Comments: Marriage Bill gets Royal Assent: some reactions

More sour grapes? Can you find some positive things to post too, Simon - some Christians are very happy today!

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 8:39pm BST

`At a time when the nation needs to hear a prophetic voice on marriage'

Sad that leadership's had to come from secular quarters rather than the Church then, isn't it?

Posted by Tim at Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 8:55pm BST

Christian Concern are presumably members of the school of thought that if you're going to lose a battle, you should aim for as many posthumous Victoria Crosses as possible. Such leaders are not well respected in the Army, as most people would prefer to live, even if as a PoW. Ms Williams seems to think that Bishops should have turned up to vote on a lost cause, making the church look substantially more conservative than it really is, and possibly even made speeches that as individuals they disagreed with, and which the church doesn't universally support. This would have been a massive hostage to fortune, and made it very difficult later.

This seems to be a failing of single-issue campaigning organisations. Once they realise they're going to lose, they think that they should lose gloriously (ie, with a high body count), so that they can tell their supporters that they did their best. But organisations with longer plans need to take a longer view, and the Church of England just can't afford to charge into the gunfire. C4M care about same-sex marriage, and nothing else; for the CofE, it is just one item on a long list, and not even the most important right now, never mind over the long term. Getting women bishops wrong will be both more divisive and more damaging, and I suspect that the CofE wants to keep its powder dry.

Posted by Interested Observer at Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 9:05pm BST

As a Yank, I'm genetically-inclined to be a (small 'r'!) republican . . . but TODAY I say, God Bless the Queen! :-D

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 10:47pm BST

Lord Cormack in his comments at third reading was measured and civil and reminded people of Churchill's maxim that 'in victory magnanimity'. The awful lack of grace from some quarters teaches me that 'in defeat magnanimity' is also important. We are all called to be big souled. Recognition of differences across hurt and division isn't likely to grow amidst further doses of acrimony. Is this really what the gospel wants from us? The bitter ones are going to go off and be bitter (and yes, paranoid) and little can be done about that. There is some hope for the Church of England if it wants to go down that road and there are some positive signs such as the recent Presidential address and meetings with Changing Attitude for example.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 10:56pm BST

I want a "like" button for some of the turns of phrase of Interested Observer!

The New Statesman's article is very very important. Christians will need to continue the battle, not only for the sake of full acceptance in our own churches but also to emphasize that there is no "Christians vs the rest of the world" reality and that right wing conservatives do not speak for the majority of Christians. They must be seen as the marginal force they are - that will be a big step towards reducing the tolerance of anti gay bullying in society.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 11:03pm BST

"Recognition of differences across hurt and division isn't likely to grow amidst further doses of acrimony."

Five years later, American evangelicals are still looking for reasons why Obama's victory was illegitimate. I don't think they ever reconciled themselves to Clinton, either. It's not that they believe these Presidents to have been wrong-headed and incompetent, and the electorate to have been misguided: that's a legitimate position. Rather, they believe that the electorate was something between defrauded by the fake election of a malign presidency that acts only in bad faith.

In our dreams, people who disagree with the outcome of democratic processes think like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJd37-rU2qY

Let us hope that Christians in the UK do not behave as badly towards being on the losing end of a democratic decision as US evangelicals have. Plenty of people have unpacked, and unpicked, the theological and ethical incoherence of the opposition to SSM. Rather fewer have examined the entirely spurious arguments of "not being in a manifesto" or "not being properly consulted over".

Posted by Interested Observer at Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at 11:27pm BST

@JCF, its usually God Save the Queen, and on this one I totally agree, but in this instance perhaps God Save the Church of England may be more in order. As it seems it cannot save itself from constantly shooting itself in the foot.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 3:53am BST

Sour grapes indeed. Our RC bishops still can't find an argument against gay marriage that does not apply equally to marriages of the aged and sterile, e.g "The new Act breaks the existing legal links between the institution of marriage and sexual complementarity. With this new legislation, marriage has now become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family unit, are no longer central."

