See, that wasn’t so hard was it? All the Christians saying they’d be FORCED to marry gays in church have the protection we have ALWAYS SAID they’d get. They’re still going to find something to complain about no doubt.
Fine, let the religious bigots remain in the Dark Ages. As history tell us time and time again, eventually they will end up having to concede that they were wrong.
All sounds fair to me… now for the action and I welcome it.
Religions that oppose will stand out as bigoted however not all within will agree.
Equally those that wish to celebrate and perform marriage equally will stand out and I hope that those religions increase in number to out-strip the old dinosaurs!
Marriage here we come… at last!! WooHoo!!
And in response, I would like some protection in law so that I can refuse services to Christians without fear of prosecution. Why do we have to bow down to these God-bothering loons, who think they have a monopoly on morality, and keep giving them special dispensation to be continue peddling their hatred? OK, rant over.
I agree 100%
I am self employed and I provide a service to the general public. I am legally obligated to serve each of my customers and clients without prejudice and I must adhere to the equality act.
I don’t see why they, as public service providers, should be any different.
sorry Michael, I just hit report instead of reccomend, sorry, I’m on a tablet!
I agree. I am a church organist, but I refuse to offer my services to the Catholic Church or the Church of England. I suspect I am breaking the law.
Will your Parliament schedule this vote for early 2013, OR will they schedule it for after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on DOMA and Prop 8 in June of 2013 OR does the U.K. have absolutely no interest in how/when/what the U.S. stance of the subject is? I’d love to hear opinions on if there is or isn’t any connection between the upcoming U.K. and U.S. votes/rulings. Will one have any impact on the other? We US-ers are pleased that the SCOTUS will hear these cases but also have some trepidation… our Supreme Court is tilted towards conservative views. Our hope over here is that the U.K. will approve marriage equality before our SCOTUS rules. The hope is that a positive ruling out of the U.K. might serve to influence our SCOTUS to rule in our favor as well. Any thoughts?
The world doesn’t revolve around the US, this has very little to do with the action there. All major parties in some form or another supported equal marriage at the last election in 2010, this is about “local” politics rather than global. I sincerely doubt Mr Cameron has any designs on influencing American decisions on the issue, so I wouldn’t expect the timing to pay too much heed to it.
The first vote I believe is supposed to take place in the Spring of 2013 to David Cameron. I don’t think this has any bearing on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling. Bear in mind, our Prime Minister declared support for equal marriage in 2010, long before President Obama had a sudden epiphany earlier this year. The two aren’t connected in any way, shape or form.
As usual, the second largest country on the planet means nothing to either the US or the UK!!! I guess it’s time for us Canadians to just give up trying to have an effect on anyone but ourselves… time to go back to our affirming congregations and decorate for yet another wedding…
Calm down love. Canada simply getting this done without the sky collapsing has gone a long way towards convincing Brits and Yanks on the fence over marriage equality. The name of your country most definitely gets invoked many a time when this gets debated here.
Ahh, Christopher, I’m afraid my original post may have been misunderstood. From my perspective on the south side of YOUR border, you Canadians got it right the first time around… kudos to you! My thought was that each and every country that has passed any form of marriage equality or civil recognition adds pressure to the U.S. We are so overrun with Evangelicals down here that, I believe, we need outside influence. The SCOTUS is not immune to public/world opinion. I did not want to suggest that the sun rises and shines on the U.S. and everyone should genuflect… but I sure hope that ALL of the enlightened countries may help to hold the SCOTUS’s feet to the fire. Frankly, we’re all worried down here but hoping for the best. Nothing but kind words and good wishes to all from me.
You can read the government’s full response here: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/consultation-response?view=Binary
This is good news, *but* I would have preferred to see a system of ‘opt out’ rather than ‘opt in’ [I believe the former is the system that allows the CofE not to have to married divorced couples].
I’m a little suspicious of the ‘quadruple lock’ thing – it’s very clear that it will be illegal in both state and canon law for the CofE to marry gay couples, why do we also need the change to the Equality Act? And what are the other prongs to this quadruple lock?
