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Gay Essex dads to sue government over church same-sex marriage ban

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  1. If they want to do it then please wait until after the law changes.

    Doing it before will only add fuel to the fire for those who are against same sex marriage.

    1. Can you even mount a legal challenge against something that hasn’t even happened yet?

      Is their vicar even prepared to marry them? They way it is worded it doesn’t sound like it.

      1. Who knows, but the fact that they have (or perhaps have not) even mentioned the chance of a legal challenge, does feed right into the hands of the likes of C4M and MP’s who are against the legislation.

        1. They’ve not been prudent, have they, particularly in terms of timing!

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 5:58pm

        Exactly, they can’t sue yet. They should be targeting their supportive clergy who remained silent while the consultation was under way and after it concluded given the horrendous onslaught of hateful rhetoric coming from the religious nutters, Lord Carey in particular and to some extend Rowan Williams. The government are the wrong target. Those same supportive bishops and vicars should have been more proactive and far more vocal about it prior to Maria Miller’s announcement, but they weren’t. None of them countered the opposition within their ranks I noticed, the let them rant ad infinitum. These two men are no different, just as complacent. They will lose, guaranteed, rightfully so.

  2. This will really muddy the waters and justify some of the haters who have been saying for months that the church or government will be sued. Unbelievable.

  3. Anything for a bit of press coverage…

  4. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 3:52pm

    The ball is in the CofE’s court. They were the ones who wanted a greater ban, they were the ones who said the OPT-IN system may be insufficient in terms of Marriage, and it’s not a principle but a legal point, only because the CofE is the established church and has duties which other churches do not. The ball is in their court because they can turn around and say that they will accept the OPT-IN system and don’t need the 4th lock, and then they can decide for themselves, when the time is right.

    Or they can insist they need the 4th lock, for legal reasons, and accept that at some future time they may have to come back to the government and ask for it to be removed. But if we’re 20-30 years from that time, then it’s reasonable for the government to provide them with the 4th lock — to ensure they are happy. After all, the CofE asked for it.

    It’s not a new ban, it just codifies, for all to see, the existing ban. They just don’t like how it portrays them. It’s image and brand.

    1. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 3:59pm

      But, the CofE could turn around and accept that individual clergy have rights too, they have their own religious conscience, which is being trampled on, by the CofE, and allow individual ministers to carry out Civil Partnerships and same-sex marriages, if they choose. But I think they’re miles away from that. Remember 120 Anglican clergy asked for the right to carry out Civil Partnerships if they wanted to. Remember clergy can already get a Civil Partnership, but not in church !!
      http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/02/02/anglican-priests-ask-for-choice-over-gay-ceremonies/
      but that requires a Synod decision, which will take years.

  5. Even if it wasn’t banned the church of England would never marry you anyways. Your best of going to a Unitarian or Free Open church who have actively supported the C4EM. Pointless lawsuit and aimed completely at the wrong people.

    The ban was done purely to stop the church from claiming they are forced into doing anything.

  6. Jock S. Trap 17 Dec 2012, 3:55pm

    Not helpful, If anything they may just have swung any chance we have of getting this legislation through because now the Bigots have something concrete to through back at us (as if they needed any more).

    Thanks Tony & Barrie… you just couldn’t wait could ya! I may have agreed with it but time a place lads, time AND place!!

    1. Jock S. Trap 17 Dec 2012, 4:00pm

      Bets on the BBC reporting this for negative gain?

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 4:27pm

      Why would you think that these two idiots would swing any chance of getting equal marriage through? Makes no sense. They’re just two gay big mouths. Religious nutters are in the minority in the UK, thankfully. You don’t abandon legislation because a religious minority in opposition don’t want it because it conflicts with their beliefs. The majority of the British public aren’t religious. There was similar dissent when CPs were being legislated, just as bad in fact but the governement didn’t defer to religious bigotry and abandon it, let alone the vehement opposition from the state cult. It’ s just fodder for the right wing media who will lap it up, no thanks to these two irresponsible idiots. Don’t buy into the nonsense coming from the far right, they’re not in the majoirty.

