Thinking Anglicans

Marriage Bill: House of Lords moves to committee stage

Updated Friday morning

Three days have now been allocated for the committee stage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, Monday 17th, Wednesday 19th, and Monday 24th June.

So far, three pages of amendments have been tabled, all can be reached via this page.

Update a Marshalled List is now available here. Several amendments include bishops as sponsors.

Update
David Pocklington at Law & Religion UK has an informative post: Same-Sex Marriage Bill – some legal issues.

Conservative Christian opposition to the bill continues, see The House of Lords, Church of England Bishops and the Same-Sex Couples bill by Chris Sugden at Anglican Mainstream.

The statement by the Convenor of the Lords Spiritual was reported here.

The Church of England Briefing Note issued for the Second Reading of the bill can be found here. It indicates the type of amendments that may be pursued by the bishops.

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Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

In a rather hilarious hermeneutic the bishops ‘stand down’ statement really was written as a ‘fight on’ statement. Nothing at this stage would surprise me. In any case there will be some tidying up of wording on a few clauses which is all to the good, there will be freedom of expression clauses – again all good stuff but I think fundamental challenges to the bill (shall we say ‘wrecking amendments’?) will not fare very well. More than that there is the potential for the bishops to register vote after vote after vote against the bill as if voting for… Read more »

Karen MacQueen+
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Karen MacQueen+

The Church of England Briefing Note makes for sickening reading. The aggressive homophobia of the Church’s positions is, at this point, militant irrelevancy. Now that many of us are out of the closet, it is time for the bishops to get into the closets and lock the doors. We do not need to hear from them again. Imagine a hierarchy determined to enlarge the “freedom” of public servants to refuse legal services to LGBTI persons and families. Consider that the bishops are lobbying for the secure freedom of Church school teachers to insult and humiliate LGBTI children and youth by… Read more »

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

The reason why boxing matches are often ended by one contestant’s trainer “throwing in the towel” is that, in the heat of the battle, the boxers themselves are unable to see that their position is hopeless, and it is the trainers’ responsibility to prevent any more harm coming to them. Anglican Mainstream are the voice in the boxer’s head, telling them that if they can just survive this round and get to the bell, then in the next round they’ll be able to deliver the knockout blow, just wait at see. The SSM debate is over. All of the non-issues… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

And I see that George Carey is now proposing a separate register for straight couples (traditional marriage). Words fail.
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/bid-destroy-gay-marriage-new-register-straights-only130613

CRW
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CRW

CofE schools already tell the children of gay parents all sorts of horrible stuff. If you ask me you are crazy to send your child to one as a gay parent but people in rural areas don’t always have a choice. I know several people who have been told that the school doesn’t recognize them as parents and that only one of them would be able pick them up and go to parents evenings if they took up a place at the school. I know another couple whose children are attending a CofE school and they thought they were doing… Read more »

Davis Mac-Iyalla
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Davis Mac-Iyalla

Someone needs to tell the CofE to throw in the towel, because otherwise they’re going to find they’re permanently damaged by the last few rounds of the bout.
No one can tell them to stop as long as their eyes and hearts are open to the lobby of Anglican Mainstream group.
We have a saying in Africa that those whom the gods wants to destroy they first make them mad.

Stephen Morgan
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Stephen Morgan

Cripes! Talk about clinging to the wreckage. I wish they would stop talking about ‘The C of E’ as if we were all of one mind on these matters. I found the Q & A section of the Bishops Briefing particularly diverting. They were the sort of ‘answers’ you might expect when only one side is setting the questions!

Tom
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Tom

Interested Observer what do you make of the amendment of Lord Singh and others that a referendum should be taken AFTER the Bill has been debated/passed by Parliament? Do they mean BEFORE the Royal Assent or before Commencement, or what? Surely a referendum (rarely used in our constitution) is taken PRIOR to some parliamentary action being taken, such as the In/Out referendum. (Whatever the polling figures would an Out result actually legally bind anyone to do anything? – we do not have binding propositions put to the electorate as they do in the States). I can only think Singh’s is… Read more »

Laurence
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Laurence

Singh has been revealed as having very unpleasant views and tactics.