But yes, on the whole, very good news. Let’s just see it enacted (including getting past the conservative (small ‘c’) House of Lords) as quickly as possible.
All a bit overkill that IMO. I’m also a bit concerned that this actually gives rights to some religious denominations denied to all. Surely the CoE should just be allowed not to opt-in as with Vatican Inc.?
Otherwise, it’s great news, especially the bit about 53% of respondents being in favour. With all the religious lobbying against that went on that shows a large majority of UK citizens are in favour IMO.
I agree. I don’t get why it needs to be illegal for the CofE and the CofW to conduct ss marriages. What’s wrong with just letting them opt out if they want to like all the other religious bodies? I guess it’s the CofE leadership wanting it to be illegal so that those priests within their own church who would want to officiate at a ss wedding can be prosecuted if they step out of line. Now, all the pro equality priests should quit if they have any integrity, but I’ll bet most won’t because they know which side their bread is buttered. And they claim to be moral leaders? Lol.
This is good news that the UK government is going to legislate for religious as well as civil marriage for same-sex couples, and that they’d stated it will be brought in this coming year. So it looks like England, Wales and Scotland (where the Bill is already being drafted) will have it soon – let’s hope Northern Ireland won’t be too far behind.
Expecting the Scottish draft bill to be published very soon!
You know, just a few months ago I was still concerned that equal marriage wouldn’t become a reality in Scotland or England & Wales. Now I’m so pleased that it looks like both the UK and Scottish governments are comitted to it. Let’s hope there are no unexpected hurdles now we’re on the home straight!
By the way, is there any indication of exactly when the Scottish Bill will be published? Even though I know the Scot govt. is working on it, I hate not knowing the exact details and timetable!
excellent! Things got more improved. I wish some more laws should be madeto stop homophobia. especially in asian comunity.
In Asia, certainly. But we have some way to go here in the UK until we can get disregarded all those gay offences from 1967 not included in the recent amnesty of the Freedoms Bill and which occurred in a different social context few of those convicted would choose today. Lives remain blighted by the consequences of the enhanced CRB checks that humiliate them, exclude gay men from employment and from volunteering as if they were a risk to children and vulnerable adults because they had committed or solicited gay sex in a public place when gays did not have the discreet and safer opportunities available nowadays.
Unfortunately the Government has said faith schools will be able to teach that gay marriage is not real marriage.
Faith schools should be abolished entirely as far as I’m concerned. There’s no place for them in a state-funded education system.
Yeah, but faith schools teach creationism – Who’s going to take them seriously? :p
The way Mrs Miller continually frames her rhetoric about religious organisations being able to refuse to marry same-sex couples really is extremely prejudiced against LGBTs and I fear this prejudice is going to make its way into the new law. Churches should be free to choose whether or not they conduct any marriage ceremonies, not just those of same-sex couples. Mrs Miller’s gendered rhetoric on the issue really is unnecessary. The new law should not echo the language of bigotry by only discriminating against LGBTs in whatever ‘protections’ are included for religious organisations who do not wish to embrace equality and diversity. Cater for them Mrs Miller, but please don’t become like them.
Churches will be BANNED from holding weddings but they can CHOOSE to ‘opt-in’. That’s the whole point. She’s saying “Right, sod you, you crowd of whinging wassacks. If you WANT to hold gay marriages, you’ll have to apply for a licence”. The net effect of that will be to make those that DON’T apply look increasingly discriminatory, out of touch and irrelevant. I think it’s a brilliant move!
I was watching this debate with interest and I felt that Maria Miller stood her ground quite well.
Peter Bone on the other hand looked and acted like a spoiled child, throwing down papers on his bench.
I also like that a Labour MP raised the fact that the CofE were once against the abolition of slavery and that he hoped they would, in time, change their view on same sex marriage.
Other sources say 2014? Which isn’t next year.
The vote will be in early 2013, then it will need to get through the Lords before being put forward for Royal Ascent. January 1st 2014 is a good date to aim for.