A Polish Dominican who claims to be a papal theologian charged with vetting the pope's utterances seems to have emerged from the shadows in resentment of papal silence on the issue -- his argument is that gay sex is perverted and unnatural and that gayness is a "difficulty" or a "stage" some people go through and that gay exaggerate in making it central to their identity. His bizarre comments confirm that homophobes obsess about gayness much more than gays themselves do!

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 4:57am BST

Thinking more about all this ghastly commentary and dire prognosticating. The idea of sour grapes appears in Aesop, but also in the Bible. The Biblical version is usually in this form:

"The fathers (sic) have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge".

I would have thought that is precisely what this exercise in grumpy bad sportsmanship by the RC bishops and the EA is likely to result in. The next generation are likely to be thoroughly pissed off with their "fathers". Own goal!

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 9:39am BST

"right wing conservatives do not speak for the majority of Christians"

Unfortunately, the media narrative is that they do, just as bearded fascists speak for the majority of Muslims. Stephen Green and Anjem Choudrey are two sides of the same coin: media-savvy, simplistic, authoritarian and always available to the Newsnight researchers who have them on speed-dial.

The problem with the likes of Choudrey and Green is that, for the naive, they set up a vision of "true" religion. That is then reflected in the likes of Richard Dawkins, who takes that fundamentalist discourse, and packages it up with "People of faith think like this, and if they don't, they aren't really members of their claimed faith". Dawkins' poll on Christian practice set up as requirements things that many Christians would disclaim [1], for example.

Taken together, that is a powerful pressure on young, naive, new believers to choose broad-brush, un-nuanced and generally conservative positions (and churches) over more nuanced alternatives. It is quite clear, see also Alpha Course, that new arrivals into Christianity are often given the impression that homophobia, young-earth creationism and the rest are "real" Christianity, while the positions of the CofE and even the Catholic Church are weak and compromised.

This is not helped by liberal CofE bishops whose pronouncements, cf. Rowan Williams, are incomprehensible and sound like weaselling to anyone not prepared to subject them to extensive exegesis (ie, almost everyone). The media has the choice: Green condemning homosexuals and threatening everyone with hellfire, or Rowan Williams saying something more suited for a supervision with a final year theology student. I suspect that young people coming to (or rejecting) Christianity, not having been raised in the CofE/Methodism/etc could genuinely not know that there are alternatives to Christian Voice.

Those of us who are not involved in churches, but see them as vital to our civil society, can only lament this, and hope that you get your act assembled before it's too late. Stop pandering to the reactionaries. Get out there, and tell people your good news.

[1] http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/644941-rdfrs-uk-ipsos-mori-poll-1-how-religious-are-uk-christians

Posted by Interested Observer at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 9:49am BST

The response of the Roman Catholic bishops is entirely predictable - focused as they are on human reproduction. What they are failing to recognise is that the bond of marriage can be a positive social force for good in the world - where fleeting sexual relationships are all too often the norm whether hetero or homosexual.

What the bishops also do not recognise - upholding their Church's ban on contraception - is that not every act of marital sex is undertaken with the intention of producing (maybe unwanted) children, which could be more of a problem for both the Church and the world.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 10:18am BST

Fr Ron,
the response of Catholic Bishops is not entirely honest. Civil marriage legislation has never been focused on reproduction and it is completely disingenuous to pretend that it had and that this new law changes that.

Considering these are educated people one assumes they understand that perfectly well and one can only speculate why they are continuing to make these statements.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 12:28pm BST

American right wing evangelicals are still angry over the Republican Party dumping Senator Robert Taft for Eisenhower during the 1952 party convention in Chicago.
There are Southerners who still write letters to General Lee.

Posted by FD Blanchard at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 2:16pm BST

For once I agree with Ron.... its not what they say, its what they don't say...why can't they be honest and say the Roman Catholic religion regards homosexual practice as an abomination and a sin that will send its practitioners to Hell.
All this can be found in the Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Every Catholic is taught from a child.. never get married in a registry office and you can only marry in a Protestant Church with church permission.