  7. What morons. The government has only Iron clad the legality of it because its an extra layer of protection for the church (CoFE in this case). If they want a christian marriage, they now need to go to the CoFE, and get THEM to change their rules. Then, when the CofE change their rules, theyc an get the government to remove the protection.

    1. Craig Nelson 17 Dec 2012, 4:21pm

      Or go to a different Church that will marry them.

    2. Exactly. One does get the impression that these two are not the brightest sequins on the dress. Turn your attention, fury and money boys on to the CofE who campaigned noisily, mean spiritedly and loudly for an absolute guarantee that they would not be forced to conduct marriages for us – a guarantee which it would appear they have been given.

  8. Jock S. Trap 17 Dec 2012, 3:59pm

    In any case it’s not the government they should be suing, surely it should be the Church of England. After all they made so much noise about denying us.

  9. Chris Ward 17 Dec 2012, 4:01pm

    Despite the mild annoyance at the seemingly obvious muddying of the water for the apparent sake of a bit of publicity, I am a bit sympathetic. I just find it odd that they’re suing the government for something their own Church asserts and believes.

    Even without the quadruple lock, a challenge to the Church would fail under the ECHR (Articles 12 and 9 are quite clear). I suspect this is just a case of two people with a good amount of money to spend who want to make a point.

    1. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 4:10pm

      Having money doesn’t equate to being clever !

      As far as I can see it would be the CofE who would need to sue the government, and that would fail anyway, and I’ve never heard of them doing that. They have only to accept the OPT-IN and tell the government they don’t need the 4th lock. But this action today might now make them reluctant to do that, and is likely to entrench their position that they need the 4th lock. The government could remove the 4th lock when they’re ready to move in to the 21st century, so it’s described as a ban, when really we mean it’s a protection. Badly worded by the government on this, unfortunately difficult to put the word back in the box now it’s out there.

      1. Chris Ward 17 Dec 2012, 4:16pm

        Couldn’t have put it better myself. I would possibly consider this more than just shameful opportunism if the Bill actually existed yet.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 4:18pm

        The fourth lock can stay as is as far as I’m concerned. These two morons will have hopefully secured it. Go marry in another bloody church just like some hetero divorced people do. Why should these two think they’re any different? Even if the 4th lock were overturned, do these two idiots really think their church would recognise their marriage? Or course not. The hierarchy would have to vote on that and that’s not going to happen any time soon. Big mouths, small brains and rather reckless of them in my opinion. They’re sounding just like their religious opponents, playing the victim card and fuelling homophobia in the process.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 6:54pm

      Absolutely right. The ECHR have made it quite clear they are not going to meddle in the marriage debate of member states. Its a loser for these two as well as their money. There’s no way they could win a suit against the government on this one. The lawer representing them should drop the case, futile to pursue it. Only the CoE can make a decision to have the opt-in removed by an overwhelming majority. That’s not going to happen. No lawsuit in the land could force them to. Let the quadruple remain in tact.

      If they have so much money, why don’t they have an Anglican marriage in an Episcopal church in America where those churches are free to marry whomever they wish in states that allow equal marriage, rather than spend far more on a frivilous lawsuit which will get them nowhere?

  10. Craig Nelson 17 Dec 2012, 4:02pm

    This could work very well for us.

    Such a case has literally no chance of winning but so long as it hasn’t happened our opponents can waive it around as a risk.

    Bad news is that story is now confirmed and will repeated by every anti marriage equality group and newspaper.

    On the other hand if they’re public spirited enough to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a pointless endeavour to allow a High Court, Supreme Court and ECHR ruling against them and thus prove beyond any doubt the anti equality brigade are just engaging in empty scare mongering then that is money well spent (provided it’s all their own of course).

