THINKING ANGLICANS

Same-sex Marriage

This morning’s papers are reporting that the UK government will begin a formal consultation on equal civil marriage for same-sex couples with a view to making the necessary legislative changes before the next general election.

Alan Travis in The Guardian Gay and lesbian marriage to be considered in spring legal review
“Consultation will only cover civil marriage for same-sex couples, not religious weddings – nor heterosexual civil partnerships.”

Christopher Hope in The Telegraph Gays to be given right to marry
“Plans to give same-sex couples the right to marry will be published next year, ministers have announced.”

Jonathan Brown in The Independent Hope for new law to allow gay marriage

Daniel Martin and Tim Shipman in the Mail Online Gay marriage ‘to be made legal in Britain by 2015’

Gavin Cordon in The Scotsman Same-sex marriage may be on statute book soon

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Father Ron SmithKelvin HoldsworthRichard AshbyRosemary HannahSavi Hensman Recent comment authors
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Laurence C.
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Laurence C.

“A Church of England spokesperson said: “The Church of England’s view remains that marriage is a life-long relationship entered into between a man and a woman.”” The Guardian

Except when it isn’t. The CofE accepts divorce and remarriage.

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

It is not ‘gay marriage’ in fact, it is marriage.

Marriage which will be opened to same-sex couples.

Kelvin Holdsworth
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I think it is worth comparing the intentions of the UK government regarding English marriage law with the consultation that is currently underway by the Scottish Executive regarding Scottish Marriage Law.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/09/05153328/0

The intent in Scotland represents a move towards allowing same-sex couples to enter into marriage in a religious context, unlike that south of the border.

The sound of the pink cash till can already be heard ringing out in Gretna.

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

A very positive and overdue decision. Some concern over this being civil marriage only (ie preventing churches who wish to from conducting marriages for same sex couples) although it would make it easier to pilot through parliament esp the Lords.

robert ian Williams
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robert ian Williams

With the words ” until death us do part ” retained for poetic and historical effect.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Extraordinary to have the leaders of two political parties both trying to claim credit for this. Leaders of organisations with the word ‘Christian’ in their title must be having appoplexy.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

It is worth remembering that Civil Partnership involves just signing the register in the presence of two witnesses. Everything else is optional and in conjunction with the Registrar. Civil Marriage involves vows publicly made before witnesses as well as signing the register.

Savi Hensman
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Savi Hensman

Robert Ian Williams

I am not sure whether the phrase ‘until death us do part’ is used in civil marriages. However the intention of permanence is expressed. I cannot see how this would be more ‘poetic and historical’ than is already the case for heterosexual couples getting married. Of course some marriages end in annulment or divorce, but many remain together until the end, and this is the case in same-sex partnerships.

Rosemary Hannah
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Rosemary Hannah

Well the Civil Union I went to in fact had marriage vows given and exchanged – I think they usually do! But so glad to be in Scotland were we hope soon for real marriage equality.

@ RIW – you are off the point with this – marriages between gay people last as well as those between straight ones.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Rosemary. In England, at least, anything other than signing the register is optional. The couple may chose to make their vows to each other in a public ceremony and they may well chose readings and music to include, but none of this is integral to the legal requirement. Presumably if/when same sex marriage becomes available in England there will be a specified form of words including vows to be used by each partner as there is currently in civil hetersexual marriage.

With Scotland considering this separately will there be different vows in each country?

Kelvin Holdsworth
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Marriage law is different in Scotland and England for straight couples too.

There are already different vows for marriage in England and in Scotland. However, in Scotland, the key legal thing to sign is not the register but the Marriage Schedule which is issued for each couple by the Registrar.

For better or for worse, so to speak, the Scottish Episcopal Church’s marriage service does not include a vow “till death us do part.” Nor anything like it.

Father Ron Smith
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And, of course, there ARE OTHER marriage contracts: ‘The Marriage Feast of The Lamb’, in which all disciples of Christ will be ‘married to their divine Spouse’ – not unlike the ‘Marriage’ of a consecrated Nun. Not all of these marriage contracts are based on sexual differences.