Though if it doesn’t get through the Lords, they would have to wait until the next Parliamentary session (i.e., after next May) to use the Parliament Act to force it through.
(by the way, in case you didn’t realise, it’s spelled Royal Assent and is just a formality – all that’s required is for the Speakers of the Commons and the Lords to announce that Assent has been granted after it has passed both Houses)
LOL. Thanks James. I saw the Ascent bit after I’d hit the “Add Comment” button. Too late to change it then though.
Stupid #$!!ing WordPress sites ;-)
I heard they can’t use the Parliament Act, because that only applies to bills that were in a party’s manifesto, which in the Conservatives’ case, it wasn’t. Does anyone know if that’s right?
“We will also consider the case for changing the
law to allow civil partnerships to be called and
classified as marriage.”
which is at;
top-right, page 14.
Some civil servant writing those proposals is to be commended for putting those words into the mouths of Maria Miller and David Cameron! It is only a pity that the UK as a leader in moral issues should have taken so long to get to this point. Even in “Third-World” South Africa the Constitution and Parliamentary Law has enabled this hugely traditionalist country to embrace the concept of same-sex marriage. I speak as one who married my partner David on the 17th November, 2012 in a wonderful service conducted by a Minister of The African Church of Truth (very similar to Unitarian).
Ah yes, South Africa, that shining beacon of LGBT equality. A place where the corrective rape, maiming and killing of lesbians is seen as ‘part of culture’ and around 500 lesbians are raped every year, often by gangs.
Until this sorry state of affairs changes, I will challenge anyone who tells me how advanced LGBT rights are in South Africa.
I have just been watching the Secretary of State’s statement to the House. I do think that Maria Miller is to be congratulated on being able to achieve an equitable balance between human rights and bigotry. However, I am very worried at the way the Tory backbenchers who use religion to disguise their opposition to equal marriage can be so cavalier in wanting to ditch human rights legislation and retreat from international HR treaties in order to rework human rights in the image of their own prejudices. I fear we could lose all our hard-won progress via the British Bill of Rights they keep demanding.
How ironic that a local lesbian or gay vicar wont be able to marry the same sex couples in their congregation even if they wanted to – no women bishops and now this. How much further out of touch could the C of E be?
Don’t be upset it adds weight to the argument to separate church and state. Every cloud has a silver lining.
I think Maria Miller has played a blinder! By legislating AGAINST churches being allowed to perform gay marriages, the church has effectively cut itself off from what could prove to be a lucrative (and progressive) market. Also, religion will increasinly look out-of-touch with main-stream society. Brilliant! I’d lay money on there soon being a queue of churches applying for licences through fear of becoming totally marginalised.
I agree. The CoE has painted itself into a corner on this one, totally self-imposed isolation. Once other denominations begin to marry us, some of the moderate Anglican clergy will regret their actions in opposing us making it harder for them to have dialogue with not only gay peole but to appeal to the next generation of worshippers, the younger generation.
This was a very smart move by Maria Miller to apply the same ruling to the church that discriminates against divorced heterosexuals having a religious ceremony. This has in fact diminished the power of the CoE to some extent by default. They’re now getting every protection that they wished for or had concerns about but the consequences for it are going to be profound in the years ahead. The CoE will become even more irrelevant and could well pave the way for disestablishment since it will remain isolated from the daily lives of he public, forever out of touch.
They said all this garbage about being forced when Civil Partnerships were brought in. Nothing new about their harping and moaning.
The protections are comprehensive, CoE and Church of Wales will not be allowed to marry same-sex couples, regardless, so their association with the government won’t matter.
It also makes a stronger case for civil marriage for all, mirroring the French model. Now that would really be the death knell for the CoE. It would be sweet music to my ears.
Amen to that !! :D
The government clearly have no interest in extending Civil Partnerships, because I believe they eventually want to get rid of them altogether. I have no evidence for that, except the lack of willingness to look in to extending them, and a gut feeling. Makes perfect sense to have only one type of marriage – but I think that’s very wrong. I suspect that if Civil Partnerships could be offered to heterosexual couples they would be diving in within a few years, toppling the number of marriages. Already over 70% of couples have no religious ceremony for their marriage, and that is increasing year on year. Religion is now almost out of marriage.