  11. These publicity-driven morons are giving fresh ammunition to opponents of equal marriage and risking the passage of equal marriage. What a bunch of idiots. :(

    1. Craig Nelson 17 Dec 2012, 4:15pm

      You can also rely on PN to broadcast this to the whole world – I thought PN was in favour of getting equal marriage passed, I guess they’re a news outlet in favour of making ‘news’ just like all other outlets. Obviously if they persist with the case then being ruled against in successive courts and being sent away with a flea in the ear will eventually be good for our cause. Will be a lot of pain until that point though.

      I can’t help think the money could be spent in better ways – donating to Stonewall, an HIV charity, combating malaria, a human rights bequest and so on but it’s their money if that’s what they want to do with it who’s to criticise?

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 4:06pm

    Total idiots. This will only fuel the lawsuit nonsense spewed by the religious nutters. Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemy. Wait until C4M get hold of this one or worse, the Mail and Telegraph. These two are really stupid and very selfish. Not too bright either.

    1. de Villiers 17 Dec 2012, 4:13pm

      For once I agree.

    2. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 4:21pm

      Those people, in those groups and papers, would be vile and nasty to us whatever, but surprising the Mail published a couple of articles over the last few days which weren’t hateful. However, I expect this will bring out the worse. We will have to suck t up and present the arguments carefully, after all these are Christians, just like many in the CoE, who want to be able to celebrate their marriage — where is your religious freedom when your church tells you to abide by it’s one and only interpretation of scripture. Most Catholics ignore the Vatican and use contraception. Some Catholics get married after a divorce, but in a civil marriage. To what extent can the CofE impose its will on a congregation, most of whom are in favour of equal marriage? That last point isn’t about principle, it’s about the law, because the law specifically states that they should not do things which most of their congregation would find against their faith, but that’s no longer the actual position.

  13. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 4:11pm

    They’re even bigger idiots to think they can sue the government and win. Remove their wealth and they wouldn’t be getting any coverage and I doubt they’d be making noise. I despise them. No lawyer in his right mind should even consider such a frivolous case, just like these two clowns.

    1. Craig Nelson 17 Dec 2012, 4:19pm

      When you are rich enough you’ll get a lawyer who’ll say literally anything.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 5:17pm

        Another reason why I don’t like or trust lawyers, as well as the police and politicians. I didn’t hear these two mouthing off when Lord Carey was spewing his bilge. They’re nothing but publicity whores and if they think they’re going to be the darlings of the LGBT community, they’re very much deluding themselves. I despise what they’re doing and have nothing but contempt for these two self-serving idiots.

        I can just hear the bigots all chanting in unison…”see, we told you so”.

  14. Don’t these idiots see that the government is already trying to force the CofE’s hand by imposing a ban? As is already obvious by the furious back-peddaling of the Welsh church, the homophobes will be increasingly isolated by a ban and will be forced into a rapid re-think. I think the government has done a sterling job so far over this issue to expose the hypocricy within the CofE over gay marriage. They don’t need the assistance of a pair of self-serving, publicity-hungry busybodies.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 6:58pm

      Thorougly agree. It may not have been the government’s intention to force the CoE’s hand, but it’s done an extraordinary job in marginalising them singularly from other denominations who wish to participate, leaving Islam and the Roman church to their own devices. It’s quite a radical move too.

      Imagine the embarrassment further down the road as gay couples flock to other churches to get married. It may well force them to revisit the issue and come to some compromise but I won’t hold my breath.

  15. Where have they been up till now with all the hatred spewing out of their church?

  16. If they are Christians, they why don’t they belong to a church who will accept them foe who they are, something that the CofE does not and will not do.

  17. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 4:29pm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-20758816

    They are “looking in to” whether they can challenge the government.

    See it, they are making good points.

    1. Thank you for that: I agree that there are some good points being made. Plus these guys did a huge amount to advance the cause of gay adoption, and it’s absurd to call them ‘attention seekers’ when the attention they elicited was so useful. Additionally, while my initial response to their action was dismay, for the reasons many people here have given, I do have niggling doubts that in our eagerness for ‘equal marriage’ we may be giving up too much, enshrining in law the right for religious groups to explicitly discriminate in ways we should not accept. I do not believe we would allow slaves be kept by people who thought their god permitted it, nor that any church in the land would be tolerated for refusing to marry disabled or mixed race couples on the same basis…….

