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.
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).