Posted by robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 4:44pm BST

I agree with JCF: God bless the Queen!!!
And,
God bless those MPs and Lords who voted in favor,
And,
God bless all those who toiled for so long and so hard, often in the face of bitter, hostile, derisive, insulting, condescending opposition all too willing to use any means necessary.

Posted by peterpi -- Peter Gross at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 9:15pm BST

For once I agree with Fr. Ron.... its not what they say, its what they don't say...why can't they be honest and say the Roman Catholic religion regards homosexual practice as an abomination and a sin that will send its practitioners to Hell.
All this can be found in the Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Every (Roman) Catholic is taught from a child.. never get married in a registry office and you can only marry in a Protestant Church with church permission.

Posted by: robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 4:44pm BST

If you say so Robert !

If true it could help to explain the RC denomination's swift decline in these islands, with convents, schools and even churches / parishes closing down and being 'amalgamated' with the next parish or nearest convent

The views quoted above from RC sources are an appalling travesty, and hateful.

And for heaven's sake I do not believe in your 'Hell' !


Posted by Laurence at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 9:19pm BST

"Every Catholic is taught from a child.. never get married in a registry office and you can only marry in a Protestant Church with church permission."

And, yet, millions of Roman Catholics do both.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Thursday, 18 July 2013 at 9:55pm BST

How often do we hear a powerful testimony to Jesus' message like this ?

And relevant to this thread - to all threads.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=d8qC8KKdkeU

Posted by Laurence at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 12:11am BST

"And, yet, millions of Roman Catholics do both."

Or, perhaps, millions of people do who describe themselves as Roman Catholics do so to indicate their culture, heritage and quasi-ethnic origin, rather than any sort of dominating through system of discipline and belief.

This is what some anti-racist campaigners would call "essentialism": the assumption that whatever you're discussing ("race" or religion, most commonly) is people's prime and dominating reference point, and therefore that they are Catholic (or whatever) before they are husbands, lovers, doctors, Labour voters, Guide leaders, Take That fans or one of the many other ways that people position themselves and gather in groups. For some people, their self-identified Catholicism trumps everything else; for others, it is just a small part of their makeup, whose precepts come behind other things.

See also "all Muslims celebrate Ramadan", "all Methodists are tee-total" and the adjacent "if you don't celebrate Ramadan you are no sort of Muslim" and "if you drink alcohol you are no sort of Methodist".

Posted by Interested Observer at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 6:54am BST

I sometimes like to think I'm a better Catholic than some of those who are within the remit of the Bishop of Rome. I like and admire much of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but I can't find in it anywhere the view that homosexuality is an "abomination," much less that it is "a sin that will send its practitioners to Hell."

The objections that the catechism raises (III.2.2.6.ii.2357)are rather that homosexual acts are "contrary to the natural law," that "they close the sexual act to the gift of life," and that "they do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity." None of those claims is beyond contestation (and the first and third look pretty spurious to me), but they at least can claim to founded in the admirable theological edifice of the medieval schoolmen. I suspect that Catholics who have to resort to the heated rhetoric of abominations and hellfire may in fact be nothing other than closet-evangelicals (just as many of us scholastic Anglicans are perhaps little better than closet-Catholics).

Posted by rjb at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 7:16am BST

"Every Catholic is taught from a child.. never get married in a registry office"

With the exception of Catholics in all those countries where the churches are not allowed to register civil marriages and you have to tack on a religious service after a civil wedding.

It's a silly thing to say, anyway. Nominal Catholics couldn't care less and committed Catholics wouldn't want to marry in a non-Catholic setting.

As for the CCC - to paraphrase James Alison, if you make a new discovery about human beings it is downright unintelligent to stick with the rules you made before you had that knowledge.
The church can claim that this is from God, the majority of people knows better by now. And all churches achieve is to ruin their credibility a little more.

Imagine - how much more we would all respect a church that could take new discoveries on board and change its theology accordingly instead of fighting increasingly silly rearguard battles.
Alas - no such maturity bar in a very few churches.
But like with everything else - abandoning the Inquisition, burning witches, supporting slavery, denying the discoveries of astrology... they will all come round in the end. Bruised. Yet again.