I shan’t listen to his Thought for the Day, again.

He feels he may dictate to those born in the Uk; and who have had a long way to shake off Church strictures – if thinks we are going to tolerate Sikh strictures instead – think again me lord !

cseitz
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cseitz

Are there any reliable statistics on what percentage of LGBT people actually want what is being called ‘marriage equality? I have seen a number of stories recently that speak of real resistance to the idea from those for whom it is purported to be desired. That marriage ceremonies for Gays are embarrassing efforts to imitate; that children are not a right but have rights (the French phrase fails me just now); that LBGT ought to go their own way on this matter. Does anyone have any data?

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“what do you make of the amendment of Lord Singh and others that a referendum should be taken” As you say, it’s being done in bad faith. It’s effectively a wrecking amendment, and will be seen as such by the vast majority of peers. There is absolutely no way that any government, of any stripe, would accept the premise that there should be a referendum over a simple piece of legislation. It would be a precedent that could then be used, endlessly, by malcontents, and would paralyse the country politically. There is, in the absence of anything better, a reasonable… Read more »

CRW
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CRW

@cseiltz

http://www.stonewall.org.uk/media/current_releases/8432.asp

More than 9 in 10 gay people when polled by you gov want it.

Public gay figures who play the uncle Tom and try to stop the rest of us having it, like Rupert Everett, are generally reviled in the gay community.

Tobias Haller
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Dr. Seitz; there is this from the recent Pew Survey: “On the topic of same-sex marriage, not surprisingly, there is a large gap between the views of the general public and those of LGBT adults. Even though a record 51% of the public now favors allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, up from 32% in 2003, that share is still far below the 93% of LGBT adults who favor same-sex marriage.” There are, of course some LGBT people who do not want “marriage equality” — just as there are a number of heterosexual people who do not want to… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Cseitz, I’m not sure anyone has done a study. I’m gay and I want equality. So does every single gay person whom I know, here and from numerous countries. Please do not try to speak for us. Every LGBT organization I know of in both the USA and UK is working for EQUALITY. (Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, et al., please speak up.) There is not one that I know of working towards a “different” solution. Those of us who are active Christians yearn (from sacramental churches) yearn for the Sacrament of Marriage, for the same reasons as straight couples. It… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

“Children are not a right but have rights” This is of course a major homophobic slogan of the French anti-gay movement. Of course children have rights and the well being of children is of the paramount importance. Yes children can be taken away from their parents because they are in danger or are not being looked after properly but until that threshold is reached the State has a certain reserve before the family. Heterosexuals form families (sometimes through adoption or medical assistance); likewise gay people form families through adoption and assisted conception. In the case of adoption of course there… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“what percentage of LGBT people actually want what is being called ‘marriage equality?”

My goodness, cseitz: speaking of towel-throwing! O_o

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

Thanks for the (limited) data re: US and UK. The world is a big place of course.

Mr Nelson. The phrase is widely used in France by LGBT folk. Indeed they originated it.

I can understand the sympathies of Gay people who see marriage ceremonies as embarrassing imitation.

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

There’s no one ceremony one can have a simple civil ceremony if one wants or indeed, if one doesn’t wish to be married, one can have a civil partnership without a ceremony. Maybe there are heterosexuals who dislike the ceremony and for that reason would like access to civil partnerships.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“I can understand the sympathies of Gay people who see marriage ceremonies as embarrassing imitation.”

If marriage is viewed as merely a ceremony then I can’t see why anyone would bother. Make the civil arrangement and have a party. Done.

Many Christian LGBT couples, however, want the Sacrament of Marriage, and that comes with a LITURGY not a ceremony!

And, of course, the vast majority or us want EQUALITY under the law for us and our families. Thus equal marriage.

I hope that makes the whole marriage concept clearer.

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

“the majority of us want EQUALITY under the law for us” — apparently not. That is the point of Gays opposed to ‘equal marriage’, namely, that CP is about ‘equality under the law’. ‘Marriage’ they believe is something else, that does not pertain to same-sex couples. You may disagree with them, but they find ‘EQUALITY under the law’ as what a CP is all about.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Dr Seitz
Could you please give a reference for *England and Wales* or at least for the UK, as evidence that “Gays opposed to equal marriage” are a *majority*. Of course, there are some who espouse that position, but why do you claim it is a majority? I say for England, because this is a thread about the House of Lords, and the current bill before the Westminster Parliament.

