Jersey: Church leader claims civil unions would make religious weddings illegal
A Jersey church leader has claimed that introducing same-sex civil unions would make church weddings illegal.
The Bailiwick of Jersey maintains autonomy from the UK as a crown dependency, and has not yet introduced same-sex marriage.
Equal marriage was due to be voted on in the Jersey Assembly this summer – with proposals initially expected to receive an “open door” – but following opposition from the Jersey Evangelical Alliance, the bill was stalled in favour of a ‘public consultation’.
However, Reverend Bob Key – who was suspended last year over his handling of an abuse complaint – has claimed that the introduction of same-sex civil unions would stop people being allowed to marry in churches.
In a letter calling for parishioners to make their views known, the reverend claims that marriage “should be between a man and woman, as Christ outlines it”.
He said: “It is not homophobic to believe and uphold the traditional view of marriage that has held sway across the world since the dawn of time and is such an important part of Christian life and teaching.”
The church leader also claimed the proposals would see an end to church weddings, despite the church “conducting marriages in Jersey for 1,500 years”.
However, the civil unions proposal – which is only one of several under discussion – does allow for religious weddings.
It states: “The couple’s marriage could then be followed by a religious blessing, which would provide religious recognition of the marriage.”
The consultation process is due to conclude next month.
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