Thinking Anglicans

Equality Bill: revised amendment on civil partnerships

from here

LORD ALLI
BARONESS BUTLER-SLOSS
BARONESS CAMPBELL OF SURBITON
53* Insert the following new Clause—

Civil partnerships

Civil partnerships on religious premises
(1) The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is amended as follows.
(2) Omit section 6(1)(b) and section 6(2).
(3) In section 6A, after subsection (2), insert—
“( ) Regulations under this section may provide that premises approved for the registration of civil partnerships may differ from those premises approved for the registration of civil marriages.”
(4) In section 6A, after subsection (3), insert—
“( ) For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Act places an obligation on religious organisations to host civil partnerships if they do not wish to do so.”

Analysis:

This is a substantially changed amendment. The original version read (changes marked by lining through):

(a) section 2(5) is omitted;
(b) section 6(1)(b) is omitted;
(c) section 6(2) is omitted;
(d) section 93(3) is omitted;
(e) section 137(5) is omitted.

The main effect of the changes is to retain the requirement that “No religious service is to be used while the civil partnership registrar is officiating at the signing of a civil partnership document”. Also the scope is now limited to England & Wales.

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
11 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
Lois KeenFather Ron SmithKurtPluralistRev L Roberts Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Iain McLean
Guest
Iain McLean

I understand this is still all to play for, and the attitude of the Conservative and Labour groups in the Lords as well as the Bishops could be crucial. Could I urge any readers who agree with us (Quakers etc) to lobby any Peers they know, especially in those two groups, in the next 24 hours? The revised amendment (I hope) alleviates the concerns of some thinking Anglicans that a liberal vicar might try to force the hand of a conservative bishop by “just doing it”. Whether or not that would be a good thing, it is NOT what the… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Simon – can you explicate more? As you have reported it it seems to say that civil partnerships can be contracted in other premises than those registered for civil marriages – so a hotel could be licensed for the one and not the other, I presume. And then at the same time while the civil partnership is being signed there can be no religious service. But does this mean that if, say, a liberal Jewish Synagogue decided it wanted to be a place for the registering of the civil partnership it could apply to become that, and that therefore, in… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

That the Church of England attempts to control the choices of other gay-affirming religious bodies gives the lie to its claim that it is only upholding religious freedom. The Church of England — or, rather, the evangelicals who control it — want the freedom to dictate their religious views to the rest of the nation.

Well, they were the same under Cromwell, and they were the same in Winthrop’s Massachusetts Bay Colony, too. They didn’t just dictate to Quakers in those days; they whipped them out of the settlement. Will the Church of England be seeking that “right” next?

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

‘The Church of England — or, rather, the evangelicals who control it — want the freedom to dictate their religious views to the rest of the nation.’ (Quote) I hope this is not true but it may be for all I know. Or it may come to pass in the future- but it is hard for me to credit it. I thought the C of E with all its many and glaring faults, still had a liberal-ish base and pluralistic approach to doctrine, ethics and worship. Perhaps I am simply engaging in wishful thinking ? I try to practise this… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

‘The Church of England — or, rather, the evangelicals who control it — want the freedom to dictate their religious views to the rest of the nation.’ (Quote) I hope this is not true but it may be for all I know. Or it may come to pass in the future- but it is hard for me to credit it. I thought the C of E with all its many and glaring faults, still had a liberal-ish base and pluralistic approach to doctrine, ethics and worship. Perhaps I am simply engaging in wishful thinking ? I try to practise this… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

Thank goodness for those who wrote in The Guardian and for Lord Alli and Lady Butler-Sloss and colleagues. They, one might hazard, Cyrus-like, are doing the work of G-d and the kingdom of heaven. Filling the terrible vacuum left by the authorities of the C of E who SHOULD have ministered to lesbian and gay people and provided for this special community so treasured by G-d. I understand that the Church of England was expressly Called to serve lgbt people in prophetic and costly ways and has failed to — it has preferred Jonah-like to slink away from the Call,… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

I remember how the registrar’s ‘assistant’ almost had apoplexy at our Civil Partnership when she caught sight of my Testament Newydd, urging me to put it away ! I thought that quite inappropriate but strangely funny and heart warming the idea that the avoidance of a word “God” will keep G-d out strikes me as rather ludicrous — as if G-d were at the beck and call of our syntax and vocab !!

Pluralist
Guest

“No religious service is to be used while the civil partnership registrar is officiating at the signing of a civil partnership document” I wonder how narrow this is. You could have a religious element, then the signing which is just that (perhaps even the registrar needs to sit in a spare room until the signing), then carry on with the religious element… No? It looks like it traps an clergy who are also able to do the registering, but on the other hand he or she could do the religion, then pause to do the signing, then do the religion… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

‘Well, they were the same under Cromwell, and they were the same in Winthrop’s Massachusetts Bay Colony, too. They didn’t just dictate to Quakers in those days; they whipped them out of the settlement. Will the Church of England be seeking that “right” next?”–Charlotte

Don’t forget the Quakers who were hanged on Boston Common by the Calvinists in the 1650s.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

What a ghastly failure of nerve!!

I wonder who were the major influences among the C.of E. House of Bishops who brought pressure to bear on the movers of the amended Amendment? I hope their names are published and noted by all who favour the abolition of the abiding sin of homosphobia in the Church.

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

“…but on the other hand he or she could do the religion, then pause to do the signing, then do the religion again.”

We do this – not in the context of civil unions but of doing board business – when the board on which I sit, which does business for a second board during the same meeting, changes its hat. We stand up, then we sit down again as the other board. When it’s time to return to the matters of the first board, we stand up and sit down as the previous board. Quite liturgical. I recommend this.