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Amendments allowing registrars to opt out of equal marriage withdrawn in House of Lords

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  1. Jock S. Trap 18 Jun 2013, 1:29pm

    Good, good… now get on with it and get this bill through!

    1. lordylordy 18 Jun 2013, 1:32pm

      GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its the tip of the ice berg. If one public servant can opt out on these grounds, then whats stopping a policeman , a doctor , a fireman , you local council office. Its a slippery slope . And s whos at the fornt of it . YES the tories.

      1. Jock S. Trap 19 Jun 2013, 11:31am

        Yep, which Is why I’m saying good that it’s been winthdrawn.

    2. Paula Thomas 18 Jun 2013, 3:51pm

      Problem is that they will probably try again at Report, that is when the Lords traditionally votes on amendments. The committee stage is used to feel out the opposition. Which, ironically is why you don’t get many speaches against ammendments at committee stage in the Lords.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Jun 2013, 1:37pm

    Try as they may to wreck, they won’t succeed. Lord Alli’s rebuttal to the bishops was brilliant, really shut them up for the evening.

    Dear threatened division at the Report stage but I doubt if he’ll be successful, nasty vile man. Cumberlege is going nowhere either.

  3. The “perfected” amendment is to suggest that if registrars as so religious then they may be better off getting jobs as vicars and then they can perform religious marriages. Civil marriages are NON relgious (the clue is the word CIVIL) and is entirely paid by the council ie us!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Jun 2013, 2:00pm

      Lord Carlile brilliantly illustrated the actual civil marriage procedure from application at the registrar’s office to the actual ceremony stating that there is no religious element or liturgy involved because it’s a purely civil ceremony so how could that violate the conscience or beliefs of a religious registrar? Of course, it fell on deaf ears, they refused to budge an inch but they couldn’t rebut his statement his either.

    2. Midnighter 18 Jun 2013, 2:41pm

      Quite right. Not only should they not be allowed to “opt out” but I don’t believe they ought be employed in that role in the first place.

      I find it disturbing that persons of strong religious conviction have in essence infiltrated the civil alternative. If the religious want their own beliefs respected they should stay the hell out of of a system that exists for the benefit of those who don’t believe.

      If a priest is expected to give his life to God before he can officiate in religious ceremonies, then conversely a person serving in the alternative role should abdicate all ties to religious belief in order to qualify them to serve. Religious belief should be an impediment to serving as a registrar.

      The religious always seem to want to be a special case and to have their own way and impose their way on everyone else. They are anti-democratic bullies by their very nature.

      Keep religion in church, ban religion from civil services.

      1. Christopher Coleman 18 Jun 2013, 8:02pm

        Many Individuals in public service have always held strong religious or ethical beliefs. However, as someone who was a public employee in Britain for 22 years, I can assure you that it was made perfectly clear, during in-service training, that our personal views could never, at any time or in any way, affect the service we were paid to provide. That is a standard we should fight to keep.

        1. Midnighter 18 Jun 2013, 9:11pm

          I agree that the professional standards of any given organisation in that position ought to suffice, and they would for most reasonable people.

          As the case of Lillian Ladele that had to go to the ECHR has shown, some believe that their personal views permit them the liberty of ignoring such things as job descriptions and professional standards, and even feel that their religion should trump the laws of the land.

          A religious person in a role explicitly designed to separate church from state is a fox guarding the hen house.

    3. “I find it disturbing that persons of strong religious conviction have in essence infiltrated the civil alternative. If the religious want their own beliefs respected they should stay the hell out of of a system that exists for the benefit of those who don’t believe”

      Well said, Midnighter! If someone’s so religious that they couldn’t possibly marry a same sex couple, then they shouldn’t be marrying divorcees, or atheists, or those of other religions. They’re hypocritical and pathetic like Ladele and her ilk.

  4. That There Other David 18 Jun 2013, 1:47pm

    Well done Lord Alli. A great example of showing how one-sided a proposal is by turning it on its head and seeing if it remains palatable to the proposer.

