UK & World News
Church Warns Of Clash Over Gay Marriage Plans
The Church of England has said it could be forced to stop conducting weddings on behalf of the state if gay marriage is legalised.
It said Government plans to introduce same-sex marriage would lead to a clash between its law - that marriage is between a man and a woman - and that of Parliament.
It also claimed several "major elements" of the proposals had not been thought through properly and were not legally "sound".
The Rt Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, said the Church of England had been supportive of civil partnerships when the legislation was introduced eight years ago.
"We continue to be supportive of the gay community and want to see that inclusion in our society increased and developed," he said.
"I think the difficulty we have here is the substitution of equality for uniformity, that is to say that there can be no distinction at all between men and women."
Under the current law, anyone who is resident in England has a legal right to marry in his or her Church of England parish church irrespective of religious affiliation and the minister of the parish is under a legal duty to conduct the marriage.
The Government's consultation on gay marriage closes on Thursday.
The Church of England's highly critical response will add to pressure on David Cameron, who has spoken out in support of gay marriage.
Mr Cameron has come under fire from supporters of the proposals for allowing a free vote amongst Tory MPs to avoid a rebellion over the issue.
But other Tory critics have said they view the proposal as a Liberal Democrat policy distracting the Government from bigger challenges.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, which campaigns for gay rights, said: "There's manifestly no evidence that the recognition of long-term same-sex relationships has any impact on the institution of marriage for heterosexuals.
"It seems odd that the Church of England should be obsessing about a few thousand gay couples once again when there are currently three million children in Britain living in single-parent households."
A Home Office spokesman said: "The purpose of the equal civil marriage consultation is to enable us to listen to all views, including those of all religions.
"We welcome the Church of England's response and we will be carefully considering all points of view before publishing the outcome of the consultation later in the year."
what do you think?
Quite right ...... It was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve
It should never be legalised, especially if / when there's young [impressionable] children involved who get brought up believing this to be actually natural.
Well said Mark. Totally agree.
This is so unbelievably stupid a comment I am amazed you could type it yourself. have you ever talked to a same sex couple - they are not childmolesters unlike some of the clergy who blast them, but real people. if it was coloureds we were talking about you would be called a biggoted racist - think on it, or maybe have someone do it for you.
Mark, you have a really serious problem
Dave and Mick you're always going to get biggoted morons like mark. He just needs to learn to deal with change
Whats the difference?
That's the problem - not knowing the difference.
I am wondering if the religious bodies in the UK other than the Anglican Church of England, the Catholic Church etc, would allow same sex marriages if it were to become law. I also believe that disestablishment of the Church of England would be the best thing that could happen to it since the birth of Christ
quite right. no g ay marriage in church. but better check no viacrs aren't marrying each other and lady vicars aren't marrying each other too. better have a poll of lesbian and h omosexual priests and vicars.
I just don't get why this group of people want to get married under the blessing of religion (this case being Christianity), as it clearly states homosexuality as a sin. Governments have set up civil partnerships. Which in my eyes is more then enough, to take care of the legal sides of things. Anyway let's be honest religion is dated and corrupt. So why do they really care or want a blessing.
If two people love each other, they should be allowed to marry, regardless of gender. But what about transgender or hermaphrodite people ? How will the law affect them ? I know a hermaphrodite, how does the same sex laws apply to them, when they have both genders ? As usual in soceity, transgender people get forgotten. One love. Peace
Amelia Princess Hall
Totally agree with u :o)
As long as the 2 people love and respect each other why should it make any difference,no one makes a big a judgement when there is a great big age gap?? As for children being involved again why the issue,as long as the children are loved and cared for why should it matter.
Same sex partnerships are not a natural condition despite the best efforts of the media to make it appear so. Why are the government wasting time on this issue when there are so many more important things to do? This is definitely a shot in the foot as far as vote winning is concerned.
Amelia Princess Hall
I disagree u can't help who u fall for!
Some of the comments on here are so biggoted they defy belief. Why are the 'laws' of the church important anyway, who elected them to make rules? And before any brain dead spouts out 'god did', I'll believe that when I see a signed document, from god, delegating authourity. Religion is just a way of controlling the masses, it always was - the church was the powermaster, but why? Based on a made up story of a man rising from the dead? Again, before you spout against, find some proof to support it, and do not just quote the bible. Otherwise mermaids must exist, because hans Christian Anderson wrote about them. Grow up and realise that gays and lesbians are normal people too, you are just too bigoted to look below a tag. Oh, and in case anyone wonders, no, I'm not g ay, but I, having a brain, have no problem with people who are.
Valid comments well made. I do find it sad though that, similar to race issues, those who disagree with gays marrying in church are immediately labelled bigots
Do the Church of England have any right to say what people do in their own lives. If a couple intend to live a life of devotion to each other, what does it matter if they are both of the same gender. If a vicar saw signs of duress in the couple before him he could stop the marriage but other than that getting married is a matter for the people involved and anyone with just cause. Personally I have an open mind, but never anticipated finding a man, more attractive than a women who does not want children.
Mike. A good point but they have every right to say what goes on in their own premises which discrimination laws deny them.
The church represents everything that is wrong in this World. They care not a dam* about people and their endless debates about women bishops, homosexuality, marriage etc. disgust me. If I were to ban any organisations it would be the CoE and catholics. The source of all evil.
Marriage is a religious institution between a man and a woman. If it wishes, The State can try to counterfeit that institution but it can no more corrupt the teachings of Christianity - which have been constant for over 2000 years - than they can turn water into wine. Equality in all walks of life may seems a laudable goal on the face of it, but in reality everyone is not equal and they cannot be equal beacause Society would collapse. Even now, as we see Government and various interest groups gaining ground on "equality", the evidence of societal failure is is obvious and even Cameron has admitted Britain is a broken society.
IT NOT ABOUT WHAT MAN THINKS IT WHAT THE CREATOR THINKS AND THE CHURCH CLAIM THE WORD OF GOD IS THE BIBLE AND ITS AGAINST SAME SEX RELATIONS ITS THAT SIMPLE,HE WARNED IN ROMANS 1 OF REPROBATE MINDS WHO WOULD TRY TO GET AROUND THIS.
You must be a very troubled person without any ability to think for yourself. I feel sorry for you and suggest you require therapy
For a man to be attracted to another man,makes me wonder if a sickness in their minds is able to be diagnosed?
Nowhere near as sick as your mind!!
Much better off not married. Just check with HMG. You get penalised by all the governments services.
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I have no problem with the same sex having a relationship. But this is not what this article is about. The core question is should the church allow marriages? In mpinion the answer is no, cause the establishment in question has rules against such things. It's like going to a party with rap music, and you go to the dj and keep bugging him out to play some Frank sinatra.
How will we manage without the C of E conducting marriage services? Quite easily I think. Probably won't happen anyway cos it would cost the church loadsa wonga, and wonga is more imoprtant than principles.