Changing Attitude welcomes Government consultation on same-sex marriage

Changing Attitude welcomes the Government announcement that a consultation on relaxing marriage laws to allow lesbian and gay couples to marry will start in March 2012 with the possibility that legislation will be possible before the general election in 2015.

The Home Office has said the consultation will only cover civil marriages for same-sex couples and not religious marriages. Reports say they have ruled out making it compulsory for churches or other faith groups to host gay or lesbian marriages.

Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England, commented:

“Many, but by no means all, Christian lesbian and gay couples will want to solemnise their relationship in a marriage ceremony.

“Changing Attitude is campaigning for the Church of England to adopt a permissive approach to civil partnerships and same-sex marriage. There are many couples in civil partnerships worshipping each Sunday and partners where one or both is ordained leading worship. When marriage equality becomes legal, lesbian and gay married couples will be fully involved in the life of our Church. We want to integrate our Christian faith and our love for God with our commitment to our partners and our love for each other.

“We urge the Church of England to engage now with the implications for the Church of this radical change in civil society and allow individual priests and congregations the freedom to contract civil partnerships and same-sex marriages in due course. We fully support the freedom of each priest and congregation to act in accordance with their theology and conscience and opt out of the proposed legislation.

“Changing Attitude expects to participate in the formal consultation beginning in the spring. We will support the government proposals and ask that serious consideration be give to the views of those we believe to be the majority in the Church of England who support full equality, including marriage equality for same-sex couples in a religious context.”

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I, too, welcome the announcement of just such a consultation. I do wonder, however, exactly who will be consulted . . . certainly, as a priest, I would be extremely surprised to find that my views were being sought.
    And should nobody ask me, not only do I support allowing same-sex couples the right to get get married, but I also hope that the Church of England will be brave enough to allow it’s clergy to decide whether or not we personally solemnise such marriages.
    Ideally I should like us to adopt the practise of requiring all couples to undergo a Civil Ceremony, leaving to option of an additional religious ceremony to personal choice.

    • Graham Southgate says

      Something went wrong: I hadn’t intended my comment at 2.43 pm to be anonymous and I’m happy to state “for the record” that these are my views!

  2. Changing Attitude says

    Anonymous, we will feed your comments into the consultation when we have the opportunity, and will invite supporters of Changing Attitude to submit comments when the consultation begins next year.

  3. Kate says

    I’m slightly confused – does this mean that organisations like the Quakers, who already say they want religious gay marriage won’t be able to do that, even when civil gay marriage is passed into law?

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