New Chapel Opening Underneath Parliament For Same-Sex Weddings

st mary undercroftFunny thing about the United Kingdom’s pending equal-marriage law: They sort of forbade the Church of England from performing same-sex marriages.

Because the UK has an official church—and not the alleged separation of church and state we do in the States—they addressed the whole religious/civil rite situation differently when it came to marriage equality.

At least as we understand it, ministers in the Church of England are exempt from performing same-sex nuptials—which really kind of means they can’t conduct them, even if it wanted to.

Other denominations, other faiths? Go crazy.

David Cameron’s government is really keen on equal marriage, so it’s in talks to turn the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft, a worship space nestled in a crypt beneath Parliament, into a multi-faith center where same-sex couples can be married by the clergy of their choosing (so long as they aren’t Anglican).

Under the gay marriage legislation currently passing through Parliament, the chapel will not be able to offer such ceremonies, because the Church of England is to be exempt from the new law.

To get round this and to ensure same sex marriages can be held there, plans have been introduced to convert the room into a multi-faith area.

This would allow gay couples to be wed by ministers from religious denominations such as Quakers and Liberal Jews who have indicated they will perform the ceremonies.

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  • alexoloughlin

    It’s not a done deal yet. My gut feeling is it won’t be allowed. Since the Anglican church is opposed to equal marriage and it’s an Anglican chapel although not under the remit of Canterbury, I just don’t see the Queen as supreme governor of the church giving permission for fear of upsetting the hierarchy even though they are exempt from performing same-sex marriages. I suspect the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will urge the Queen not to give permission although I think it will consent to multi faiths using it for services other than our marriages. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Billysees

    @alexoloughlin: 1

    The UK is so interesting.

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