We never learn, do we!

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 10:13am BST

The policies& fine words, of the Church of Rome impact very negatively on the lives of good, faithful, people, on the ground :

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/06/catholic-diocese-of-columbus-refuses-to-reinstate-fired-lesbian-teacher/

Posted by Laurence at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 11:15am BST

What the RC Catechism says about homosexuality may be objectionable, but when I last looked at it, it did not go as far as what Robert has posted.

Posted by John ross Martyn at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 11:31am BST

Well as a matter of fact,the English and welsh hierarchy have down played these very issues for fifty years ( contraception etc), and my contention is that is why souls have been lost.

There has been no sense of spirituial urgency. I agree the Church has declined in numerical strength, but my confident conviction is that the gates of Hell will never overcome her.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 11:46am BST

"why can't they be honest and say the Roman Catholic religion regards homosexual practice as an abomination and a sin that will send its practitioners to Hell. All this can be found in the Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church."

Well, you'll be happy with the Papal Theologian who calls gay sex "perverted" and "unnatural", words scrupulously avoided in the 1986 CDF document Homosexualitatis Problema and not starring in the Catechism either. I was not aware that the Catechism ranted about "abominations" -- sure you got that right?

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 1:58pm BST

here is a link to the papal theologian: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/papal-theologian-treating-homosexuals-with-dignity-means-telling-them-the-t/

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 1:59pm BST

The Universal Catechism actually describes gay sex, " as acts of grave depravity." and they " can never be approved." In the English catechism still published by CTS, homosexuality is categorised as "one of the four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance"

However persons with homosexual feelings/ temptations are affirmed in the love of God and are called to chastity and self sacrifice.They should suffer no unjust discrimination.


Posted by robert Ian Williams at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 3:27pm BST

Now will anti-gay religious leaders take responsibility ?

http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/gay-men-violently-attacked-one-dies-high-religiosity-blamed-by-kenya-lgbt-group/politics/2013/07/18/71261

Posted by Laurence at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 4:50pm BST

Could you explain the connection between contraception and the loss of souls Robert? You have me lost there.

Posted by Helen at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 5:37pm BST

"denying the discoveries of astrology"

I presume you mean astronomy. There's a substantial difference.

Posted by Interested Observer at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 6:50pm BST

You have entirely missed my point..which is how the RC bishops dealt with the gay marriage issue. I felt they left out , what they didn't want seen in Catholic teaching. When they joined with pro polygamy Muslims et al..how could they genuinely defend marriage?

I woud say " grave depravity " the wording in the catechism isvirtually coterminous with abomination.

Posted by Robert Ian Willaims at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 6:56pm BST

Could someone please explain why once a law has been passed (equal marriage) it takes up to a year to go into effect? Thanks.

Posted by Sara MacVane at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 7:31pm BST

IO,
"denying the discoveries of astrology"

I can't believe I wrote that! :-)

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 8:00pm BST

Sara,
Gay Star News covered this today
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/gay-mp-asks-why-it-will-take-year-him-get-married-england-and-wales190713

‘Work is already underway and there is a lot to be done across government to ensure that all couples who want to get married; or convert their civil partnership to a marriage; or remain in their existing marriages when they change their legal gender, can do so,’ a spokeswoman said.

The changes the DCMS will be implementing include the court rules, IT systems, the processes for civil registrations, religious buildings registration, religious consents (when a marriage of a gay couple is conducted with religious rites but does not take place in a registered building - such as in a house-band, deathbed or a prison) as well as guidance for registrars, religious organizations and the public.

The spokeswoman added: ‘Parliament will also need to scrutinize a number of statutory instruments setting out how the new arrangements will apply to other legislation; on the detail of certain processes; and to ensure that marriages of same sex couples in England and Wales are treated in Scotland and Northern Ireland as civil partnerships.

‘This all takes time.’


The Civil Partnership Act had Royal Assent in April (I think) 2004, the first Civil Partnership was registered in December 2005.

