Before the voting yesterday Andrew Brown had written at Cif belief The rump church opposition to gay marriage is naked patriarchy with the strapline:
It’s not the bill but evangelical opposition to it that weakens the status of the church and diminishes Christianity’s role in society
Andrew concludes this way:
…The fiasco over gay marriage is part of a general defeat for conservative Christians right now. The other wing, often involving the same people, is the collapse of resistance to women bishops in the Church of England. When I read that Conservative evangelicals are outraged at the prospect of admitting that women are lawfully bishops and their superiors and feel that they will have to lie or leave the church, as a recent press release stated, I want to break out the world’s smallest violin and play a jig on it.
All of their arguments have broken down into naked patriarchy, and that really isn’t an attractive sight, as the story of Noah makes clear.
There will always be conservative Christians, of course; and there will always be silly liberal policies which they are right to resist. But for the foreseeable future there won’t be any credible conservative Christian organisations to voice their fears.
And Paul Johnson had written on his ECHR Sexual Orientation Blog about UK Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill and the ECHR:
…At the heart of legal arguments made by religious opponents of the Bill is the now regularly expressed fear that the rights of religious organizations are being trampled on by homosexuals in Strasbourg. Yet the reality is the opposite of this and the Court has repeatedly held that, in the sphere of relationship rights, it is for the member state to determine its own legal landscape. In this respect it is worth recalling the opinion of David Thór Björgvinsson (judge for Iceland, a member state that permits same-sex marriage) in Burden v the United Kingdom which, in reflecting on the development of civil partnership legislation in the UK, stated:
…it is important to have in mind that each and every step taken in this direction, positive as it may seem to be from the point of view of equal rights, potentially has important and far reaching consequences for the social structure of society, as well as legal consequences […] It is precisely for this reason that it is not the role of this Court to take the initiative in this matter and impose upon the Member States a duty further to extend the applicability of these rules with no clear view of the consequences that it may have in the different Member States. In my view it must fall within the margin of appreciation of the respondent State to decide when and to what extent this will be done.
After the vote, there were some positive religious responses;
Some other comment articles:
Savi Hensman at Ekklesia has written Christians divided as Lords back equal marriage Bill.
Damian Thompson wrote at the Telegraph Gay marriage is not a faith issue, says Archbishop of Canterbury. That sounds like a pretty big concession to me.
Stephen Hough writes in the Telegraph Equal marriage: could Justin Welby’s support save the Church of England?