Thinking Anglicans

Methodist Church response to government consultation on equal civil marriage

The Response from the Methodist Church in Britain to the consultation on “Equal Civil Marriage” can be found on their website as a PDF file, here.

SUMMARY OF THE METHODIST CHURCH RESPONSE

  • The Methodist Church, in line with scripture and traditional teaching, believes that
    “marriage is a gift of God and that it is God’s intention that a marriage should be a lifelong union in body, mind and spirit of one man and one woman”.
  • Our Church governance means that we would not be able to revise this position, even if we wished to, without an extended period of reflection and consultation.
  • Within the Methodist Church there is a spectrum of beliefs about human sexuality; however the Church has explicitly recognised, affirmed and celebrated the participation and ministry of lesbians and gay men.
  • We do not believe that a distinction between “civil” and “religious” marriage is a helpful or correct one. Marriage does not have a different definition for religious groups, as against the state. Marriage is a single legal and social entity. Nor do we believe that the Government should determine what is religious.
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Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
9 years ago

“Marriage is a single legal and social entity. Nor do we believe that the Government should determine what is religious.” – Methodist Church response –

Nobody is actually saing that Marriage is not a single state and entity – that is precisely why Same-Sex couples want to make the very same monogamous commitment to one another as anyone else.

Furthermore. the government is not even trying to ‘determine what is religious’. The Church seems to be making a very bad job of doing just that.

Fr James
Fr James
9 years ago

It’s better than the Church of England’s response!

Randal Oulton
Randal Oulton
9 years ago

“We do not believe that a distinction between “civil” and “religious” marriage is a helpful or correct one”

Gimme a break. Is there any other first world country that *doesn’t* maintain such a distinction?

David Shepherd
9 years ago

Randal,

If that distinction is true, show me where one person would refer to their spouse by civil marriage and another their spouse by religious marriage, informally or on any official form. Marriage solemnised by civil ceremony is the same legal status as marriage solemnised by religious rite. No-one puts down their marital status as ‘civil husband’. Civil partner, perhaps, but that’s a different status to marriage entirely.

The dichotomy is false!

Malcolm French+
9 years ago

Civil and canon law on marriage in England have surely been distinct since at least 1907, when civil law was amended to permit a particular type of marriage prohibited under canon law – specifically the marriage of a man to the sister of his deceased wife.

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