What I don’t understand, though, is that the Gay Star article suggests that the conversion of civil partnerships into marriages will take even longer than the first gay marriage.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 8:20pm BST

Here is where your kind of 'doctrine' may lead, Robert.


http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/07/thousand-plus-participate-in-anti-gay-demonstration-in-haiti/

Posted by Laurence at Friday, 19 July 2013 at 10:43pm BST

We want to get married properly - not some 'conversion' of our CP - whatever that means !

Posted by Laurence at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 12:55am BST

Thank you Erika. It still seems a bit strange to me that a law (any law) takes so long to go into effect. I seem to remember pictures in the NY Times of couples lined up at city hall already the night before an equal marriage was due to pass in one state - probably NY. They were counting on getting married the next day. But it could be a lapse in memory....

Posted by Sara MacVane at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 5:29am BST

I thought the Papal theologian was very balanced and fair in presenting the Catholic view. I can't speak for Haitian people who are converts to Protestant denominations.

Posted by robert ian williams at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 7:34am BST

Laurence,
I don't think there is any provision for people who are civil partnered to get married, all we will be able to do is to convert our civil partnership document into a marriage certificate. I'm not even sure there's any ceremony involved, it might simply be an administrative process.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 12:22pm BST

Sara McVane: Even in the US, and other countries, laws sometimes come into force a while after they were passed. E.g, New Zealand, Uruguay, Rhode Island, and Minnesota have all passed equal marriage laws, but they will not take effect until August 1. However, the relevant French law, passed AFTER the laws of all the jurisdictions listed above, came into force fairly swiftly, so France has been having SSM ceremonies for awhile.

Posted by Sam Roberts at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 12:58pm BST

There was the case of the murder of Daniel Zamudio in very Catholic Chile by a group of Neo-Nazis which created a huge public outcry. That outrage caused a big shift in public opinion that finally overcame years of resistance to civil rights and hate crimes legislation for LGBTs by Catholic hierarchs and evangelical leaders.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17544423

and here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/chile-discrimination-law-daniel-zamudio-gay-death_n_1405406.html

Chile is now ahead of the USA which has no national civil rights law protecting gays and lesbians, only a patchwork of state and local laws. In 29 states, it is still perfectly legal to deny employment, housing, and public accommodation to gays and lesbians. That will still be true even if marriage equality comes to all 50 states. A bill to put gays and lesbians under federal civil rights protection continues to be opposed and defeated by both right wing evangelicals and the Catholic hierarchy in the USA (despite widespread support for such legislation by Catholics in the pews).

Posted by FD Blanchard at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 1:05pm BST

I can't bel;eive that Erika - would be so crass (though you may be right of course)- we definately wanna get married.

As we have never actually had such a service / ceremony, how can it be denied to us ?

Posted by Laurence at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 3:39pm BST

Its worth stating that in the case of France there was a delay while the law was conssidered by the Conseil constitutionnel and then after being signed by the President (after the OK by the CC) it could go into more or less immediate effect. As French marriage is inherently secular in nature (no religious marriage) it was a relatively simpler matter.

In the UK it is usual to take about a year to bring a law in so this is the usual practice. It must also be said that there are some complexities in the UK (England and Wales) that will require some detailed work (notably the registration procedure for religious institutions, conversion of CPs to marriage and so on). There are also the consultations on humanist weddings, civil partnerships and pensions, so in the UK context it is quite involved and complicated whereas it is simpler in other jurisdictions.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 5:04pm BST

RIW,
but if the Catholic view is based on outdated ideas of humanity and if it is plain silly and increasingly immoral, would it not be better if the Pope's theolgoy began to deal with that fact?

Otherwise we'd get the impression that the Pope is tied to Catholic theology and Catholic theology is tied to the Pope and that the two together are completely incapable of ever ever adjusting to reality.

When you have tied yourself in knots you try to free yourself, you do not do your best to make the knots tighter.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 5:53pm BST

"Thank you Erika. It still seems a bit strange to me that a law (any law) takes so long to go into effect. I seem to remember pictures in the NY Times of couples lined up at city hall already the night before an equal marriage was due to pass in one state - probably NY."

