Tuesday, 2 March 2010

civil partnerships: still more on the amendment

Updated twice

Several articles opposing the Equality Bill amendment proposed by Lord Alli have appeared.

Fulcrum has an article by Andrew Goddard Civil Partnerships and Religion:Some Cautions and Questions.

Andrew Carey has written in the CEN and republished by Anglican Mainstream Bishops facing real issues.

Peter Ould has written Blessing Civil Partnerships in Church.

All of these were written before the revised amendment text was published, although Andrew Goddard has made some changes to take account of it.

Peter has now also commented on the new amendment here.

On the other side of this debate, Colin Coward has written Civil Partnerships in religious buildings - at last, ‘moderate’ dissent among the bishops, and dishonesty from one who should know better.

Second Update

Gavin Drake has weighed in with Let’s all play ‘Pin the tail on the law’ with Lord Alli.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 12:10pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation
Comments

You just have to love the irony of Andrew Carey defending the sanctity of marriage!

Posted by: JPM on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 3:35pm GMT

The iron y was not lost on this reader, either, JPM !

It must be marriage in theory rather than in practice.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 8:13pm GMT

'As such the legislation will inevitably have some impact on all faith communities and not simply on the small minority who..' (Andrew Goddard)

Andrew does not go on to state what this anticipated impact will be. I wonder why not ? Why leave it hanging like this ? Is it because clearly to state his view would open his argument to the 'charge' of homophobia ?

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 8:17pm GMT

Do these people never tire of hearing their own voices?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 8:18pm GMT

'... civil partnerships are equivalent to non-religious civil marriage in this respect.
(Andrew Carey)

It is so lovely to see Andrew Carey acknowledging this in writing. I am delighted that he has changed his mind on this, now. But this is consistent with his own personal re-evaluation of the nature of marriage, as shown in practice.

As he heads his piece with the words 'Lambeth Notes' it encourages one to anticpate that George Carey also shares Andrew's view of the equivalency of marriage and civil partnership in the way Andrew indicates in his piece.

Much better to rejoice with them that do rejoice than cling on to outmoded views of civil partnerships - or marriage !

Church and State in England owe the lesbian and gay communities a huge debt, a huge apology for their behaviour and time to begin to make restitution to us all -- and remember all those who died -- who did not live to see the truth of our relationships recognised, supported, embraced & Celebrated ! What of them ?

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 8:31pm GMT

The Peter Ould piece is worth visiting for the comments and *discussion alone !

I find comments by a *Canon Andrew there very clear,thoughtful, Godly and helpful to me. As well as his arguments, the way he deployed them is impressive. He did not respond to personal invective in kind- a lesson to many and to myself.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 8:53pm GMT


Peter Ould's update on the Alli ammendments speaks of religious communities '...as they seek the mind of God on how to respond to same-sex unions in our society.'

Jews, Quakers and Unitarians are, in fact, following the will of God as they feel they are being led, at this time.

They have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision.

What of the Church of England ?


Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 9:03pm GMT

Apparently the Church of England Evangelicals have decided that they will die in this ditch. Not four weeks ago, they were noisily protesting against a bill they thought would curtail their right to discriminate in employment, saying that non-discrimination laws interfered with their "religious freedom."

Now they demand the right to control the public religious expressions of Quakers, Unitarians, and Reform Jews. They want to enforce conformity to Church of England doctrine (as they understand it), even against the express desires of members of other religious bodies. So much for "religious freedom."

What will they come up with next? No votes except for members of (their) Church of England? No university diploma unless the student subscribes to the Thirty-Nine Articles? I don't know what century the Evangelicals think they are living in. I am sorry they seem to have taken over the Church of England without a fight; I hope your secular government will be able to stop them from taking over the entire country.

Posted by: Charlotte on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 9:32pm GMT

Andrew Goddard is wrong in many facts, he says:
“weddings either being on religious sites, using religious ceremonies where designated members of the religious body officiated or being civil ceremonies on non-religious sites with secular ceremonies and no religious officials involved in registration.”

In fact civil Registration Officers still regularly and as a matter of course register weddings in religious premises,

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 10:45pm GMT

I don't get it, I just don't get it.
The criticisms turn the "If Johnny jumps off a bridge, that doesn't mean you have to" argument upside down, on its head.
The critics are arguing that "If Quakers or Liberal Jews do it, then the CofE will have to do it also."
What a load of tripe!
If priests and bishops in the CofE don't want to religiously recognize Civil Partnerships, then they need to grow a backbone.
In Colorado, it is illegal for auto dealers to be open on Sundays. The argument goes that if one dealer wants to be open on Sunday, then others will feel they have to be open, so the government has to outlaw it for everyone.
The counter-argument is, if you don't want to open your car dealership on Sundays, then don't, and accept the consequences of not opening. The answer isn't to force everyone else's hand.
How about it, CofE?

Posted by: peterpi on Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 10:56pm GMT

Also I, and many others welcome the chance to provide services of blessing, full marriage services in the “Brandreth” venues. Over the years I have seen the services become the main event with the registration following with just witnesses, sometimes in another room in the venue – just like retreating into the vestry!

So, contrary to Mr Goddard’s claims, my experience is that the sacred and secular are learning to live more closely with each other.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 12:28am GMT

I suppose of the three religious groups that offer this service, only Quakers are likely to pose any rivalry to the C of E. Gays seeking a church marriage may drift to the Friends for this purpose. Maybe Anglicans should revisit the ceremony celebrated in St Bartholomew's, London, a while back.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 9:03am GMT

Andrew Goddard writes: "Historically, marriage was a religious ceremony. Until the 1753 Hardwicke Act, the law had traditionally left the regulation of marriage to the Church." This is entirely and utterly wrong. Quite the opposite is the truth. Until 1753, marriage was a civil contract and any ensuing religious ceremony was optional. When the Hardwicke Act made religious observance compulsory, large numbers of people refused to get married. It became such a serious issue that the State re-introduced civil marriage in 1836.

Posted by: Terence Dear on Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 10:45am GMT

Yes ,it will be rather like the old days when clergy who played by the rules told a couple where one or both were divorced, "I suggest you try the Methodist Church down the road". How many Quaker Meeting Houses are there in England?

Posted by: Perry Butler on Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 11:16am GMT

Spirit of Vatican II's comment puzzles me. The Quakers will offer a particular style of service. Good for that. The one that can look most C of E, indeed could even nearly steal the wording that could be in a C of E service (even to the trinitarian too, if a couple so want) is the Unitarian! I'm sure too that Liberal Jews will have an outreach in this area. It is an opportunity for all three to reach out.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 11:42am GMT

Pluralist's experience of Unitarianism is quite different from mine, where the congregation took great pains to avoid any mention of God in their prayers (?) and the hymnody was comprised of a blend of African American spirituals, Jewish folk songs, and a few favourites like "We Shall Overcome."

Posted by: Geoff on Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 1:35am GMT

Geoff, the one and only Unitarian service I ever attended involved sitting next to an Indian mound and beating drums.

Posted by: JPM on Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 6:50pm GMT
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