  18. For those on twitter, their profile is @Gaydads and there are several people already asking them not to do this. I would urge others to do the same

    1. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 4:38pm

      I would urge people to view the BBC video first, then decide. They make good points, and we should not have knee-jerk reactions without knowing exactly what has been said.

      1. It really doesn’t matter if they make good points. Their timing is terrible.

    2. Craig Nelson 17 Dec 2012, 5:14pm

      I think it’s already too late the story is now out on the web and will be picked up. The only thing now is for them to put their money where their mouths (!) are and take whatever case they believe they may have to whatever court will entertain them for long enough to summarily dismiss their case.

      By the way it’s less what they’ve said than how it is being reported that is the problem.

      In order to take any sort of case they’ll first have to attend a church and ask to be married then take a case arguing the church should be forced by Parliament against its wishes to marry them. Should be interesting, but as already said – if you’ve got the money….

  19. Oh for heaven’s sake, not THEM again!

  20. That There Other David 17 Dec 2012, 4:46pm

    The ban is nonsensical, and despite my initial reaction of them being media whores I now think they are right to challenge it. The CoE should be able to opt-in to this when it is ready to in exactly the same way any religious group is. Parliament should not be making exceptions.

    However, if I’ve misread and they are actually attempting to force the CoE to marry them then I will back the Church’s right to make that decision for themselves. Find another church boys.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 5:52pm

      If the 4th lock weren’t going to be included in the new legislation, they still could not force the CoE to marry them which it wouldn’t anyway and they certainly won’t succeed in suing the government either since there is no equal marriage in place.

  21. This is “Too much, too soon!”

    If this makes it to court before Marriage equality is legal and law… surely it would be case dismissed?

    Putting the cart before the horse… doesn’t mean it is going to get you anywhere!

  22. I knew allowing religious clap-trap would just screw things up. It really does just poison everything… even stuff it claims it wants nothing to do with!

    I do see the point these two guys are making, but there’s a right time for everything. And now is not it.

  23. Sadly their going to give the bigots fuel and they anti-groups are going to go on and on about how gay people are taking there rights away. (although this is not the case)

    I understand the couple’s goal and its very noble and i agree with them, but i fear that the bigoted groups will use this to turn people against us.

  24. charles gormley 17 Dec 2012, 4:55pm

    There is a basic human rights issue here, regardless of the esteem you may or may not hold this couple in. I find it kind of astonishing that people are accusing them of playing into the hands of the opponents of same sex marriage – are they not entitled to pursue their rights because some people dislike them, or because it is inconvenient? I think it is interesting that some people think that these guys should wait till they can get married in the church of their choice if that church will marry them, just till the dust settles, and people get more used to the idea of same sex marriage. Yet, as a community, we seem to be saying that WE are not willing to wait any longer for the right to marry. Why should these guys?

    1. Bobbleobble 17 Dec 2012, 5:12pm

      Even without the quadruple lock the CofE wouldn’t have married them anyway. The CofE were not going to allow their vicars the freedom to decide to marry same sex couples even before the government made its proposals. So this is a pointless exercise. Once the CofE is ready to allow same sex marriage then the government of the day can repeal the quadruple lock and the CofE can opt in. All they are doing is giving our opponents something to use against us and potentially jeopardising the whole thing.

      1. Craig Nelson 17 Dec 2012, 5:17pm

        I think the case is actually that the 4th lock won’t need repealing as the CofE will be able to amend the legislation themselves through the Synod (with Parliament’s approval which would be a formality in such an eventuality) as it is the established church.

        1. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 6:00pm

          They have 12 weeks to consult – which should sharpen their minds. The 4th lock will be a millstone around their necks and may well hold back equality in the church for decades. Instead they should just accept the Opt-in, as-is, then start with allowing CPs to be carried out by those priests who want to. Then they can take the next 5 years debating same-sex marriage.