Sara, have you heard of the "New York minute?" They take it very seriously. The City proposed giving people a 10 second grace period on expired parking meters. The Mayor vetoed it because he wanted "a New York minute to stay New York minute."

Cultural differences that certainly exist between our cities and states, let alone countries. I feel bad for couples for whom time is running out. For others, it is time to discern and plan.

Posted by Cynthia at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 6:29pm BST

Laurence
there was this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2246593/Gay-couples-convert-civil-partnerships-marriage-secret-100.html

which seems to suggest that you could opt for a ceremony but that the standard would be a simple conversion:
"Around 50,000 couples will be able to change the legal status of their relationship by simply filling in a form and popping it in the post along with a cheque to cover the cost of issuing a marriage certificate."

"Documents issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport yesterday suggested that couples in civil partnerships will have a choice about whether or not to hold a separate ceremony to mark the conversion of their relationship to marriage.

‘We will enable couples to have a ceremony upon conversion should they wish to do so.
'The ceremony would have no legal effect and would be similar to existing ceremonies allowing couples to renew their vows (and would therefore incur a separate cost)."


Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 20 July 2013 at 10:50pm BST

Erika,

Catholic teaching is the deposit of faith explicated by the Catholic Church throughout the centuries.

God has gauaranteed that the unworthiness of its propagators(at times) does not effect the message.

Its the truth and sometimes I find it unpalatable.

Posted by Robert iian williams at Sunday, 21 July 2013 at 7:08am BST

Cynthia,
but presumably, even in New York they use forms and they have appointment systems etc.
They must have anticipated that this law would pass and made sure that it would be possible from an administrative point of view for people to get married 24 hours later. And those people would have had to have had a tentative appointment. It's unlikely that they managed not only to book a slot but also get their wedding party together, their clothes, the tv cameras...

I've often wondered how they actually managed to do all that.

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 21 July 2013 at 7:24am BST

RIW,
it's the centuries that are the problem. As RC theologian James Alison points out - in the last 50 years or so we have made a new discovery about human beings, and any theology that was developed before cannot yet have taken account of it.
There IS as yet no Roman Catholic theology about homosexuality.

http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng59.html

Posted by Erika Baker at Sunday, 21 July 2013 at 5:31pm BST

"I've often wondered how they actually managed to do all that."

New York is special, it just is. Speaking as an envious outsider.

In Colorado, for Civil Unions, it took 2 months to go into effect. Which gave us plenty of time to organize the TV cameras and parties! The Clerk and Recorders offices opened at midnight on the first day the law went into effect. Would that happen in the UK?

Seriously, I'll ask around. I think that once marriage was passed in NY, it was like normal marriage. Maybe they, like Colorado, had extra hours to accommodate the rush.

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 22 July 2013 at 12:40am BST

Erica Gillian and Lawrence,

The Mail is not the most reliable of sources, so I have been plodding through Hansard, on your behalf, regarding the question of whether civil partnerships would be 'upgraded', as it were, if they wished to become married (obviously some will not) or whether an entirely new ceremony will be required.

Debate centred on an amendment proposed by Lord Elton, supported by the Lord Bishop of Chester, which would, in effect, have insisted solely on the latter.

It was forcefully argued against, but, notwithstanding that, contrary to to the traditions of the House, the proposerr demanded a formal vote; there were 15 votes for and 84 against.

You've probably spotted by now that it was just another attempt to derail the bill, so we will need to see what the final outcome is, but I have no doubt that both Erica and Lawrence will get their marriages...

Posted by Stevie at Monday, 22 July 2013 at 12:45am BST

Thank you so much Erika. That is so thoughtful of you.

Posted by Laurence at Monday, 22 July 2013 at 9:54am BST

Stevie,
thank you for digging!
So are we saying that there are as yet no formal proposal about how an upgrade would work, that the proposal for a compulsory additional ceremony was voted down with the amendment and that the question of whether a separate ceremony will be permitted or whether the upgrade is purely administrative has yet to be decided?


Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 22 July 2013 at 12:12pm BST

"I have no doubt that both Erica and Lawrence will get their marriages..." Stevie

I hope they do - but will Erika and Laurence get theirs? :-)

Posted by Laurence Cunnington at Monday, 22 July 2013 at 2:37pm BST

The opinion of a RC theologian is nothing...only the Magisterium counts on definitive matters of faith..Homosexual practice and marriage will never be approved in the Catholic Church...but I can see it coming in the Church of England, after a long fight.

I was reading an old copy of the Church Times from 1976, in which thay were confidently predicting women priests in the Catholic Church by the year 2000.

Unless you recognise the divine authority of the Petrine ministry you will never understand this. So much for fifty years of ARCIC.

Posted by robert ian williams at Monday, 22 July 2013 at 5:29pm BST

Alas, my skills at plodding through Hansard are rather better than my spelling; my apologies to both of you!
I am pretty sure that both Erika and Laurence will get their weddings, but the intent of the legislation is to give the substance of marriage, not merely the name.
Indeed, the massive slew of amendments proposed by the former Law Lord, Mackay of Clashfern, were an attempt to derail the legislation by setting up a hierarchy of marriages in which same sex couples were inferior; he and his supporters seemed to believe that they had 'given' the name of marriage, so what more could anyone want?
Of course, they had not 'given' anything at all; they had attempted, by speaking and voting for Lord Dear's wrecking amendment, to destroy the legislation altogether. It was only when that attempt failed that they set about trying to destroy it with rather more subtlety.
Baroness Northover assured the House of Lords that she anticipated that the Regulations would be based on the principle that it would be a matter of choice for each couple as to whether they would simply convert their existing civil partnership status into matrimony, or have a marriage ceremony.
Obviously if a couple has not already entered into a civil partnership then they would have the simple choice between affirming one or another.
Lord Elton's amendment, supported by many of the usual suspects, would have set obstacles in the way of people who want to be married; it was rejected because the House of Lords saw that very clearly.
And now, just to prove that I don't spend all of my life reading Hansard, I will characterise his behaviour with a term used frequently on the web; it's 'concern trolling'. I think that it's comforting to know that the members of the House of Lords recognise 'concern trolling' when they see it!

Posted by Stevie at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 12:36am BST

Same-sex couples were eligible in New York State to start marrying on July 24, 2011, one month after the State Senate passed Governor Andrew Cuomo's marriage equality bill--the Assembly having passed it four times. Judges were on hand in New York City at City Hall and Borough Halls to sign papers to waive the twenty-four-hour waiting period, the point being that some same-sex couples had already been together for decades.


Gary Paul Gilbert

Posted by Gary Paul Gilbert at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 2:18am BST

RIW
you haven't read the article, have you.
James Alison recognises the divine authority of the Petrine ministry perfectly. But that does not mean that the Pope doesn't get it wrong every now and then. He knows that, which is why very very very few statements are ever made ex cathedra. There is more humility and carefulness and nuance at the heart of your church than its "I believe everything he says just because he says it" believers acknowledge.

If a statement is made that is no longer based on any underlying truth you can follow it with blind faith but not if you are a reasoning, thinking person.

I respect the Catholic church hugely. It is not populated by idiots. Bishops are not all power crazed ideologues. The church itself has integrity and truth. And there can therefore be no doubt at all that it will eventually take on board that its current theology on homosexuality is wrong because it is based on faulty science.
It is absolutely inconceivable that it will not see that eventually.

It has so far managed to absorb and incorporated every change in scientific understanding of the world. Often late and only after those who see it as an ideological challenge rather than a mere adjustment based on facts have died. I'm not expecting the change on homosexuality to come soon.
But come it will. Because your church is not stupid.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 9:49am BST

The text of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 is now available online.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/30/contents/enacted

Posted by Peter Owen at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 3:17pm BST

Stevie a double thank you for all your labours on my and Erika's behalf !

I am glad my partner and I will be able to get married, and in my place of Worship too. n fact that is an understatement for hugely relieved.

