Thinking Anglicans

Scottish Primus on civil partnerships

To all serving clergy

Civil Partnerships

As you will be aware, o­n 5th December 2005, the Civil Partnership Act came into force. As a result, two people of the same sex will be able to acquire a new legal status through registering a civil partnership. This will have very significant implications for their rights and responsibilities in respect of taxation, nationality, immigration, heritance, liability for maintenance and child support, tenancies, employment and pension benefits.

The Bishops recognise that there is a variety of views in the Church o­n the subject of civil partnerships. They also realise that there may be members within your congregations, or colleagues in ministry who may be considering entering into such partnerships now, or at some time in the future. This may raise pastoral issues for you which you would wish to discuss with your Bishop. This note is to confirm that, in every diocese, the Bishop is happy to make himself available to discuss any such pastoral issues should they arise.

It should be noted that the Act does not allow Church buildings to be used for registering civil partnerships and there is no authorised liturgy in the Scottish Episcopal Church for the blessing of such partnerships.

+Bruce
The Most Rev Bruce Cameron
Primus and Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney

20
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
20 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
peter waddellDaveMerseymikeGöran Koch-SwahneChristopher Shell Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Peter O.
Guest
Peter O.

I am a Nigerian. My mother tongue or native tongue is Igbo language (South-Eastern Nigeria). English is my second language. In all sincerity, I want my English brothers who comment on TA to explain to me in clear terms and in a Lay man’s language what Civil Partnerships mean’s? I have been trying to translate it in my local language to my aged Father who is an Anglican Priest. But i cant just escape telling him that it is all about ‘nwoke n’ nwoke ibiko’- transliterated to mean a union between as man and man. Since the revered Primus of… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

It is about a union between same sex couples. Have a look at the Government leaflet on the topic – which explicitly sets that out.

It is only the Church which can’t bear to face up to this reality.

J. C. Fisher
Guest

In all sincerity, Peter O: the orientation is a *gift from God*! 🙂

[“Doctrines” and “practices” being human inventions, to get us by—or just make life more difficult? (depends which day you ask me)—until the Second Coming…]

But could you please remember that (I can’t say it in Igbo, unfortunately), that CPA is *just as much* for a *union between woman and woman*, too? Thanks!

Martin Reynolds
Guest

May I suggest Peter that the first place to start might be the Bible? Here you will find a wealth of stories about people of the same sex whose love for each other is even now wonderful to behold. The bonds of devotion between people of the same sex that can overcome different faiths, ethnic and social identities and be a real testament to the power of God’s love should not be unfamiliar to your aged father. Then, perhaps you might tell of the many Saints throughout history (Including my own country’s patron, Saint David) whose “important other” in their… Read more »

Peter Waddell.
Guest
Peter Waddell.

As far as I understand it, Peter, and I’m willing to be corrected by those who have studied it more closely, a civil partnership is about extending rights which at present only married (and therefore heterosexual) couples enjoy. These are rights affecting areas such as inheritance and next of kin privileges throughout medical care. It is basically a way of giving practical, legal support to relationships other than heterosexual marriage. As for where it comes from, the civil partnership act is a secular law responding to what many people saw around them: long-lasting, loving relationships which because they happened to… Read more »

Tunde
Guest
Tunde

Starting from the Bible.. Gen. 2.18 … not good for the MAN to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” So…22…the Lord God made a WOMAN….or.. Am I getting something wrong?

Well, companionship does not necessarily mean sex… until … another Nigerian term is ‘siddon look’ usually spoken when one is fed up with giving unheeded warnings.

I suspect the lack of comments on recent postings says that. God have mercy.

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Geez louise, Tunde: you and your *suspicions* (like your previous charge on the ABC’s interview thread: as if every computer/internet kablooey is a plot to silence God’s Elect?). Paranoia is not attractive in a minister of God…

“Am I getting something wrong?”

Yes—if you’re taking a Hebrew myth which just means “Our God Made Everything”, and using it to justify *your own prejudices* as to why an “Adam whom God made to love Steve” can’t get marri—um, “civilly-partnered”!

Peter Waddell
Guest
Peter Waddell

Tunde, if the point you would go on to develop from Genesis 2 is that the Bible’s teaching on sexuality is that God made man and woman in complementarity for companionship and procreation, then you’re on solid ground. Insofar as the Bible thinks positively about sexuality, it thinks about heterosexuality. So far, so agreed. Where we differ, I suspect, is on whether that closes the question. It seems to me that simply as a matter of fact, some people experience in same sex relationships love, joy, and companionship which enriches their lives and indeed the lives of people around them.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Let me remind you all, that this idea of a “complementarity” of the sexes (there are more than 2 genders, you know) is totally unknown here in Sweden.

