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UK: Head of Anglican Church Admits Position Against Marriage Equality Seen As “Wicked”

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Anglican Archbishop Justin WelbyWhile he stopped far short of endorsing marriage equality, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby acknowledged that he understands young people do not share his views on marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

‘If the same thing happened again I would vote the same way as I did then but I am continuing to think and listen very carefully as to how in our society today we respond to what is the most rapid cultural change in this area than there has been for a very long time. We have seen changes in the idea about sexuality, sexual behaviour. We have to face the fact that the vast majority of people under 35 not only think that what we’re saying is incomprehensible but also think that we’re plain wrong and wicked and equate it to racism and other forms of gross and atrocious injustice. We have to be real about that.’

Maybe there’s room here for an eventual change of heart?

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

UK: Gay Couple May Sue Church of England Over Wedding Ban

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

UK ChurchAfter the UK passed the marriage equality bill last month with what’s been described as a quadruple lock to keep gays and lesbians from marrying in the Church of England, a gay couple is mulling challenging that ban. The Huffington Post reports:

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, 42, and his partner, Tony, 49 — millionaires who run a surrogacy company in Britain and the U.S. — have been a high-profile couple since 1999 when they became the first gay couple to be named on the birth certificate of their child… they plan to sue the Church of England to get married there. “I want to go to my church and marry my husband,” said Drewitt-Barlow in an interview published Friday (Aug. 2). “It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognize us.”

I’m of two minds about this one. On the one hand, I’m not sure we should be forcing churches to open their doors for us. Secular businesses, yes, but churches are a different thing. But on the other hand, in this case, it’s not the church, per se, that’s banning same sex weddings – it’s the law that specifically says this one church organization can’t marry same sex couples. What happens if the church decides it wants to? What do you think?

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

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

Thursday, 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.

UK: Gay Activist, Church of England Head Discuss Gay Rights, Marriage Equality

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

UK ChurchThe Archbishop of Canterbury and gay activist Peter Tatchell met to talk about gay rights and gay marriage. SDGLN reports:

“Archbishop Welby is clearly struggling to reconcile his support for loving, stable same-sex relationships with his opposition to same-sex marriage. I got the impression that he wants to support gay equality but feels bound by church tradition. He accepts that discrimination is not a Christian value but can’t bring himself to state publicly that banning gay couples from getting married is discrimination and wrong,” Tatchell said.

“The Archbishop told me ‘gay people are not intrinsically different from straight people’ but there is an ‘intrinsic difference in the nature of same-sex relationships’ and this is a sufficient reason to deny gay couples the right to marry, even in civil ceremonies in register offices. When pressed to say why this ‘intrinsic difference’ justified banning same-sex marriage he merely replied: ‘They are just different,'” Tatchell said.

Because our opponents can’t explain it. They feel so deeply in their hearts that it must be different, but when pressed, they can never say why.

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

UK: Bishop Calls Church of England Hypocritical For Denying Blessings to Civil Unions

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

In the UK, the Bishop of Buckingham is bucking his new Archbishop, who recently reaffirmed the church’s position against marriage equality. Pink News reports:

The Bishop of Buckingham, the Right Reverend Dr Alan Wilson, has criticised the Church of England’s refusal to allow blessings for civil partnerships, and said that some parishes were ignoring the ban in order to avoid conflict. Saying that some within the church felt that blessing same-sex civil unions was “logical, natural and compassionate,” Dr Wilson, said the church was “too frightened… to engage with the real world.”

We’re still waiting for a vote on the bill in the House of Lords. But at least England hasn’t seen any huge rallies against the bill like the one in France today.

Scotland is also considering a marriage equality bill, and nearby, Ireland will convene a constitutional convention next month that could legalize gay marriage there.