    2. It is stupid and arrogant of them to think that they can challenge doctrine and theology in courts. Churches are free to run theirs affairs without state interference and ECHR guarantees them that independence. So good luck with that challenge. Theirs typical new money mentality

      1. They aren’t p;lanning to do that, they are planning to sue the government for discriminating in civil law by making it illegal for the church of England to marry them, it’s an unnnecessary ban and a bad law as the church cannot realistically be forced to provide same sex marriages, the threat of legal action to force the church to provide same sex marriages was always just a ruse manufactured by the extremist evangelical elements in the church.

        1. But ultimately it is for the church to challenge the ban if it feels that the ban is discriminatory and interferes with church’s affairs. In real terms Gay Papas’ legal challenge won’t achieve anything

      2. charles gormley 17 Dec 2012, 6:15pm

        THe church of England is an organ of the state, and it is the state that has made the law banning the church from conducting weddings. The legal issue is not about forcing the church to marry them, but allowing the church to marry them if they so wish, which requires the removal of the proposed legislation preventing it.

        1. That’s what I said.

    3. Because they’re working against themselves if they actually want to get married at all. There’s no sin greater than stupidity.

    4. A) There is currently no such law for them to challenge.

      B) No one knows how close the vote is for marriage equality is going to be. There are a lot of MPs nervous about religious freedoms who may now think twice about voting in favour of Marriage equality, thanks to these clowns. Which means it is possible that no one may be allowed to get married at all because these two couldn’t keep their mouths shut.

      C) If you are going to sue people you should probably work out if you have a case before you start mouthing off about it in the press. Element of surprise and all that…

      D) Marriage ceremonies aren’t free. Why do they want to give money to a church who hates them (even if their own vicar is their best friend), when there are so many other churches that support gay rights.

      E) All the people who are afraid of the church being forced to marry gay people are only going to read the headline in the DM, assume this is what they are trying to do and feel vindicated in their bigotry

      1. charles gormley 17 Dec 2012, 8:16pm

        A: They can therefore influence the legislation.
        B: So their rights to marry in their religious ceremony is secondary to rest of us being able to marry? Have you decided this for all of us, or just yourself?
        C: I am presuming you are not a lawyer. A case at the ECHR is not like LA Law where a surprise witness is going to turn up. The Government banning the CoE and CiW from performing ceremonies IS discriminatory. Its is an issue of both discrimination on the basis of sexuality AND one of religious freedom – this requires justification.
        D: What concern is it of any of us who they want to give their money to? If they can find a sympathetic Vicar, you don’t think it would help to persuade other parishes where they don’t want to perform the marriages?
        E: So we should shut up incase we piss off the Daily Mail readers? The fact that we draw breath pisses off Daily Mail readers. They don’t need our help to vindicate their bigotry.

        1. A I doubt two reality TV stars who are dumb enough to get stuck on top of a car in a flood are going to be taken seriously by parliament. In the same way I don’t think that the words of Stephen Green or any other publicity whore on the other side of the debate will.

          B I don’t see why they couldn’t WAIT. I don’t know what you find hard to understand about that. It’s smacks of a publicity stunt for two publicity hungry individuals at the expense of every single LGBT person in the country including those who are CoE. If you don’t agree on point A you are not going to understand B

        2. C The element of surprise comment was in reference to the government making legislation so water tight that they had absolutely no way to win their case. Since the legislation doesn’t EXIST yet. Not in reference to surprise witnesses at their trial (WTF is LA Law?). Their best chance of winning their case will be if the government leave a legal loophole. The ECHR is not going to rule in favour of them on the basis of their sexuality, since it is a legal precedent they have previously and consistently refused to set. They may have a chance with religious freedoms because of the recent comments from some members of CoW and CoE, however since they asked for state protection from these laws and they are the state religion the ECHR may not want to get involved.

