary identifying people catered for, here?

    Sorry for the whinge, but we get tired of still having to walk while the rest of you ride high on the bandwagon at is rolls by.

    1. Can you explain what you mean? If marriage is gender-neutral, how is that not equal marriage?

    2. I believe that Equal Marriage will allow all marriages. The Marriage/Civil Partnership divide is the most odious where transgender people are concerned who wish to remain married – they actually had to get divorced and enter a civil partnership! That’s completely unacceptable.
      With Equal Marriage that’s no longer a problem, all couples will be able to marry regardless.
      I’m not sure what you feel the issue is?

  7. Equality Network 7 Dec 2012, 12:37pm

    The Scottish Govt have proposed this for Scotland all along, and to be honest the reaction from the conservative churches here has I think been no worse than it would have been if the proposal had been for civil same-sex marriage only.

    Those churches oppose same-sex marriage full stop, whether it’s civil only, or whether religious bodies like the Unitarians are able to do them too (and in Scotland, non-religious belief bodies, ie the Humanists).

    It’s great if the UK Govt are now also supporting freedom in England and Wales for religious bodies to choose whether or not to do same-sex marriages. That position may well be the only position that is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

    1. I hope they don’t amend the Equality Act. But it looks like they do intend to weaken protection for sexual orientation or strengthen the protection for faith groups.

      1. I’m not a lawyer but I believe they don’t need to amend it.
        Legislation can demand that all registrars carry out all weddings but the state does not have the reach to dictate what faith groups do or don’t do. (unless it’s covered by anti-discrimination laws: eg if a church rents out public space, a hall or something, to any member of the public but then tries to discriminate against gay people or anyone, they can’t do that)
        If a faith group refuses to marry divorced people then there is nothing the state can do, except maybe say: you can marry in a registry office so you get the same result even if it’s not via the same process.
        I just don’t see the Equal Marriage legislation affecting the decisions by faith groups on who gets to have ceremonies carried out for them. That’s been their decision and always will be.
        [PS: let’s hope my maths skills work this time, I just lost the whole lot]

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Dec 2012, 12:50pm

    The CoE and Roman cults have already stated they are strongly opposed to equal marriage but they have NO right to oppose progressive denominations that do. Those ministers who have doubts should not be allowed to decide if those willing to participate should be barred. Who do they think they are?

    It’s going to be very interesting to hear their reaction now that Cameron has devised a “foolproof lock” to guarantee protection for those who are opposed. They’ll have no more excuses to throw back at those in support.

    As for Lord Carey, he’s living in the 19th century alluding to Mormon style polygamous marriages. They were outlawed in the 1890 and those who disobeyed the law were excommunicated. There has been no demand for polygamous unions anywhere, so his statement is ludicrous let alone spurious. He needs a reality check. Nobody believes that nonsense any more and he needs to get a life and join the 21st century.

  9. I’m all for state same sex marriage if that is what people want, however, I think the religions should be kept out of it. It’s just asking for trouble.

  10. Reuben Adams 7 Dec 2012, 12:54pm

    Pave the way for polygamy? Big deal! It’s about time we allowed that to be legally performed in the UK, too.

    1. Don Harrison 7 Dec 2012, 4:36pm

      More scaremongering

    2. I agree entirely that it should be the next target. Frankly I think incestuous marriages should be legalized too. What business is it of mine who people love or f-ck?

  11. Robert (Kettering) 7 Dec 2012, 1:06pm

    You only have to look at countries like Belgium and Spain who have full marriage equality to see the C of E and RC are just scaremongering. In neither countries have they been forced to conduct same sex marriages. No court cases have been taken to the European Court etc. Proves that the lock will work in the UK too.

  12. Thank goodness for this welcome news. I was hoping against hope that the new law WOULD allow THOSE CHURCHES THAT WANT TO DO SO- to marry same sex couples in their churches. I expect HOWLS of opposition from the Anglican and RC church in the UK. But really they can’t object- because they would then be denying the SAME religious freedom they are seeking to defend for their own religions to other religions. How inconsistent an argument is that? Seeking to legally prevent same-sex couples from marrying in their own churches- and yet denying the legal rights of other churches who DO wish to marry sam-sex couples in their churches.

    No-I suspect that the REAL reason they would want to stop ANY church marrying same-sex couples is that it would really show up the Anglicand and RC churches as the mean-minded spiteful religions that they are!!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Dec 2012, 1:48pm

      I agree. I think once equal marriage is legal, those denominations that want to participate are eventually going to put pressure on the CoE in particular, not directly, but from the public who will see their family and friends who want a religious ceremony being forced to go to a welcoming non-mainstream denomination while the state church remains isolated in its opposition. It’s even going to turn them further away from the CoE, something it may not have bargained for given it’s current decline in attendance at religious services.