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

UK: New Head of Church of England Reiterates Opposition to Marriage Equality

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

UK ChurchAnother change in church leadership, another lack of change in church attitudes toward the gays. Dot429 reports:

The Archbishop was sworn in the same week as Pope Francis who was inaugurated in Rome on Tuesday. Though the Anglican Church of England maintains a more tolerant attitude to LGBT rights than the Catholic faith, Welby articulated that his Church firmly stands by traditional marriage. “The Church of England holds very firmly, and continues to hold the view, that marriage is a lifelong union of one man to one woman,” Welby told BBC News.

Someday the younger generation will take charge in the churches, too.

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

UK: Anglican Bishop Says Church Should Bless Same Sex Couples

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

UK ChurchOne of the Church of England’s senior bishops says the church needs to start blessing couples in same sex relationships. Gay Star News reports:

Liverpool Anglican Bishop James Jones has broken ranks with other senior Church of England clergy to call for blessing services to be offered to same-sex couples in civil partnerships. ‘Over the years I have shared with you my thinking about how the gospel of embrace may be felt by those who are gay,’ Jones said in an address to the Diocese of Liverpool Synod. ‘If the Church now recognizes civil partnerships to be a just response to the needs of gay people then surely the Church now has to ask the question whether or not it can deny the blessing of God to that which is just.’

The Church of England has been considerably less monolithic in its opposition ti marriage equality than the Catholic Church.

UK: Marriage Equality Battle Rages On Between Churches and State

Monday, January 28th, 2013

England ChurchLots of news on the ongoing battle over the proposed marriage equality vote in the UK, due for its first vote on February 5th. is reporting that a Catholic Archbishop has distributed a million anti marriage equality postcards there. From the text:

“The fundamental problem with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is that it will radically alter the meaning of marriage for everyone and therefore undermine the common good. This is what is at stake. The Bill also raises very serious questions especially about religious freedom and freedom of expression, the effect on teaching in schools, and the work of chaplains and others with religious convictions involved in the delivery of public services.”

He also claims the government has no mandate to pass this bill. Echoing this complaint, Pink News News quotes the Church of England:

In a statement on behalf of the Church of England, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, claimed the Coalition Government did not have a “mandate” for the bill and that “marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”

Think these guys might be working together behind the scenes? But as Pink News reports, there’s a little breath of fresh air from the Church of Wales:

On Friday a spokesperson for the Church in Wales said: “Since the statement to Parliament by the Minister for Women and Equalities (Maria Miller) on 11 December 2012, the government has worked to understand and accommodate the position of the Church in Wales in its equal marriage Bill. As a disestablished church with a legal duty to marry the Church in Wales is uniquely placed. The Bill provides protection for the Church whilst still enabling it to make its own decision on same-sex marriage.”

Finally, someone in the religious community with an open mind. 🙂

England, United Kingdom: Some Vicars Plan to Defy Ban on Performing Gay/Lesbian Weddings in Church

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Some UK Vicars Plan to Defy Ban on Performing Gay/Lesbian Weddings in ChurchVicars from the Church of England have threatened to find a way of bypassing the ban on the church performing same-sex weddings in upcoming marriage equality legislation, by blessing ceremonies held in other churches.

Campaigners from the Church of England have said that banning the church from performing same-sex wedding ceremonies would lead to worshippers and clergy marrying in Quaker and Unitarian services, before returning to the Church of England.

A letter to the Telegraph, which contains 150 signatures, said that gay Anglicans should do so, if the legislation on marriage equality goes through as it currently stands, with the ban intact.

Authored By Joseph Patrick McCormick – See the Full Story at Pink News

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England, UK: Church of England Not Consulted on Being Banned From Performing Gay Weddings

Friday, December 14th, 2012

England, UK: Church of England Not Consulted on Being Banned From Performing Gay WeddingsThe Church of England says it only learnt of the government’s plan to ban it from performing same-sex marriages when Culture Secretary Maria Miller took to the Commons despatch box on Tuesday.

The Guardian reports that the Right Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester and the Church of England’s lead spokesman in the Lords, told a private meeting of church and political figures there had been a lack of dialogue, with the government not consulting the church on the proposal.

He also reportedly said the COE had not sought the quadruple lock.

Authored By Scott Roberts – See the Full Story at Pink News

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

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