UK: Church of England Concedes Marriage Equality Defeat, But It Ain’t Over Yet

Written by scott on June 6th, 2013

England ChurchIn some big news, the Church of England will no longer fight the marriage equality bill, citing large majorities for passage in Parliament. LGBTQ Nation reports:

The Church of England on Wednesday signaled it would no longer fight against the government’s plans to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales. In a short statement, the established Church said that the scale of the majorities in both the Commons and Lords made clear that it is the will of Parliament that same sex couples “should” be allowed to marry, reported The Telegraph of London. The announcement represents a dramatic reversal of opinion in the year since the Church asserted that same-sex marriage posed one of the biggest threats to the Church of England since the reign of Henry VIII.

But they do want some changes. The Telegraph reports:

[Rt Revd Tim Stevens] signalled that bishops would seek to introduce a notion of adultery into the bill and extend parental rights for same-sex partners. Under the current bill people in a same-sex marriages who discover that their spouse is unfaithful to them would not be able to divorce for adultery after Government legal experts failed to agree what constitutes “sex” between gay or lesbian couples. The bishops are also seeking to change a provision which says that when a lesbian woman in a same-sex marriage has a baby her spouse is not also classed as the baby’s parent. The result is that in some cases children would be classed as having only one parent.

But Matthew Stepton, president of LGBTory, cautions that we’re not there yet. Pink News reports:

…it is possible that some of those peers who voted against the amendment could actually oppose the bill itself. It is as a result of this sobering thought, along with the fact that 148 peers thought it acceptable to try to scupper the bill at second reading, that makes me suggest that the major battles lie ahead. Once committee and report stages take place in the Upper House, any number of amendments could potentially be tabled – some helpful and constructive, but some designed solely to try to at least undermine or at most derail this bill, which we know has the support of a consistent majority of the public in most opinion polls, quite apart from the elected House of Commons.

So while things are looking much more positive in the UK than they were even just a few days ago, it’s important to keep up the pressure on the House of Lords until it’s actually done.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.


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