Updated: Cameron supports gay marriage in churches

UPDATED: The PM has spoken. Video and story at the BBC.

The Church of England is quick to respond, and forcefully object.

Original post below:

Prime Minister David Cameron supports marriage equality in the UK, including allowing same sex marriages in churches if they choose.

The Evening Standard:

David Cameron will risk a major battle with his party next week by backing gay weddings in churches, the Evening Standard can reveal.

He will go further than ever in his modernising drive by saying religious groups should be allowed to host same-sex civil weddings in churches, synagogues and other religious buildings if they choose.

Organisations that reject gay marriage, such as the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, will have legal protection from being forced to host ceremonies against their wishes, the Prime Minister will pledge. MPs will have a free vote on a Bill next year.

It means all three party leaders now support a historic equality reform that would once have seemed incredible — that homosexual partners can have the same civil marriage rights as heterosexual couples and even get married in a religious setting. But some Conservatives said there would be “outrage” and warned that the Tories would haemorrhage members.

Comments (6)

Can some explain the objection to religious bodies other than the CofE holding same-sex civil marriages on their premises? How is this not an internal ecclesiastical matter?

@Bill. It's different across the pond. The Church of England still views itself as having a special status, including the speaking on what other religions should be allowed to do -- one of the reasons for our Revolution.

See you've commented, Bill, the C of E has issued a statement. We've added the link to our post.

Dude. This is messed up. Even under Cameron's proposal, it looks like the default is that churches wouldn't be permitted to perform same sex weddings unless they submit an application to the government. Which I assume would be a rubber stamp, but still, Holy Bureaucracy, Batman!

Brendan O. Hale

And a terrible statement it is, too:

"To remove from the definition of marriage this essential complementarity is to lose any social institution in which sexual difference is explicitly acknowledged."

Besides marriage/reproduction and the priesthood (in some quarters), what might these social institutions be?

'To argue that this is of no social value...'

That what is of no social value - "essential complementarity" in marriage or the loss of the social institutions referred to? As far as I know, the argument isn't so much that "essential complementarity" isn't of social value, as it is that it is of no social value in gay relationships.

"...is to assert that men and women are simply interchangeable individuals. "

Or, in other words, equal.


That is the registration process that they use for non-CoE churches to hold marriage ceremonies. Another quirkiness from having an established church. They register locations, we don't as far as I know.

Gender complementarity is a euphemism for inequality. The Church of England is a misogynistic institution which must be disestablished as soon as possible. That they ordain women as priests and then treat them as second-class clergy by not considering them as candidates for the episcopate is unacceptable.

The fear seems to be that civil marriage equality will model a way of living which no longer relies on gender stereotypes.

Gary Paul Gilbert

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