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Equality Bill: more on the amendment

There’s some more writing about this. Earlier items here.

Ruth Gledhill Gay marriage plan threatens churches says Bishop of Winchester

Martin Beckford and Heidi Blake Clergy could be sued if they refuse to carry out ‘gay marriages’, traditionalists fear and later version Vicars could be sued if they refuse to carry out gay marriages

Bradford Argus Kathie Griffiths Concerns are expressed over gay partnership debate in Lords

ENS House of Lords backs civil partnership ceremonies in churches

Ekklesia Campaigners and faith groups welcome same-sex partnerships vote and Simon Beard How can I keep from singing? and Jonathan Bartley “It’s all about us”: Ethnocentrism over religious civil partnerships

Christian Institute Clergy may face court over civil partnerships

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Simon SarmientoErika BakerIain McLeanMartin Reynoldsamerican piskie Recent comment authors
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Gerry Lynch
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That’s some pretty unpleasant scaremongering by the Bishop of Winchester there. Evil homos will use their liberal lawyer friends to allow them to solemnise their sodomy in St. Grindles, Little Grindling. Even though that’s not actually what this amendment does. Delightful, Your Grace. Scott-Joynt seems to have a problem with this whole, you know, freedom of religion business. People are allowed to have religious views different from the Church of England. Sacramental tests are, like, sooooooo 1710. People not in the Church of England are allowed to do things that don’t fit with the C of E’s ludicrous Issues in… Read more »

Iain McLean
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Both the Times and the D.Tel stories seem to swallow the Scott-Joynt line very uncritically – Times in the story, D. Tel in the headline (but it has been seriously demoted on their website now).

He has replied to my original ‘Open Letter’ and I have replied to that. If he agrees to make the correspondence public I will post it, im

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Heterosexuals get very well het up about things don’t they ? Everything is about *youse — I’ve never understood that. So gays fall in love hets must opine ! Gays wish to live ‘in sin’ or Brighton or whereever and hets get het up again ! And WE want to do the right thing and cp or marry or commit and they get het up again –and so it goes on. Nothing is ever allowed to be about gays for long, we always have to listen to *you, consider you, suffer you. * By you in this instance I mean… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Both the Times and the D.Tel stories seem to swallow the Scott-Joynt line very uncritically” – Iain McLean – Iain and Gerry, this is exactly what newspapers do. The bigger the putative ‘SCANDAL’ they can whip up, the more they sell their papers. I’m sure this is the value of stringers like dear Ruthie Gledhill. They are employed to massage the reality of what actually might be going on – even though they may do so often with tongue-in-cheek. Having said that: we all know how poisonous is the rhetoric of people like the Bishop of Winchester; which is the… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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Ruth Gledhill is not a stringer, but a staff journalist at The Times.

A stringer, in England at least, is a freelance journalist (like me) who gets paid only for what is published.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

On this claim about a risk of being sued, let’s notice for a start that the CP Act prohibits a minister of religion from being a CP registrar in the first place. So there is no possibility at all of a claim against a minister for that reason.

Malcolm+
Guest

Scott-Joynt’s fearmongering is manifestly false.

There are two possibilities here.

1. Scott-Joynt, despite his pretty MA from Cambridge, doesn’t understand the difference between “permit” and compel.

or

2. Scott-Joynt knows full well that what he is saying is completely false.

In other words, it’s possible that he’s thick rather than dishonest.

Either way, though, he’s not fit to be a bishop.

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

This is painful and odd. Clearly there can be no legal case whatever for litigation. An entirely different matter is that, say, if marriage per se both religious and civil were opened to same sex couples as I see no legitimate reason not to do for the reasons that were laid out in the House of Lords debate then C of E priests might celebrate such marriages whether or not it had been approved by the C of E. That however isn’t a problem for the Government but for the Church and its own internal management and discipline. I don’t… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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While I said above that it was the CP Act itself that prohibited a minister of religion from acting as a CP registrar, in fact it is Clause 11 of the The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005 which reads as follows. (1) Any proceedings conducted on approved premises shall not be religious in nature. (2) In particular, the proceedings shall not— a) include extracts from an authorised religious marriage service or from sacred religious texts; (b) be led by a minister of religion or other religious leader; (c) involve a religious ritual or series of rituals; (d)… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“On this claim about a risk of being sued, let’s notice for a start that the CP Act prohibits a minister of religion from being a CP registrar in the first place. So there is no possibility at all of a claim against a minister for that reason.” – Simon Sarmiento – I had not realised Simon that, even under the new regulations, ‘ministers of religion’ will still have no licence to conduct a Civil Partnership ceremony. Perhaps, then, if the Partnership relationship was able to be classed (in a new development in law) as ‘Marriage’, this would be the… Read more »

american piskie
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american piskie

Surely English Hierarch Number Four is absolutely right on this key point: the amendment *will* produce pressure on the Established Church to shift its ground? After all he only has to review how changes in the civil law of marriage have transformed the C of E position — the C of E has continued to accept that civil marriage is marriage. So let’s not minimise the implications. And thank God for the Friends, I say! Long may their sharp and prophetic ministry continue to put these pressures on us. I wonder what Winton would have made of a sermon preached… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

As Malcolm says the bishop knew he was speaking false …..

That’s what troubles me deeply about this whole gay affair. The number and rank of the people who are willing to tell lies and spin a web of deceit is breathtaking and to any fellow Christian it is so profoundly disheartening.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Simon Now I’m completely confused about Clause 11 of the The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005. If point (1) “Any proceedings conducted on approved premises shall not be religious in nature” applies to CPs and Marriages alike, how could churches have continued to conduct legally binding marriages? And where does it specifically prohibit conducting legally binding CPs in religious premises? Iain McLean says “Since 1753, we have had the right (in England and Wales) to register our own marriages and report them to the state in due course. As far as I can see, the question of… Read more »

Iain McLean
Guest

Erika: “We” in the post you quote means Quakers. I don’t know the situation regarding other non-C of E denominations. My point was that the State has recognised Quaker marriage since 1753. In a Quaker marriage the only declarations are those made by the couple to each other in front of the Meeting, who are the witnesses. George Fox said “For the right joining in marriage is the work of the Lord only, and not the priests and magistrates”. It seems to have taken some in the state (and state church) 250 years to realise that that is what Parliament… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Iain,
Thank you. So are you saying that there is no signing of a register in a Quaker marriage but that the couple is nevertheless considered to be legally married by the State, without any signatures or any witnesses legalizing the process, and that they do not have to have a civil ceremony either?

Iain McLean
Guest

Erika: yes (England & Wales only), but the whole meeting are the witnesses, and normally at the end of the meeting everybody present signs the couple’s declaration. Our leaflet “We are but witnesses”, at http://www.quaker.org.uk/we-are-but-witnesses explains

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Iain
so if there are legal signatures, would Clause 11 of the The Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005, which Simon says prohibits religious ministers from conducting legally valid civil partnerships, also apply to the Quakers?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

The text of that clause is now quoted at
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/004269.html