Tuesday, 12 February 2013

House of Commons scrutinises Marriage bill

Updated finally on Friday morning

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is now being scrutinised by a Public Bill Committee.

Today was the first day of taking evidence, and those appearing included representatives of the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Church in Wales. The second day will be on Thursday.

A timetable of those appearing this week is at the bottom of this page. The same page lists the amendments filed to date. A PDF copy is also available here.

The evidence sessions can be watched via Parliament TV, at the following locations

Hansard written record of proceedings:

Tuesday’s notice of new amendments is here. The programme of future dates for the committee to meet is here.

The committee has started to publish memoranda submitted in written evidence. Of particular interest may be this memo from Lord Pannick QC.

Follow this link, and scroll down for others.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 at 4:16pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church in Wales | Church of England | equality legislation

Fascinating, thank you.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 at 12:36pm GMT

Dean Jeffrey John said this, during his submission to the Commission on Thursday:

"Dr John: I wish that it were not Government and Parliament doing it (legislating for S.S.Marriage) alone in the face of objections from the Church. I do not actually agree that the Bill redefines marriage. It seems to me that marriage stays the same as a result of the measure; we are simply making a decision about admitting a different kind of person to it. I would compare it with the ordination of women in ’92. When the Church of England ordained women priests, we did not say that we were redefining priesthood or the sacrament of ordination; we were simply admitting the other half of the human race into it. It is that kind of change. It is a much less radical and revolutionary change, theologically, than it has been presented as. "

I think that, herein, Dean Jeffrey is enunciating quite an important fact about the Bill; that it does not, per se, 're-define' Marriage. The Bill merely opens up the process to other people than those currently enjoying the legal benefits.

He brings up the valid point that, in the decision made by the Church of England to ordain women to the priesthood, the Church did not consider the possibility that it was 're-defining' the charism of ordination. A very persuasive argument!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 16 February 2013 at 10:25am GMT

One can only agree with Fr Smith about the persuasiveness of Dr John's argument. It is to be hoped that many people bother to read the account of his meeting with the Commons Committee.

Posted by: commentator on Saturday, 16 February 2013 at 6:10pm GMT
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