It is very important to us, after 40 years together (on 18th August).

Yes, we had a registry office CP but it was stronly borne down upon us that we were not getting married and the registrar got our names mixe up, having not given thought to how to attachment the names of 2 men to the correct individual. It did not feel respectful.

This was followed by a wonderful, beautiful Meeting for Worship, but again it was emphasised to us that it was not a marriage service - though we did take exactly the same vow as is laid down for 'Marriage after the Manner of Friends' ! The Friends took the line we didnt need 'marrying' after all these years -which is very sweet.

However, this very personal decision and we do wish to be spiritually and legally married officially, no ifs and no buts.

Maybe this is too hard for straight people to appreciate, not having been through the decades of our being denied and ignored - at best.

Posted by Laurence at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 4:56pm BST

Alison accepts the Petrine ministry on his terms, and undermines it. Nogenuine catholic looks at the Pope as impeccable or making pastoral mistakes, but on faith and moral pronouncements, the successor of St peter can never teach error.

The Holy Spirit does open up genuine developments and deeper understandings..for instance our understanding of suicide and mental illness. However as for SSM and womens ordination recognition that is not on the cards.

Posted by robert ian williams at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 5:21pm BST

Some municipalities in New York State opened their marriage bureaus at midnight, the very start of July 14, 2011, to allow same-sex couples to marry as soon as possible. http://tinyurl.com/kogomv7

New York City had a lottery for people to win the chance to wed on the first day. Several hundred couples were accommodated.

I don't understand how once a bill becomes law it is not applied as soon as possible.

The sooner same-sex couples start getting married, it all becomes business as usual.


Gary Paul Gilbert

Posted by Gary Paul Gilbert at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 6:52pm BST

RIW,
of course. And they never turned away from previous papal errors of faith and morals either. The RC church still sells indulgences and regrets that our modern laws won't allow it to burn witches.

I agree that with women priests they have tied themselves into some knots, although even there Roman Catholics argue just about how infallible an infallible statement by the Magisterium is that the Pope supported but did not pronounce himself. There are definite possible cracks for a future change.
And as regards homosexuality, the future is wide open.

It's unlikely that either you or I ever witness it. But who knows. Another point Alison makes is that while Rome is much more rigid than other churches, because of its less democratic discernment process it can also change much quicker and more comprehensively than other churches.
The next few decades will be interesting to watch.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 23 July 2013 at 10:20pm BST

RIW,
and even if you believe that the Pope can never be wrong on moral issues - moral theology depends on the foundation on which your question is based.

So far, we have said "we know that people are straight and that some are disordered, faulty and fall away from that created ideal."
If that's your baseline, then you can arrive at the moral evaluation that being gay is wrong.

But when science challenges your premise and you have to say "there is a spectrum in creation, most people find themselves on the straight part of it but others just as naturally find themselves on the gay part and many are spread across the spectrum", then there is no longer a basis for speaking of "ordered" and "disordered".

So it's not a case of the pope changing his moral theology at all. But it's a case of saying "we have a new question here, we need to find an answer to that". It's precisely because he would be starting completely afresh that a change in gay theology is inevitable over time.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 24 July 2013 at 4:07pm BST

There is no definitive proof that Homosexuality is caused by genetics.

I think it is psychological..like most forms of sexuality.Are people born with a fetish for leather or stockings etc.

I can't see your idea emerging as a re-evaluation of Catholic teaching , as we believe the teaching comes from the Creator and Redeemer God himself, who knows us better , than we know ourselves and wants all to come to salvation. However sadly people reject his mandate through his teaching CHurch.

"He that hears you, hers me. "

Posted by Robert ian williams at Saturday, 27 July 2013 at 8:40am BST

"There is no definitive proof that Homosexuality is caused by genetics...
I think it is psychological..like most forms of sexuality.Are people born with a fetish for leather or stockings etc."

Thank you for that expert opinion. It is, of course, complete out-of-sorts with the findings of science, especially psychiatrists.

It is also out-of-sorts with the actual experience of actual gay people.

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 28 July 2013 at 10:17pm BST