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

The quote is from the previous note (Cynthia).

Those Gays who oppose ‘marriage equality’ do not do so because they cannot have equality under the law. They can.

I thought the point was clear. No one said they were a majority (at least not in the countries mentioned).

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“Could you please give a reference for *England and Wales* “ I’d like to see the evidence for anywhere. I have never met a gay person, on 2 continents in 3 languages for me, who didn’t want equality. I can easily imagine a weird fringe, every group has it. There are some. a few, African Americans who believe that separate was better, for example. But in this case, with the decision before Parliament, it would be particularly interesting to see which groups are lobbying for which position. So I’d love to know the LGBT groups lobbying for equality, and any… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“Those Gays who oppose ‘marriage equality’ do not do so because they cannot have equality under the law. They can.” I’m so confused. I’ve heard that in the UK, that Civil Partnerships and Marriage are NOT equal. Thus the brouhaha. Please clarify. Where exactly can we get equality under the law? Please tell me. My partner and I spent $1600 at an attorney doing the best we can in terms of Wills, Powers of Attorney, etc. But that doesn’t give all the rights of marriage. Last month, here in Colorado, we got Civil Unioned (what a word, I’m looking for… Read more »

cseitz
Guest
cseitz
Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

This may surprise cseitz but homosexuals do not coordinate with one another as some sort of unified thought army. As with all things there is not uniformity. Equally not all heterosexuals support marriage. The law being debated isn’t going to take people and forcibly marry them against their wishes. There are a number of heterosexual couples who do not marry just as there will be gay couples who choose not to marry.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Cynthia, there is virtually 100% equality in law for gay couples. There are still some pension rights to be sorted out, which could be done under the civil partnership scheme if necessary. But the real inequality lies in the fact that CPs aren’t portable. Countries that have marriage equality do not recognise our CPs as marriages, and as these countries do not have CP arrangements, they do not accept the Civil Partnership either. So if we traveled to Canada or Spain or France etc. we would no longer be each other’s next of kin, for example. This problem becomes more… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

As for “do gay people want marriage equality” – 85% of civil partnered couples who participated in the Government consultation phase of the Bill said they would convert their CPs into marriage certificates.

So of those people who do want to make formal commitments the vast majority wants marriage. At least in the UK. And the UK is the topic of this thread, isn’t it?

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

That certainly is closer to the reality of the situation than ‘97% say X’ or ‘I’ve never met anyone who disagreed’ type of view. My assumption is that there is nothing like the uniformity on this issue than one would otherwise conclude from reading comments here. The BBC magazine piece makes that clear. We find there the view that ‘equality’ for some Gays means something other than marriage.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Cynthia, there are individuals who prefer not to get married. There is no single lgbt lobby group actively lobbying against other gay couples having the option to get married should they want to. At least not to my knowledge. There are gay and straight people who, IN ADDITION to marriage equality, would like civil partnerships to be open to everyone. These people would like the financial and legal security of a recognised relationship but they do not want the “baggage” of patriarchal marriage. I would assume that a lot of the straights in this group currently cohabitate but that they… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“That is an important difference.”

Thank you for the clarification, Erika. I certainly know a ton of straight couples who have no interest in marriage.

I seriously doubted that there was any LGBT group lobbying against equality, but someone asked.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I think, cseitz, that the conclusion by the BBC was spot on: With so many different points of view on a subject that has long divided America, perhaps the debate just underlines the obvious – gay people are like everyone else.

The view points expressed in the BBC article are definitely upper middle class. The perspective of both couples financially independent from the other. And likely childless. Not likely the perspective of those who have married their fortunes together, and sacrificed jobs and income to be together.

One can never dismiss class and/or economic positioning in these things.

MarkBrunson
Guest

As a gay man, I feel that conservatism is an embarrassing imitation of Christianity. Let’s do something about that, first.