Can we also have a clause to prevent homosexuals from suing hotels and B&B’s who do not want this kind of person and can legally refuse service. Only fair if the Churches have it.
Don’t be a tit. Get back to the Daily Mail or Telegraph.
Ah, you mean a bigot’s charter. That will not happen, neither, unfortunately, will there be legislation to incarcerate bigoted religious people in lunatic asylums.
no you can’t. your christian b&b owners need to brace themselves for gay honeymooners descending on them in their last days of dinosaur existence.
They’ve actually done a disservice to all B&B owners, because of their homophobia and bigotry I would never consider ever staying in any B&B. So if B&B owners are finding these difficult economic times, they can be sure that some of that is down to these fringe fundamentalist Christian bigots.
GOOD NEWS: There are, since 2001, 4 MILLION less Christians in the UK as people dump religion.
Maybe 2015 was right. The Marriage Equality Bill gets introduced in March 2013 passes the House of Commons in August 2013, then possible passes the House of Lords in March 2014 (or the House of Lords rejects the bill and that means the UK Parliament Act 1912 forces the bill to Queens Assent – just like they did with the equal age of consent bill back in 2000), gets the Queens Royal Assent the next day usually and becomes effective from 1 January, 2015!
I wish Australia was on board on marriage equality right now, because 66% of us here in Australia want it now. But then again I know our stupid politicians (both Labor and Liberal) here in backward Australia will not let us have equal marriage – until the year 2027!
Well, you’ll just have to change that won’t you. March, write to your MPs, start petitions, make yourself annoying and a pain. There was an absolutely fantastic Australian video, “It’s Time”, which went viral. Don’t wait until 2027 – keeping pressing on and ahead. Storm parliament if you have to ! And get that Gillard person out.
Northern Ireland does not have any plans for same-sex marriage – let alone adoption equality for gay couples as well!
Northern Ireland is just like Australia – full of stupid old religious right-wing politicians, with no balls to reform anything whatsoever!
That’s a problem, but the least of the problems they have in NI, sadly.
Luckily, all the people who are gay in Northern Ireland can simply move to the UK – and they’re all welcome. Eventually the NI assembly will wake up – or more likely in 30 years the current old-fogies will be out of politics, and a younger more wise and credible parliament will solve the problem. Equality is going one way only, younger people grow up with their gay friends and can’t comprehend why their friends shouldn’t have the same legal opportunities and life opportunities as them. Even I am not so old I cannot remember being utterly confused as to why women and non-whites were not being treated equally, even here in the UK. The Irish should remember those “No Irish” signs in B&Bs and remember what that felt like.
The people causing most of the trouble in NI don’t consider themselves ‘Irish’. Their whole issue is about being part of ‘Britain’ and being ‘British’. That’s why they’re so upset about a flag,
Julia Gillard is a person who really has a very strong ultra right-wing belief on the inside – while really showing to the whole wide world she has very strong ultra left-wing belief on the outside!
Just like a watermelon or a coconut!
I AM NOT FOOLED FOR EVEN ONE SECOND!
I don’t think I am gay anymore but more straight since Maria Miller got her job. Everytime she opens her mouth, I feel like I am being f++cked by her. Her only goal is to protect the churches and not effect gay equality.
Why do they not have the balls to give 100% equality. If this was a race issue there would be riots and burning of buildings.
For most of us, including the majority of all those heterosexual couples getting married, we don’t want to get married in a church. If they get what they want and, more importantly, we get what we want, then I’m ok with that. More than 70% of all those getting married now they avoid the church completely. Even now many heterosexual couples find they can’t get married in church anyway, because they’ve been married before, or their local vicar just decides they haven’t been to church often enough. Some mixed-ethnicity couples find a problem, and those of different faiths also have problems. The whole system is highly discriminatory, and perhaps that’s why most people avoid any religious element in their marriage, and perhaps because faith is dying rapidly now – the very out-of-touch nature of their beliefs is so far removed from our day-to-day lives that they are almost an affront to society. How on earth did the CoE just vote down equality for women, given its links to the state!