      Then there’s the question of lost revenue it will lose to those who wish to marry us. It may well cause the new occupant in Canterbury to reconsider it’s stubborn refusal to accept us completely. Equal marriage will eventually impact the issue of celibacy among clergy who are in a Civil Partnership. Marriages are supposed to be ‘consummated’ to establish validity. I strongly welcome the governments proposals.

      1. I am very curious to see what happens when individual clergy would like to marry same-sex couples even though their church throws a fit about it. Will they get ex-communicated for following their own conscience? If there is trouble like this then I believe the reputation of that church will suffer even more.
        I think this news is very welcome. I can’t see why it should be a problem for the state to say: we won’t require faith groups to marry anyone they don’t wish to marry, but all marriages they do conduct will be legal regardless of the gender of the couple.
        I’m keen to see what that legal lock is like. It’ll sure be interesting.

  13. I’m still of the opinion that this should NOT be a ‘free vote’ in the House of Commons; if Cameron had an spherical objects he’d make it a ‘three-line whip’ issue. Full civil rights and equality are not issues that should be left to the mercy of fanatically religious MPs or those with hatreds and prejudices against LGBT people.

    1. That There Other David 7 Dec 2012, 1:30pm

      I disagree, but only because I prefer to know who my opponents are. The free vote strategy allows every single one of them to be identified.

  14. That There Other David 7 Dec 2012, 1:29pm

    Finally, some progress!! I’ll wait and see what this foolproof lock stuff is about, but otherwise it’s great to see that the government is willing to stop dragging its heels over this.

  15. I am glad that they are considering an opt-in for those who wish to do so.

  16. ErinOfTheGreene 7 Dec 2012, 1:42pm

    The only thing that is “grotesque” is the RCC leadership whinging about other people getting equal rights while they cover up pedophiles.

  17. ...Paddyswurds 7 Dec 2012, 2:05pm

    Hopefully the PM will make it UK wide and bring Equality to all. The chances of it ever being passed into Law in the North of Ireland or Scotland in the next fifty years is very slim for Scotland and doubtful if ever in the North of Ireland…..

    1. Equality Network 7 Dec 2012, 2:10pm

      Nonsense! Where on earth do you get that idea from? Is it simply anti-Scottish prejudice?

      2/3 of Members of the Scottish Parliament have already said they’ll support equal marriage. The Scottish bill is likely to be published in the next two weeks. Not only does Scotland intend to do this; the Scottish Govt announced their plans before the UK Govt did, and those plans always included religious same-sex marriage.

      Northern Ireland is another matter, of course.

    2. Plus the PM doesn’t have the power to change marriage law in Scotland

  18. If the Government supports this does it mean the whole cabinet, all ministers and all their PPS bag carriers will support it because if they don’t then surely they should not be in Government. I can think of a couple of right-wing nut job MP’s who are ministers and PPS’ like that blithering idiot John Hayes (you remember Mr Windfarms are evil) and David Burrowes who carries bags for Owen Patterson.

  19. Gay marriage bill will be massacred in the Lords and govt can’t use Parliament Act as it wasn’t in manifesto. Arrogant Cameron knows best

    1. Pretty sure you are wrong re the Parliament Act, Matthew.

    2. Michael C 7 Dec 2012, 2:53pm

      Funny how you use the exact same language as Stewart Jackson’s tweet, “Matthew”.

      You’re wrong, by the way.

    3. J. McQueen 7 Dec 2012, 3:11pm

      Actually it was in one of the Coalition party’s manifestos, the Conservative Party at that too. So that argument is a tad flawed. However both Labour and the Lib Dems have said it will be a whipped vote in both Houses so no it will pass through in to Law relatively easy and there will be as a result more equality in law for LGBT people in the UK.

    4. I’m fairly certain that’s not the Parliament Act but a misinterpreted version of the Salisbury Convention, a constitutional convention which states that no law promised in a manifesto can be opposed in its second or third reading by the House of Lords.

      The Parliament Act is the one that prevents the House of Lords from vetoing any public Bill introduced in the House of Commons, only allowing them to the delay it for one year before the Lords can be circumvented.

  20. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed…

  21. Allowing churches to participate if they wish is religious freedom, true religious freedom.

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