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Church of England: We can live with the government’s marriage reforms

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  1. Both churches softening their stance in under 48 hours – I’d call that a win for the government. I don’t like a lot of what the ConDemnation has got up to, but I do feel they’ve played a blinder on this one. What better way to get churches to perform gay marriages than banning them from doing it?

    1. I do agree and remain utterly flabbergasted at what is going on here. If David Cameron got a big black marker and went around stamping BIGOT on the forehead of every vicar in the country it would not have the same impact as what he is proposing to do with the new legislation for equal marriage by offering the CofE a personalised opt-out.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 2:24pm

        And no opting in either! I love it! It’s eventually going to pit the minority of supportive clergy against the hierarchy if that number increases. I hope they form a group of their own in opposition. Imagine a couple of hundred of them challening the bishops. Would they dare sack them? Faced with an ever dwindling attendance record on any given sunday and the extraordinarily difficult time they’re having trying to attract new clergy, I don’t see how they can remain obstinately opposed indefinitely. They may not have a choice when push comes to shove.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 2:31pm

      I agree. It really gobsmacked Canterbury and I don’t think they expected such a radical response from a Tory government that has traditionally been their arch supporter. It’s really taken the wind out of their sails and actually shut them up on the issue. The government listened and gave them what they wanted, no complaining now. Notice the deafening silence from C4M and CI? The catholic cult too has been amazingly quiet. Lord Carey will now have to find another axe to grind, his fingerprints were all over the fear-mongering based on lies and illogical screeds.

  2. WHAT??!!! After all they’ve said …? Seems to me they are now worried they are going to be marginalised even more by being banned from conducting gay marriage. This is yet another example of the hypocricy of organised religion at its worst. Either stick to your rule book and your principals … or don’t. But don’t start back-tracking when you are FORCED to accept the ban you’ve sought.

  3. Equality laws under the “Goods and service ACt” mean that Christain B&B owners cannot refuse Gay men a bed for the night.

    Why should the Church of England be exempt from refusing marriage services to gay men?

    In addtion, with the Church of England’s recent decision to not allow women to ascend to the position of Bishop, why should this organisation be allowed to discriminate against women in the workplace.?

    1. The Church of England can’t discriminate in the workplace, i.e. admin staff, PR, payroll, etc.,… any more, but where a role is exclusively involved in religious worship / rites, such as a priest of bishop, they could. However in recent times the CoE was told to allow women to serve in these roles, they were given plenty of time, to come to the right decision, and they did, for women priests, and they have been told they must allow women to be bishops, but again, after veiled threats that parliament might legislate, they’re being given time to come to the right decision.

      1. but there are plenty of churches / denominations / individual ministers, who interpret scripture differently and would offer same-sex ceremonies / marriage / civil partnerships – which is why 120 Anglican priests asked Williams for a debate, to allow them to decide for themselves, if they wanted to carry out Civil Partnerships. But the church is so slow it will probably be years before that happens.

        It’s encouraging that they say they might want to offer same-sex marriages in the future – that is an incredible turnaround, even if decades away. But the best system is the French one, where everybody gets married by the state, in a registry office, then seeks a ceremony with a willing church — if they want one, and only where the church is willing. Religious ceremonies aren’t goods / services, although since you pay for them you’d be rightly confused about that.

      2. “The Church of England can’t discriminate in the workplace, i.e. admin staff, PR, payroll, etc.,… any more, but where a role is exclusively involved in religious worship / rites, such as a priest of bishop, they could”

        Since people pay for marriage services (no church provides these without charge), I do not see why “Religious rites or services for marraige” should be exempt from the “Goods & Services Act”

        1. Paul from Brighton 13 Dec 2012, 12:41pm

          The Church of England is specifically exempt from the provisions and requirements of the Equalities Act as are most mainstream religious faiths.

          Furthermore, Article 9 of the Human Rights Act – Freedom of Religion allows the Church to practice it’s religion freely, even if by doing so they debar certain sections of society, provided, that is part of their religious faith.

          1. This makes a mockery of “Equality legislation”, and creates an uneasy, but unsustainable double standard

          2. Paul from Brighton 13 Dec 2012, 1:20pm

            Agree entirely.

    2. billywingargtenson 15 Dec 2012, 7:55am

      Well its still is a sexist church in a way – they do allow married priests so I read, but dont allow married priests to becum (sic) bishops

      The catholic church is totally sexist – women are simply brainwashed slave labor.

      Maybe if the cath church had women priests – a lot of them, the str8 priests wouldnt have raped kiddies to satify hteir normal sexual urgings. the priests would have had normal sex with women , married or not. Most caths in the USA btw 90-95% of htem use birth control vs the hcurch DOGma.

      But that what you get with an absolutist church – they believe their own propaganda.

  4. The bishops in favour of CofE equal marriages NEED TO SPEAK OUT!

    Now IS the time to do so!!!

    1. Some have said they can’t speak out, because of the political situation in the CoE at the moment. They are employees of the CoE, so technically could be sacked. The 26 Bishops in the HoL can be told which way to vote, because they are employees of the CoE – so a 26-strong lobby group, at the heart of social justice and legislation – like Iran really.

