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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:11 AM

Gay marriage: Religious 'opt-in' offered, but not to CofE

The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages, the government has announced.

Other religious organisations will be able to "opt in" to offering ceremonies, Culture Secretary Maria Miller told MPs.

David Cameron has said he wants churches in England and Wales to be part of the plans.

But Mrs Miller said they had strong opposition and would not be included.


Gay marriage Commons statement day two: Politics live blog.

1.10pm GMT Maria Miller expects same sex marriage law in place by early 2014 with 60 % of Tory MPs at present backing her plans. Bill in January.

Any same sex marriage conducted by CoE vicar, if CoE collectively opposed to such marriages, will not be recognised in law.

Grounds for divorce in a same sex marriage will include adultery, but non-consummation will not be grounds for annulilng a same sex marriage

There are footnotes in consultation paper on same sex marriage about "lesser acts of sexual gratification" that are quite vivid for HMG.


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Reply Gay marriage: Religious 'opt-in' offered, but not to CofE (Original post)
dipsydoodle Dec 2012 OP
non sociopath skin Dec 2012 #1
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #2
non sociopath skin Dec 2012 #3
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #4

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:42 PM

1. If the C of E continues to opt out of the Twenty-First Century ...

.... how long can it be tolerated as the Church of State?

The Skin

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Response to non sociopath skin (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:34 PM

2. I think they did the specific "not in the C of E" because it is the state church

While other churches can say "you don't believe in our doctrines, therefore we won't marry you", the C of E has to marry people who have not been married before, if one of them is resident in the parish. So I think they've put this in, even though the C of E leadership has already said "not in our churches" about this.

It would be better for everyone if it was disestablished.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:47 PM

3. Indeed

To have an "Established Church" attended by a tiny minority of the population is an embarrassing anachronism.

The Skin

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:21 AM

4. Head of the Church in Wales objects to the special treatment

Dr Morgan said: “The Government is specifically excluding the Church in Wales and the Church of England from the legislation so that it will be illegal for them to have gay marriage. I think that is a step too far.

“It does not leave it to the governing bodies of the two churches to decide whether they want to opt in or out as other churches are allowed to do. It curtails our freedom of choice and seems to close the door on even the possibility of doing so in the future without a change in law.

“It makes these churches seem exclusive and I think that is unfortunate.”
Although the Church in Wales was formally disestablished in 1920, today it has the same legal obligation as the Church of England to marry people where there is a link to their parishes.


And Labour doesn't like the exceptions either:

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary & Minister for Women & Equalities, said:

"Why is the Government now rowing backwards on equal marriage? Having said that churches would be able to hold same sex marriages if they wanted to, they now say it will be illegal for the Church of England to do so even if it wants to in future. How can that be freedom of religion?

"These plans are now deeply confused - Ministers must not get defensive or give in to the intolerant and inflammatory speeches from Tory backbenchers.

"The Government is right to say that no church should be required to hold same sex marriages. But freedom of religion goes both ways. Churches that want to show they treat all loving couples equally should be able to do so.

"Although the Church of England has said it does not support same sex marriage right now I hope it will change its position in time. But Parliament should not make it harder for them to do so by ruling that out. And the Government should not be giving in to opponents on their own backbenches.


Since it looks as though Labour would be needed to get the bill as a whole through Parliament, with many Tories voting against it, I wonder if Labour could actually force this section to be dropped. I suppose that depends on how many Tories would vote wit hLabour on that (and what the Lords would do).

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