I do hope ALL MP’s are whipped into attending because going on the Commons debate their we’re too many bigots.
Would you like to see C4M’s calm reasoned, rational and not at all howling-at-the-moon response?
Sure you would:
I can only assume that being called “disgusting” by MPs yesterday has driven the odious Colin Hart (C4M/Christian Institute’s pillock-on-chief) to the very edge of insanity…
C4M/Christian Institute’s pillock-in*-chief
[Note to self: Sasha - learn to proof read!]
Colin Hart needs to book in to the priory – he seems to have been drinking too much communal wine. Ignore those prats, common-sense always wins, even if it’s sometimes slow in arriving.
Their results were a sham – I set one of my servers to snap-shot their front page with the counts, and it got bumped up by thousands every weekday, only 170,000 or so people actually signed the ONLINE petition, all the rest were, allegedly, signatures from church-attending folk, and we know they were told to sign it. That appears to break the terms of their charitable status – trying to subvert democracy. Although most of us would argue Churches have no right to charitable status — because they can’t prove they’re actually doing anything to benefit the majority in the UK.
Here’s an example of the increases;
1657 added 18:27-18:32 9th new total 504,046
3759 added 16:59-17:05 10th new total 508,063
2185 added 17:17-17:22 14th new total 513,302
2310 added 17:36-17:41 15th new total 515,918
He also suffers from multiple-personality issues.
Here he is, again. This time, Colin’s wearing his Christian Institute hat (I’m imagining a studded leather Muir cap) writing and article in which he quotes the article the wrote while wearing the C4M (pink feathers and a rhinestone cross)
I love the way he refers to himself in the third person. Sasha thinks Sasha will start doing the same. :) But which hat to wear?
As someone who has worked in a few parliaments, I’m a bit dubious about the headline for this article.
A Bill will likely be passed clearly through the Commons and tortuously through the Lords by December 2013. That however doesn’t account for Royal Assent and an implementation date. These kind of formalities tend to be anything from 6 months to 1 year after a major Act has been approved, as politicians and civil servants like to give themselves plenty of time to seek out and solve any practical pitfalls.
I’d imagine same sex couples in all parts of mainland Britain should still be aiming for Summer 2014 as a realistic period in which to pencil in the big day :)
This bogus argument about being forced has been going on for years.
Vicars could be sued for refusing to bless gay weddings, fears Church
Last updated at 00:11 21 November 2006
It’s all so tired and threadbare.
There’s an expression in Russian (and for all I know in English, too) which goes “Aren’t you boring yourself with your own stupidity?” I think of it every time one of these C4M bigots pops up. Surely, even they must tire of their vacuous prattle.
C4M’s Colin Hart suffers from multiple-personality issues.
Here he is, again. This time Colin’s wearing his Christian Institute hat (I’m imagining a studded leather Muir cap) writing an article in which he quotes the article the wrote earlier this afternoon while wearing the C4M titfer (pink feathers and a rhinestone cross)
I love the way he refers to himself in the third person. Sasha thinks Sasha will start doing the same. But which hat will Sasha wear?
[This might get duplicated. I seem to be having issues with PN, today]
I think the goverment’s plan is insulting to LGBs. It is similar to DOMA and constitutional amendments in the US in that it is an effort to put up legal obstacles to prevent future generations from having the option of not discriminating.
In addition, it is an effort to criminalize dissent in the church. While they’re at it, why not also make it illegal for the Catholic and Anglican churches to ordain female priests and bishops?
Since when is it government’s business to enforce church law?
There was no need to include such offensive language, since allowing same-sex marriage would not have had any detrimental effect on any religion whatsoever.