      But I’m 100% with you, not only do they need to speak our, but all the congregants who feel similarly. The best solution is for the Anglican (“state”) church to reflect the feelings of the people here, become more moderate, and issue an ultimatum for those ultra-conservatives, Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics to shut-up or leave the church, and to make it clear to the African Anglicans that they will not support the inhumanity of their rhetoric towards the LGBT community.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 1:14pm

      I concur. We need to contact them and urge them to do just that regardless of any conflict with official church policy. Voting no will prove that they’re really not men of integrity or honesty. Christians are supposed to speak out in defence of others who are being oppressed. A ‘no’vote from them will mean they are complicit. I was under the impression this is what a conscience vote is supposed to be, obviously it means ‘no’. Conscience my arse! It’s nothing more than a convenient way for them to vote no and avoid repercussions on both sides of the argument. Another reason why I strongly disagree with a free vote. Miliband, Cameron and Clegg are dead wrong even if the outcome is a good one.

  5. Sister Mary Clarence 13 Dec 2012, 12:02pm

    “We can live with the government’s marriage reforms”

    Haven’t got much choice frankly.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 2:34pm

      Exactly right! The government listened and acted, gave them what they wanted, more than they had anticipated, and has essentially shut them up on the issue.

  6. These priest want their cake and to eat it as well.
    Once dead set against it they are now warming to the idea, at least some of them.
    I wonder whether it is purely a case of the lost revenue?

  7. Paul from Brighton 13 Dec 2012, 12:44pm

    They’ve well and truly scored an own goal here.

    I’ve never remember a time when this normally verbose, pious and righteous men have been so silent!

    Essentially they’ve got what they wanted,however now the proposal is to enshrine it onto the UK Statute books, it doesn’t look as attractive as simply hiding their prejudices somewhere between the old and new testaments.

  8. Ooh, watch them squirm!
    Anyway, why does the UK government have to give any time at all to Sentamu? He’s a witch doctor. Ignore his insane rants!

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 1:07pm

    Those ‘several’ bishops in the Lords who support equal marriage should have the guts and honesty to come out in support in the House and to hell with the official policy of the church. That said, does that mean they’ll still vote for equal marriage when it reaches them or will they defer to church policy and vote against it? That’s what needs to be clarified. I’d rather them abstain than vote no. If the vote no, then what they’re doing is betraying their conscience and essentially voting dishonestly, a lie, but then they have a long history of mendacious information against gay people.

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 1:09pm

    I just don’t get Justin Welby. Why on earth would any sane gay person want dialogue with a man who emphatically states that he opposes equal marriage? Is he delusional or what?

    Sorry Welby, NOT going to happen now. What a buffoon!

    1. Paul from Brighton 13 Dec 2012, 2:47pm

      Good question, but a better one is why would any sane gay man or lesbian sit in one of his churches hallowed pews and be cast as a sinner?

      I just don’t get it?

  11. “We can live with the government’s marriage reforms” Well how jolly magnanimous of them to stop meddling in equality legislation and allow me to get married.

  12. “We can live with the government’s marriage reforms”…..sure you can….let’s see how long you enjoy seeing the Quakers and Unitarians getting all those gay weddings you’re going to be missing out on….Hopefully a significant number of the 100K civilly partnered couples who already exist will think about getting ‘converted’ in one of those inclusive churches just to make a point….

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 2:17pm

      It’s also quite apparent that they won’t be missing the revenue incurred by holding such ceremoines. They obviously have a nest egg to fall back on. I just don’t see how the CoE could delude itself now into believing that it will have any appeal to the younger generation of would-be worshippers since equal marriage has higher support among them than in any other group.Go into any sunday service and you’ll see the vast number of congregants are 60+, the majority are far older. Lately, it’s hard to find one church that is packed on a sunday. This doesn’t bode well for them in the long run.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Dec 2012, 2:39pm

      Revenge is sweet isn’t? They’ve really shot themselves in the foot on this one and have invited marginalisation upon themselves. They and the catholic cult are now in isolation, irrelevant, but that hasn’t dawned on them yet. Seeing gay couples marrying in supportive churches is going to drive the message home for sure. What it will do is expose their bigotry more than anything. They’ll be reminded of it every time a gay couple chooses a religious ceremony.

  13. ‘He said many church members “warmly welcome” the government’s plans, adding: “A fair number of individual bishops in the Church of England also support it, but are not able to say so publicly at the moment because of the political situation in which the Church of England now finds itself.”’
    Anglican bishops not saying what they really think for a quiet life. Surely not??

  14. OK, CoE and CoW.

    So are you In or Out?

    It’s Make Your Mind Up time! :-)


  15. Pavlos Prince of Greece 13 Dec 2012, 3:16pm

    Key point for success of same-sex marriage at Westminster will be vote in the House of Lords. If this ban make victory of marriage equality by Lords more probably – good.

  16. George Broadhead 13 Dec 2012, 4:20pm

    Another typical fudge!

  17. so why are we kicking off on the Catholic Church …if its alright for the Church of England…there is more of them…one rule for one and one for another

  18. This just soudns like bullshit to me. To make it illegal for the Church of England and Wales though!? Surely it should be legalised…it will be 2013 soon and if a particular church objects to marrying a an LGBT couple then fair enough because their of plenty of churches I know who openly welcome the LGBT community and the churches that turn them away will be the ones who are frowned upon in time.

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