          D My concern is they are funding an organisation of people who actively campaign against their, yours and my rights.

        3. E The DM is my shorthand for all the right wing anti gay press in this country, who reach millions of people a day with their bigotry. Contrary to popular belief the people who read this bilge are not all bigots and homophobes. They are mostly just normal people who have poor taste in newspapers, most of them are probably quite normal and most of them probably haven’t formed an opinion on this issue. When the Daily Mail et al. write their headlines, which will inevitably twist this story into, “gay people to sue the government to force the CoE to conduct SSM”, they will probably sway some of the fence sitters with this. We need the fence sitters to be swayed to our side of the fence because if there is a shift in public opinion towards the other side our position will be significantly weakened.

          So to reiterate WHY COULD THEY NOT WAIT?

          1. charles gormley 18 Dec 2012, 12:46am

            It is not that i don’t understand, it is that I don’t agree. You characterise them as reality TV stars, stupid etc. They are also parents. And a family. You seem to be suggesting that these two guys sacrifice their marriage so that every other gay person can get married, or that they should have a sub-standard marriage to appease you and everyone else. Why? Why should a Jew be able to marry in the synagogue but theses guys not be able to marry in their church? You can reiterate ‘why could they not wait’ – i would suggest you need to justify why they should wait. Rights are something you have by dint of your being a human being, not because the majority decide that you should get them. You might be quite happy to sit back whilst people in our community continue to be discriminated against because it is politically inconvenient for the position you espouse. I don’t think that is acceptable.

          2. charles gormley 18 Dec 2012, 12:50am

            Also, legal precedent with regards to the convention is not so set in stone as it is in the UK. The convention is a living instrument. What they say no to this year, they may well say yes to next year.

          3. “It is not that i don’t understand, it is that I don’t agree.”
            Fine we don’t agree.

            “You characterise them as reality TV stars, stupid etc. They are also parents. And a family.”
            Oh won’t somebody think of the children? Really? It does not alter the way they will be viewed by parliament.

            “You seem to be suggesting that these two guys sacrifice their marriage so that every other gay person can get married, or that they should have a sub-standard marriage to appease you and everyone else. Why?”

            No I’m actually not. I’m saying they should not risk everyone else’s hopes for equality because they couldn’t wait for legislation to pass. They could have just as easily voiced opposition to the legislation publicly without threatening litigation.

            “Why should a Jew be able to marry in the synagogue but theses guys not be able to marry in their church?”
            Judaism is a separate religion and a false comparison. Lots of Jews won’t be aloud to marry in their synagogue, they’ll have to go to …

          4. another because their rabbi has the freedom to refuse to marry them. The CoE said they wouldn’t allow their vicars to marry gay people anyway before this legislation so they’d be in the same boat. PICK A DENOMINATION THAT DOESN’T HATE YOU FFS and stop supporting and funding bigotry.

            “You can reiterate ‘why could they not wait’ – i would suggest you need to justify why they should wait. ”

            I did in points labelled A,B,C,D and E if you don’t agree then…

            “Rights are something you have by dint of your being a human being, not because the majority decide that you should get them. You might be quite happy to sit back whilst people in our community continue to be discriminated against because it is politically inconvenient for the position you espouse. I don’t think that is acceptable.”

            Really? but you think it’s acceptable for LGBT CoE members to support and fund an organisation that discriminates against our ENTIRE community because they don’t want to find a church that is inclusive.

          5. “Also, legal precedent with regards to the convention is not so set in stone as it is in the UK. The convention is a living instrument. What they say no to this year, they may well say yes to next year.”

            They seem to disagree with you since they consistently send the message that they don’t want to get involved with equal marriage legislation issues.

            Earlier I wrote “aloud” rather than “allowed” and there are probably more typos… oops

  25. they are publicity queens. It isn’t important. People need to look at our wider human rights first and marriage second because if public feeling keeps going in the direction it is we will start seeing more and more hate crime and bigotry. I’d rather live free than be married any day. I have a civil partner already I don t need the approval of organised religion to justify my life. They are hardly the sort of people I need to go to for moral guidance and acceptance. After all, they don’t have a problem covering up child abuse.