The idea is said to have originated in Rome, which does not explain its recent appearance in Political Calvinism in the USA.

peter waddell
Guest
peter waddell

Goran, I know this is probably old hat to many people, but not to me: how are there more than two genders?

I’m intrigued by the suggestion that ‘complementarity’ emerged first in Rome. I grant you that the word isn’t used in Scripture, but doesn’t it pretty well express what Scripture certainly does teach: ie. that male and female are somehow made for each other, bring each other to completion?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Peter Waddell,

So am I, but this is always said when the thing is discussed. But it i s strange.

And no, I cannot see that Scrupture “teaches” that. Plato does, though.

So I would regard this “complementarity” (unknown her, I remind you) as an over-interpretation – and I’m definately a minimalist.

Quite novel, at that, to my knowledge.

And yes, there are at least 2 corporal in-betweens: hermaphrodites and pseudo-hermaphrodites.

Tunde
Guest
Tunde

siddon look!

Pray all you folks will still be Christians in 10 years time if Jesus Christ has not returned. And please let no one tell me that is another myth!

John Stevenson
Guest
John Stevenson

Gen. 2:18 acknowledges that “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner”. While unquestionably in this context, the partner is a female, both the affirmation of our basic need for and the promise of companionship does not necessarily exclude Gay and Lesbian people. Creation is not presented as a finished product and humanity is intimately involved in the ongoing process of creation. ‘The plan’ never envisaged single or celibate people or childless couples, yet we would not describe these people as ‘disordered’. John Stevenson – Anglican Diocese of Brisbane

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Goran
From the way you speak, anyone would think that a baby was quite equally likely to be born hermaphrodite as male or female. In fact, ‘hermaphrodite’ is only defined in terms of male and female in the first place.
Complementarity is obvious to anyone,and has been since the start of civilisation. Anyone who knows that it takes one of each gender to produce a baby (a process that was discovered a very long time ago) also knows, by definition, that they are complementary.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Christopher Shell,
1. There are also many transsexual, and in other ways intersexed people,

2. “Obvious”! Now you’re being silly – show me the first use of the word “complementarity” in this sense!

(clue: it is not “the start of civilisation” it’s anti-modern social politics)

Also, there are many more ways of being “complementary” not to speak of “un-complementary”, than the biological ;=)

So it’s not all that “obvious”.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Göran, The ways people have thought about things have changed, but that the things they are thinking about haven’t! A man and a woman are complementary, they form a couple, a basic building block of the family and the human race. It really is a poor argument to suggest that occasional physical transgender babies demolishes the idea that men and women were “made” as complementary halves of a couple. Nor that the idea is unknown in Sweden (and I think that you are overclaiming, given reaction of many swedish priests to the recent homosexual legislation in the church!) Dear… Read more »

peter waddell
Guest
peter waddell

This has drifted further and further from the specifics of the Civil Partnership conversation, but it is interesting. One thing that might help is to see the questions of (1)whether male-female complementarity is a divinely ordained norm and (2) whether some homosexual relationships might be worth celebrating, as quite different questions. What if we see heterosexuality as the norm – in the quite straightforward sense that most people are heterosexual and that until very recently this has been necessary for the survival of the race? But saying that something is the God-given norm doesn’t mean that we couldn’t also see… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

All this nonsense about the ‘designed order’ – the constant presence of people who are gay or lesbian by orientation means that this uniform idea of a ‘creation’ really ought to be put to bed along with the rest of conservative theological superstition.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Peter and Mike, Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not the only alternatives. Nor are they mutually exclusive, many people experience both heterosexual and homosexual attractions.

There are many other sexualities and many different sexual desires, and always have been. The question is not how we deal with people who differ from us, which must always be with love – even when we disapprove with the other persons behaviour, or disagree with their theology. The question is which desires and sexualities are righteous and which are sinful.

Christians are, after all, not just humanists!

peter waddell
Guest
peter waddell

Dear Dave, Exactly – but what makes something sinful? It seems to me there are two ways of answering that question. The first is to say that what is sinful is what involves the dimunition of one human being by another, everything which tends towards the destruction of the mutuality and right relationship God intends for his creatures (‘shalom’). One is hard pressed, I think, to say that homosexual relations automatically imply this. The other is to say that regardless of the human reality of these relationships, which seem good and life enriching, the Bible condemns all same-sex relationships. I… Read more »