Comments: Welsh bishops respond to equal civil marriage consultation

"The consultation document refers throughout to an alleged ‘ban’ on same-sex couples contracting marriages. In normal parlance, for something to be banned, it must be possible but disallowed –such as the ban on smoking in public buildings, or the ban on carrying liquids on to an aeroplane, or the ban on alcohol or gambling on many religious premises. (It could be argued that there is a ‘ban’ on the inclusion of religious content in civil marriage or partnership ceremonies.) This legislation does not lift a ban; it proposes the creation of a new state, ie marriage between persons of the same sex. A more accurate description would be, as in para 1.9(iii), that a same-sex relationship constitutes a ‘bar’ to marriage: it is a situation in which marriage cannot at present take place. It would be correct to acknowledge that the proposed legislation aims to bring into being a state which did not exist before."

For a new state of affairs one arguably needs a corresponding neologism, like the commandeered 'gay' for 'Gay'-- 'Partnership' was sufficiently on offer as a term.

Wasn't it true that the progressive position on SSBs in the TEC requested theological document was unhappy with the idea of 'marriage equivalence'? Gene Rodgers et al. It did not respect the distinctiveness of the purported analogue, etc. My memory is a bit foggy, except to say, the 'marriage equivalence' idea is not universally held within the GLBTQ community itself, by any means.

Posted by cseitz at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 7:19am BST

Surely such neglect by the Westminster Government is a good reason for Byddin Rhyddid Cymru (The Free Welsh Army) to declare war on England and go all out for an independent Welsh Republic. After all the Church in Wales was disestablished in the 1920s - isn't it time that the country gained independence too?

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 8:47am BST

Very sad.

More concern over being overlooked or that the majority of the questions on GAY marriage were actually aimed at GAY people ..... strange that ....
Again that story - seven aged straight men saying: "Oh, you have civil partnerships they are as good. So why marriage?"
No recognition of marriage as a vocation.
Much the same language as was aimed at women thirty years ago:
"You can be Deaconesses, Church army sisters or nuns. Why do you want what we men have?"
Well apart from the rather poor thinking - not as bad as England, but that's about all.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 1:16pm BST

"This legislation does not lift a ban; it proposes the creation of a new state, ie marriage between persons of the same sex. ... It would be correct to acknowledge that the proposed legislation aims to bring into being a state which did not exist before."

The Welsh bishops fail in their analysis here, precisely BECAUSE they fail to exercise their liturgical judgment.

In Anglican understanding, it is the COUPLE who marry each other (the Church & State merely bless, and notarize). Because of this, I can assure the bishops that "marriage between persons of the same sex" has, in historical fact, existed for centuries. "Two and three have gathered" to make the solemn promises before God, in Christ, and pray for the couple that they be faithful to the vows they made.

What God hath joined together, why should the Church and State publicly hold asunder?

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 14 June 2012 at 9:44pm BST

Nearly one hundred years after being forcibly severed from the Church of England, the Welsh bishops still show their subservience to the Church of England.

These defenders of marriage, actually turned the high standard the Church in Wales once had as regards divorce and re-marriage into a free for all.

Posted by Robert Ian williams at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 8:01am BST

A sad day for the Bishops of the Church in Wales.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 12:16pm BST

"It is not at all clear in what ways same-sex marriage will be different in substance from existing arrangements for civil partnerships."

This is the legalistic mind, which is seeing everything from a functional and bureaucratic stance. It completely ignores the spiritual and emotional, the mutual responses of a committed relationship using the vows of love in marriage:
" I take you ... to have and to hold from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death do us part,
according to God's holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow." (CW)

Having conducted many wedding services, I have long thought that the modern marriage service could be applied to gay marriage with very few modifications and would meet a profound human need for recognising a commitment of love before God and society.

What is it about bishops that they keep coming out with all this backward-looking, unimaginative, life-denying stuff?

Posted by Roger Antell at Friday, 15 June 2012 at 1:31pm BST
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