    I just want to be looked upon as a human being not a ‘Gay’ man. Just a man.

    People like this are just feeding the fire. They haven’t thought about anyone else and the ill feeling it will cause. Not for the first time they are seeking to get their faces in the paper, feel self important and be the centre of attention. I have a suggestion guys, spend a bit of time visiting people fighting AIDS, Cancer, MS or even poverty. Perspective! Get Some!

  26. I say good on ‘em having watched them speak in the video. I hope they go for it.

  27. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 5:20pm

    The CofE and CofW don’t appear to like the ban – even though it’s what they asked for – the CofW said it wanted whatever the CofE was having – well, it got it !

    Style and how you represent the argument and crucial, as we’ve seen the CofE don’t like the word ban, or the implication on their freedom.

    Today’s story might have been better frames as Couples would like those CofE clergy who want to be able to offer Civil Partnerships and same-sex marriage to do so, protecting their religious freedoms.

    If individual parishes can decide whether they have a man or women vicar, surely a vicar can decide if he/she carried out same-sex marriage and Civil Partnerships ?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 6:20pm

      According to a PN article here a few days ago, I was under the impression it welcomed the ban and said it was ‘comfortable’ with the law? Wasn’t it they who demanded written guarantees passed into law protecting them from being sued, including the very vocal support from their Tory back benchers and the rest of the hate-mongering bigots, Daily Mail and Telegraph included?

      1. GulliverUK 17 Dec 2012, 8:41pm

        No amount of legal protections are going to shut up the Dm, Telegraph – because they don’t want it. But the church is clearly conflicted, and it’s time to stop the right wing wagging the moderate dog. Personally I favour one almighty fight with all the right-wingers splitting off from the CofE for ever.

        1. Chris Ward 19 Dec 2012, 9:52am

          The issue is that the traditionalists (from my experience, left-wing doesn’t necessarily mean pro-gay) are at the top and have control of the church. The progressives are the congregation. Much like the Catholic Church, it makes little difference how many who attend mass on a Sunday are Guardian-reading liberals, they simply don’t have any say in the matter.

          The Church in Wales is an entirely different case of course…

  28. Idiots. I wonder if they’ll get paid to make a Channel4 documentary about it then sell the photos for hello magazine.

  29. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Dec 2012, 5:29pm

    This won’t get very far. The ECHR won’t even hear marriage equality cases since its has left it to each member state to determine its own policy, so suing the government will be a tough one to win. The law hasn’t even been enacted and neither has equal marriage. A lot could happen between now and then. Money wasted, but that shouldn’t worry them of course while the lawyer will walk away with a nice piece of change, win or lose. These two are nuts, a total overrreaction to something that hasn’t even happened. Again, not too bright!

    1. charles gormley 17 Dec 2012, 6:17pm

      The ECHR will, can and does hear marriage equality cases.

      1. Craig Nelson 17 Dec 2012, 7:27pm

        They can hear such cases but equally where the case law is well established and there is a margin of appreciation (the precise details about marriage law are left to member states) they can deny admissability. They have already ruled on these questions so am not sure they would even want to hear such a case. Given the precedents at the ECtHR UK courts up to the Supreme Court will uphold UK law.

        1. charles gormley 18 Dec 2012, 1:15am

          They may deny admissibility, but it does not mean they will. The position isn’t clear at all. Marriage law may well be left to the member states, but by introducing same sex marriage, it becomes necessary to justify excluding groups with protected characteristics. And this is not just an issue about marriage, it is about religious freedom as well. The UK courts may well continue to follow precedent (something they are required to consider, not necessarily follow), this doesn’t mean that when the ECtHR considers it it will come to the same position. The UK courts may also decide that the UK issue is distinct enough from cases like Schalk and Kopf v Austria to warrant a different decision.