I hear what you’re saying. However …. in the UK the Church of England is part of the state – like Iran – we have 26 Bishops voting on legislation in our House of Lords. Because it is associated with the government it is bound by some parts of the Equality Act. They were told they would be breaking the law if they didn’t allow women priests, and they eventually agreed. They have just been told they will be breaking the spirit of the law if they don’t allow women Bishops, and they will eventually allow that. The same close association is not true of the Catholic church, or others. They have an obligation to marry anyone who want to be married, under law, but by putting in this ban against them marrying same-sex couples, when they eventually do get their act together, and approve it, the CoE will then need to have the law amended to allow them to carry this out. The Common Book of Prayer is, unfortunately, also part of our law.
Therefore, it was necessary, until we disestablish them, and rip out those silly legal obstacles, to give them a special protection which doesn’t apply to other churches.
But the fact remains, most heterosexuals, over 70%, don’t get married in church, and the number of people who are gay who will want to get married in a church will be relatively small. Not because we’re heathens, but because, like our straight peers, nobody wants religion to have an invite to their ‘special day’. We will be able to get married and have equality. Even if the CoE hadn’t been a wing of the government, they would still have taken decades more to approve SSM, so would have still refused to offer services to us – so no real loss, except for them!
Interesting article by Marc D’Arcy – are their Lordships more Equal Marriage-friendly than MPs?
The Queen hates queens? How ridiculous that the church of their own nation are forbidden from marrying same sex couples?
I think the move to outright ban the Church of England from carrying out same-sex marriages was a very shrewd move by the government – it has instantly shifted the tone of media coverage from “C of E worried about being forced to marry gays” to “C of E to be banned from marrying gays”. In practical terms, nothing has actually changed – the idea that churches might be compelled to marry same-sex couples was just a diversionary tactic to hide the true reason for their opposition, which is their backward belief that gay unions are inferior to straight ones. Well done to the government for calling their bluff – this will make the passage of the legislation far smoother I suspect.
It was clever, although terrible for any priests or bishops in the CoE who had expressed their desire to hold same-sex marriages in the future. Realistically, it will be 30+ years before the CoE gets it sh1t together. Perhaps what they’ll do is, over the next decade, approve their own individual priests and bishops the right to perform Civil Partnerships.
We have to remember this bizarre and utterly out-of-date archaic institution allow their own priests to have Civil Partnerships — BUT only if they “promise” to remain sexless !! What a dopey lot.
Much better than was previously signalled, originally the government indicated churches wouldn’t be allowed to perform same sex marriages at all, so this is much better.
However the explicit ban for Church of England/Wales is unnecessary as they could simply not opt in and there will be higher levels of difficulty in the future if they ever change their minds. There are also ministers in the Church of England and other religions that will be unable to legally perform same sex marriage, despite personal convictions to the contrary, because their leadership is against it.
I see why they’re doing this tho, the “quadruple lock” concession is a political manoeuvre, attempting to whip the carpet from under most of the recent “arguments” against marriage equality and possibly considerably easing Church of England obstructionism. However those that oppose marriage equality will likely continue to oppose it and personally I don’t think gov should be taking a side in the CoE marriage debate.
I agree with Adam about the media though and other than what I’ve mentioned I’m fairly thrilled and look forward to the votes next year.
Banning the CoE and CoW from performing Equal Marriage ceremonies is an unexpectedly brilliant move.
It will be like a millstone around their necks reading OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED BIGOT.
The fact that both organisations will be formally beyond the pale will no doubt cause many of their more moderate members to pause for thought and question their continued membership.
In case anyone was interested and missed it, here is the debate in the HoC.
See the timeline from about 12:39:30
It’s quite long, about 90mins, but I guess most people will only really be interested in her statement, then the oppositions, then perhaps the first few queries. It all gets a bit samie after that.
I am amazed that the consultation was 53% in favour. As far as I could tell, our side had no organized effort to submit comments. It was a disgrace. With some actual organized effort, it easily could have been 65% in favour. Whatever happens with this issue, there are real questions as to whether Stonewall is worth the money it receives.
Remind me again why religions are allowed such special rights and allowances? What exactly do they do to deserve it?