Thinking Anglicans

Equality Bill: reports and reactions

Updated Wednesday evening

Telegraph Martin Beckford Gay couples should be allowed to ‘marry’ in church, Government minister says

George Pitcher The Church should bless civil partnerships – but they’re not weddings

At Cif:belief

Andrew Brown Secularism and bigotry and May church press officers be gay?

Savi Hensman Church leaders are wrong on equality

Terry Sanderson Let’s fight the church on equality

At Ekklesia

Lords vote to reduce protection for religious groups’ staff and Government to consider legal status for religious same-sex partnerships

Equality Bill and religious discrimination and Misrepresenting equality… and Christianity

What’s so civil about a civil partnership?

Also (this topic should be reached this afternoon):
Equality and employment in faith schools and Public bodies seek an end to religious discrimination against teachers

CARE Religious Liberty upheld in Lords vote on Equality

CCFON Praise God for the victory in the House of Lords!

Christian Institute Lords defeat Govt over church staff

Catholic News Service Britain’s House of Lords backs church arguments on Equality Bill

Catholic News Agency Religious freedom safeguards preserved by defeat of UK Equality Bill

20
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
20 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
Martin ReynoldsSimon SarmientoCraig NelsonChuck InglisJohn Holding Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I con’t understand this fixation with “licenced premises”.

In Sweden the licence is bound up in the Performer, the Priest/Judge (or licenced other) as the Agent of the State for this piece of Administrative law, as it is.

The actual place is of no importance as long as the usual requirements are met.

Seems much simpler and more rational to me.

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

The debate on civil marriage for same sex couples is interesting.

I think the current situation is discriminatory and imposes real harms on same sex couples who wish to marry in a house of worship as well as religions who wish to do so and can’t.

The simplest solution is to allow for same sex religious and civil marriage.

I think that Civil Partnerships done in Church creates all sorts of complexities which maybe can be sorted out, maybe they can’t.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

“Their [The Bishops] political victory is a moral and spiritual defeat.”-Savi Hensman The Guardian.

Absolutely bang on.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Question: are same sex civil unions in England legally equivalent to civil marriages? Do they confer the same benefits and obligations? In the US, where civil unions are legal in a few places, they confer differing benefits and obligations from state to state, and they also differ from civil marriage within the same state. That’s one reason people here push so hard for civil marriage, which varies in some detail from state to state, but which is portable – you don’t have to remarry if, married, you move from Ohio to Virginia. Civil unions are not portable. And of course… Read more »

Paul Walter
Guest

Sadly the CCFON site won’t take comments. Comments were also disabled under their recent video on YouTube. That is a shame, and also quite unusual these days. If, I was able to comment under “Praise God for the victory in the House of Lords!” I would write this: If you are praising God for the Lords victory, what will you do if the Commons reverse their amendments and go with the government one? Will that be an act of Satan perhaps? If so, you could end up praising God for an act by unelected people and blaming Satan for an… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Cynthia

UK civil partnerships are intended to give all the same benefits and obligations as civil marriages, but are a distinct category.

There are still a few differences, as exemplified by the CofE pensions issue discussed elsewhere on TA. Equalisation of pension benefits was not made fully retrospective when civil partnerships were introduced. But generally speaking, the benefits are now exactly the same.

john
Guest
john

For what it’s worth, I (allegedly heterosexual) am all in favour of calling long-term same-sex unions ‘marriage’ and, consequently, of their being celebrated in church. Why not? The notion that God created ‘marriage’ as between male and female for reproduction is absurd (absurd because obviously non-historical). ‘Marriage’ is a social construct and institution. There are good reasons for it. But they’re not theological ones. On the bishops’ behaviour, of course S Hensman (as quoted) is right. More concretely, their stupidity will surely accelerate their defeat. How on earth can anyone any more respect creatures such as Wright and Sentamu? Harries… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

The Church will have to be destroyed if it continues to refuse human rights like this.

