UK Prime Minister David Cameron To Push For Gay Weddings In Church

Prime Minister David Cameron’s push for marriage equality in England will allow for religious organizations to perform same-sex unions in houses of worship, while organizations that disapprove of gay marriage will be legally protected from hosting such ceremonies.

The London Evening Standard reports:

It means all three party leaders now support a historic equality reform that would once have seemed incredible — that homosexual partners can have the same civil marriage rights as heterosexual couples and even get married in a religious setting…government lawyers…have devised a foolproof legal “lock” to protect churches that oppose the reform from being dragged in. This will be written into legislation and the Government will also go to Europe to seek guarantees.

Both the Catholic Church and the Church of England are opposed to the measure, while other groups such as the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Jews have been vocal about the right to marry gay worshipers.

Cameron’s view is that there is no reason to ban all places of worship from voluntarily hosting same-sex weddings, providing these “locks” ensure none will be forced to take part.

“We are committed to bringing equal civil marriage forward and the consultation results will be announced next week,” said a government spokesman. “We are very clear that religious organizations must be protected and that none will be forced to conduct same-sex marriage.”

Out4Marriage, a cross party and cross media campaign supporting marriage equality in England, praised the government’s decision in a statement:.

“We are glad that they appear like us to believe in religious freedom, that churches must have the freedom to decide themselves whether to allow gay couples to marry. We eagerly await the full details of this historic change in the law next week.”

(h/t: Pink News)

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  • 2eo

    Part of me says woohoo, the other part tells me no bleeder will be able to afford a wedding with the mess he and his coalition are making of the economy, cutting balls deep in every part of the country except London.

    We in the UK are the sad fruition of the conservative recovery strategy, absolutely strangling any growth and punishing those trying to create jobs, let the UK be a lesson to not support the GOP financial strategy.

    Sadly the lesson is being ignored and your country is recovering much faster than ours.

    But at least some progress on the equality front is always welcome, no matter who does it.

  • hyhybt

    Why was this so hard for them to come up with?

    That’s one limit I never quite understood about their civil partnerships: not being *allowed* to have any religious element at all to the ceremony, much less get it done in a church if you could find one willing.

  • kevininbuffalo

    Cameron is not pushing Gay marriage in churches, he seeks to permit Gay weddings in churches that wish to have them. Big difference. The article is not what I expected from the headline.

  • alexoloughlin

    @hyhybt: The original intention of the equal marriage legislation was for civil marriages only, retaining the ban on access to religious marriage. Pressure from the Unitarians, Quakers, Liberal and Reformed Judaism to participate in same-sex marriages and a growing number of politicians echoed support for those who wished to take part. The provision is good because it spells it out that those in opposition won’t be affected and will be protected so they won’t be able to claim abuse of religious freedom or that they could be sued for refusing to perform a same-sex marriage that they said could end up before theECHR (European Court for Human Rights) which has said that same-sex marriage isn’t a right and has no intention of imposing it on any member state but that it should be left for each to decide. It’s an air-tight piece of legislation, foolproof. People outside the UK seem to forget that there is state religion in the UK. Another reason to amend the legislation giving full protection to both sides of the argument.

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