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Churches to be given gay marriage opt out choice

By citizengibbon  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

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Churches will be able to opt out of holding gay marriage ceremonies under Government proposals.

Culture secretary Maria Miller set out plans to allow same-sex marriage yesterday, and said she was putting in place a "quadruple legal lock" guaranteeing watertight protection for religious organisations.

It's the "best way forward" according to Chris Marsh, manager of Gloucester bar The Westgate.

"I think it's the best way to go really," he said.

"It's always going to be a difficult one and I'm 100 per cent sure there are churches out there that will have no problem with it.

"It's a big, positive step, I'm really glad the Government has decided to do something positive."

Mrs Miller told the House of Commons she would now continue to consult on how best to implement the Government's plans in legislation to be introduced early in the new year.

"I am absolutely clear that no religious organisation will ever be forced to conduct marriages for same-sex couples, and I would not bring in a Bill which would allow that," she said.

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  • TimMessanger  |  December 11 2012, 3:33PM

    Sorry everyone just read a real bit of news that says this will be an opt in but will remain illegal in CofE churches! " No religious organisation or individual minister being compelled to marry same-sex couples or to permit this to happen on their premises Making it unlawful for religious organisations or their ministers to marry same-sex couples unless their organisation's governing body has expressly opted in to provisions for doing so Amending the 2010 Equality Act to ensure no discrimination claim can be brought against religious organisations or individual ministers for refusing to marry a same-sex couple The legislation explicitly stating that it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to marry same-sex couples and that Canon Law, which bans same-sex weddings, will continue to apply "

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  • TimMessanger  |  December 11 2012, 3:02PM

    How about OPT IN? opt out makes the church take action if they don't want to carry out homosexual or lesbian marriages, would this then be used to "name and shame" "homophobic" churches? Will every synagogue, mosque and vihara have to opt out?

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  • geraint2010  |  December 11 2012, 2:56PM

    Thank goodness our government are giving this topic all the parliamentary time it merits rather than wasting their valuable time on such trivia as getting the economy moving or concerning themselves with all the folk going hungry and cold this Christmas.

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