Will it be raised up again on the 3rd (or any other) day ?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

The term ‘marriage’ does not necessarily apply, scripturally, to the relationship between male and female. For instance, what is termed in the scriptures ‘the marriage feast of the Lamb’ applies also to the committed relationship of Christ and the Church. Jesus is seen as the *bridegroom* and the Church, his *bride*. Also, a nun, at her ‘consecration’ is given a wedding ring, and is called a ‘bride of Christ’. So why all this kerfuffle about two Christians who want to relate to one another in faithful commitment wanting to use the term ‘marriage’? What does it really matter about what… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

My best guess about this latest round of rightwing believer hoo-ha is that it circles stormily around the reality-evidential testing of hallowed flat earth beliefs-evaluations. All that hoo-ha mainly involves our customary queer folks and the customary religious (plus folk-cultural) issues having to do with just how toxic, incompetent, and contaminating those queer folks are said to be per most legacy religious revelations. This struggle is vexed, painful no doubt – not least because in fact we have already move so very far beyond the nastiest and most powerful of our legacy revelation. We’ve shocked ourselves as believers – having… Read more »

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

“Religious freedom” seems to give these Christians an absolute right to ignore the law if they dislike it. — quote from Terry Sanderson What a beautiful way to sum things up in a nutshell! These Lords Spiritual — my, how medieval we sound! — want precisely that ability when it comes to GLBT people, but God forbid anyone should discriminate against “them”! Now, a procedural question: If the Commons pass a bill, then the Lords change it meaningfully and pass it, does Commons have to approve the changes? That is, do both Houses have to pass the same version of… Read more »

john holding
Guest
john holding

Will some kind soul explain to me what happens if the Commons does accept the amendments.

As I understand it, the original was a (perhaps clumsy) attempt to make British law conform with European Union requirements.

Do the amendments mean the law will no longer conform? And in that case, who’s going to bet on how long it will take someone to challenge the (amended) law in the European courts (a long process to get there, I realise)?

Paul Walter
Guest

Answer to John Holding: In simple terms the Commons can do what they want – whatever the Lords do. When the bill returns, as amended, to the Commons from the Lords, the Commons can simply take out the O’Cathain amendments and replace them with the government amendment or another amendment. The Lords can then amend it back again and that farce can go on for three times. At the third time, the Commons, if they want, can over-rule the Lords by using the Parliament Act, so that whatever the Commons wants goes in the Bill for signature by HM Queen.… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Andrew Brown’s second piece asks pertinent questions and reminds us that “married with four children” can still mean gay (particularly in religious organisations). I must say that I found William Fittall’s view to Parliament that he couldn’t have a press officer who was openly gay rather unconvincing – I don’t know any of the present press staff but (like Andrew) have known several key players in the past who were gay and my experience was that they did not fail their masters and in fact gave the gay lobby short shrift, believing: 1. They knew our position and didn’t need… Read more »

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

I think the European Commission angle can be overdone. The Bill’s main reason for being is not to implement EU law as the usual practice is to use a regulation making power in the 1972 European Communities Act (govt issues regulations to transpose EU law and Parliament votes yes or no – so no power to amend, and from recent debates you can see why this route is used). The equality bill was used as an opportunity to improve the transposition of the Directives but it in itself was not conceived purely for this purpose. The answer of what happens… Read more »

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Paul — my question was not whether the Commons could or would accept the Lords amendments. Obviously they can either accept or reject. WHether they will accept or reject is rather a different matter.

My question was about what happens if they do accept the amendments — and if the amendments seriously compromise the attempt to bring UK law into conformity with European standards.

Chuck Inglis
Guest
Chuck Inglis

The maneuvers by CofE Bishops in the British House of Lords provide a fascinating window on the current impasse in the world wide Anglican “Communion” for North Americans. There is a clear willingness to use appointments based on privilege to undermine both democratic will and the advancement of civil rights. It explains why the more democratic polity of TEC, and the slightly less democratic polity of the Canadian Church are treated by as an enigma and a bloody nuisance by English prelates. The current conflict in the communion over human rights for gay and lesbian people is based on an… Read more »

Craig Nelson
Guest
Craig Nelson

In answer to John, for practical purposes it is the Government’s decision because the government has an overall majority and can whip its members (though of course they may vote against the government line and occasionally do). So the next step is to find out the view of the Government. If the Government seeks to reverse the Lords’ amendments then we have ping pong between the two chambers and maybe a compromise can be worked out. Sometimes the Parliament Act can be used but I’m not sure in the case because of timing issues and in any case we are… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Martin asked about the Reaney case. In my opinion, with either of the two wordings of the definition clause that were rejected, the Reaney outcome would have been the same. That is because the tribunal found that his job did come within the scope of the exemption. The new wordings either: – did not change the scope of the definition, in which case the outcome would be the same, or – did change it by narrowing it enough to exclude Reaney’s position, in which case Reaney would have won without question, or – did change it by widening it, so… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Thank you Simon.

Made all the more interesting because you were there!