  30. Good luck to them. Better getting it sorted sooner rather than later.

    1. I wish I was a confident as you seem to be that the existing proposals will go through without this unnecessary complication.

      1. The Archbishop of Wales probably sides with them too.

  31. As the Church of England is our national established church, it should either be authorised to provide marriages for all couples (both opposite sex and same sex) or for none when the law changes to allow same sex marriages.

    Priests of the Church of England and the Church in Wales are presently legally required to marry people, providing one of them is from the local parish, regardless of whether the couple are practising.

    If the national established church intends to discriminate against same sex couples by refusing to marry them it should have it’s privileged authorisation to perform marriages revoked.

  32. Now why don’t I believe they are “committed Christians”?

    1. They do say they are Christians who have had their children christened in the local church they would also like to get married in one day.
      Why should they need to be committed Christians? opposite sex couples don’t need to be committed Christians but they still have the right to get married in their parish church.

  33. Has anyone considered they are going to deliberately loose to prove a point and silence the scare mongers.

  34. Suddenly Last Bummer 17 Dec 2012, 9:10pm

    These two gimps say anything to get themselves a headline. Since when have they been religious? Its all about the dollars as far as their concerned,a pair of self serving narcissistic preening queens.

  35. “The UK government has now proposed the introduction of civil marriage for same sex couples in England and Wales, in addition to existing rights to civil partnership registration. It will also allow civil marriage to be registered along with religious rites by those authorised religious organisations which choose to do so.
    Religious organisations will, in effect, have a right not to undertake religious celebration and the associated registration of marriage for same sex couples but the Churches of England andWaleswill be excluded from conducting such business.
    So we now end up with the absurd situation that the church of the state will, in England, not abide by the law of the land that the government proposes for society generally and for other religious organisations.
    Additionally (Cont’d)

  36. (Cont’d)
    “Additionally, religious organisations that register marriage on behalf of the state will now have the ability to pick and choose which of the varieties of marriage that they will choose to administer and celebrate and they will be legally protected against possible charges of discrimination for refusing to conduct same sex marriages.
    Given that two in three couples now choose civil ceremonies to register their marriage, it would seem appropriate to now consider a complete overhaul the laws concerning marriage by requiring all marriages, of whatever type, to be registered firstly and separately in a civil ceremony by the civil registration authorities in non-religious premises.
    Newly married couples or civil partners would then be free to negotiate their own subsequent celebrations or blessings with any religious organisation or other organisation as they wish.
    (Cont’d)

  37. Cont’d)
    Under this approach, religious organisations and denominations would be free of any regulation of their activities by the state with respect to the celebration of marriage so long as they acted within the law.
    One country that already separates church and state in marriage is France. Under French law, only civil marriage performed by a French Civil Authority is legally recognised. A similar approach to marriage is taken in Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey. If they wish, married couples are then free go to a church, mosque, synagogue, or other religious institution to have an optional religious ceremony. This can, but need not be, on the same day.

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2012/12/is-it-time-to-separate-church-and-state-in-marriage

  38. (Cont’d)
    Of course, some UK citizens also already do this. Many mosques in the UK are not officially registered for the solemnisation of marriages, and therefore many Islamic weddings, for example, take place after a civil ceremony has been performed.
    Likewise, as humanist marriages in England are not recognised in law, some couples choose to marry quietly in a register office and have a humanist celebration afterwards.
    Adopting a French style approach in the UK would remove existing and future religious privileges and exemptions with respect to the recognition of marriage, and a genuinely secular system of marriage registration would be achieved.
    (Prof Norman Bonney)

  39. I tweeted them yesterday and all I got back from them was, and I quote ” lolololol wow!” Such a grown up response, I’m sure you’ll agree?

    It seems to me that they are only doing this for self publication?

  40. “Commited Christians” ?
    Sheesh! How could they ever take the marriage vows when it has such words as ‘forsaking all others’ when they are basically a couple of swingers.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1529715/Gay-fathers-put-pictures-of-their-children-on-dating-website.html

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