  5. imo, only one right solution:

    Allow current wedding registrars to opt out, with the condition that same-sex couples have other wedding registrars to perform their maariages everywhere.
    The law is imposed on people currently installed as wedding registrars. They’re still bigots, but I would find that fair, sort of.
    Any new wedding registrar has no opt out, they know what they’re getting into. And no faith tells its people they MUST perform weddings. Objections? Then don’t become a wedding registrar.
    The bigoted few will die off eventually.

    1. That There Other David 18 Jun 2013, 1:59pm

      Registrars don’t get paid to interpret the law. That’s the job of judges. The parameters of what falls into a registrar’s remit is set by Parliament and the courts, meaning that the remit changes over time as the law evolves.. This is nothing new, it’s always been a part of the job.

      Hence no opt-out for any of them. They aren’t there to evangelise their religious opinions onto others, they’re there to officiate over a legal ceremony.

      1. Beelzeebub 18 Jun 2013, 2:08pm


        Paid for out of our council tax.

        If I go to see a GP paid out of general taxation , I would not expect to hear them me that I will burn in his or her version of hell cause there god said so.

        Council employed registrars are no different.

        NO Exceptions.

    2. Nobody should be allowed to opt out from the law, enrico. We shouldn’t even be entertaining the idea. We don’t let people pick and choose what part of the law they want to obey – it’d end in chaos and division.

  6. Should a white supremacist be able to opt out of marrying two black people because of their political beliefs?

    Should a muslim be able to opt out of marrying a christian because of their religious beliefs?

    Should a catholic be able to opt out of marrying someone who is divorced?

    If not, why should anyone be able to opt out of marrying a same sex couple?

    These people still cannot see their homophobic bigotry. It’s embarrassing that they think they are intelligent and they have power over us.

  7. It is absolutely right that this amendment was withdrawn.

    Registrars are servants of the public and should be prepared to do what is expected of them. If they do not want to conduct same sex marriages, then they really should reconsider their career choice.

  8. ““If a conscientious clause to allow registrars to opt out in civil marriage is so important, I will work with [the Bishops] to craft a similar clause to allow registrars in the Church of England to opt in.

    “Conscience is not a one-way street. It goes both ways,”

    Lord Ali – my new hero

  9. Colin Andrew 1966 18 Jun 2013, 2:20pm

    Firemen can’t choose who to save from a fire so why should registrars choose who to marry, they are all public servants. Why was this even discussed.

  10. Michael 2912 18 Jun 2013, 3:32pm

    This is going well. Our opponents are washed up and they know it.

  11. So – after this act becomes law, a lesbian couple turn up at the registry office to register their newly born child, one of these “conciencience objectors” is sat at the desk – they explain they want to register their child – what does he do?

  12. All of their amendments will FAIL miserably once the Peers reject it! Pass the bill immediately. Lots of BS in the upper house, opponents are so desperate. Trying to introduce redundant amendments to derail the bill. They will fail!

  13. Frank Boulton 23 Jun 2013, 3:25pm

    If they get away with calling LGBT marriages “unions”, then you’ll end up having Civil Unions (as we have in New Zealand) rather than Civil Partnerships. Even in countries, which recognize same-sex marriages, Civil Unions, Civil Partnerships or whatever else you care to call them are not necessarily recognized. That’s one of the strongest arguments why we have to have MARRIAGE Equality.

  14. Sean M. Burke 25 Jun 2013, 6:54am

    Here’s some salient facts about Canada that I think most UK people don’t know about:

    * Gay marriage has been legal here in Canada for about ten years. This has made Canada into a vast uninhabitable wasteland full of cataclysmic weather and vicious beasts! I.e., absolutely no change whatsoever. People are actually proud to support gay marriage, because, as the PM said, “We are a nation of minorities, and in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don’t cherry-pick rights. A right is a right.” Also, it’s yet another way to make the point that Canada is a nicer place than the US.

    * Canadian Senators (=lords) HAVE TO RETIRE AT AGE SEVENTY-FIVE. Compare: Lord Deary is age 75, Lord Carey is 77, Lord Mackay is 85, Lord Hylton is 81.

    * The Canadian Senate chambers is a bunch of *desks*, instead of a bunch of *couches*.

    * The fact that the foreign lady on the money (“Queen of Canada”) is also the head of a foreign church with shiny bathrobes is her own, uh, hobby.

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