The Church of England has officially submitted its reason why civil partnership should be retained now that same-sex marriage is legal in the UK.
Akin to the public comment phase for revised federal regulation in the US, the 12 week consultation period opened in January and closes next Thursday, April 17.
The response was approved by the Archbishops’ Council and House of Bishops’ Standing Committee and both the Archbishops of York and Canterbury.
Q10 Are there people who share a relevant protected characteristic other than those identified above who would be particularly affected by a decision to make, or not to make, one or more of the potential changes to civil partnership highlighted in section 3.1 of this document?
As outlined above, we believe that there will continue to be those, including some same sex couples, who believe on religious grounds that marriage is an institution which is defined as being between a man and a woman. This belief does not negate the fact that Parliament has decided, by large majorities, to extend the definition of marriage to embrace same sex unions. But it is in the nature of a plural democracy that beliefs conscientiously held by minorities should be respected where they do not undermine the practice of the majority. The retention of civil partnership will do nothing to undermine the validity of same sex marriage but will serve to provide a structure whereby those who retain this conviction will not be excluded from the legal and public benefits of their union but will be able to do so without doing violence to their conscientiously held beliefs