SLOWLY, SLOWLY, CATCHY MONKEY

From THE MAIL:

Gay couples will be able to marry in church after the House of Lords last night lifted a ban on same sex unions in religious premises. The vote wipes out one of the final distinctions between marriage and civil partnerships.

The amendment to the Equality Bill does not force churches to accept civil partnership ceremonies. But it lifts the barrier that had been in place preventing homosexual blessings in churches and also the prohibition on religious language being used in such ceremonies.

The Church of England will maintain its official opposition to blessings and civil partnerships but the vote is likely to mean that some pro-gay clergy simply ignore the official policy.

Lord Alli denied that his amendment was ‘an attack’ on the Church of England or the Catholic Church. He said: ‘Religious freedom cannot begin and end with what one religion wants."

The former Bishop of Oxford Lord Harries denied the amendment would undermine marriage. He said: ‘It actually strengthens marriage. The real enemy in our society is promiscuity, not permanent faith-based relationships.’

But the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev David James, who voted against the change warned of "unintended consequences".

The amendment has still to be agreed by the Commons but neither of the main parties is likely to overturn the Lords decision, since it was offered as a free vote.

COMMENT: This is a huge victory for justice and equality. Inclusive minded Church of England priests will now start quietly conducting wedding ceremonies for same sex couples (and, yes, they will be real marriages) as they have the backing of English law and an established church is subject to the law of the land in a very organic way (you see, there are some advantages!). There is no way this gay genii will be pushed back into the bottle. Well done, Your Lordship. Well done everybody!

Comments

SLOWLY, SLOWLY, CATCHY MONKEY — 21 Comments

  1. The House of Lords, almost all, did agree
    That it’s wise now for gays to marry
    “Look I’ve got an old bag
    and she lives just to nag,”
    Said one Lord, “Why should gays get off free?”

  2. I’m sorry, Göran, I’m going to have disagree with you on this one. There is no way anybody is conducting any sort of ceremony in my “smallest room.” It would just not be natural.

  3. MP
    Presumably, willing CoE priests will still not be allowed to perform those ceremonies because it’s against the expressed policy of their church.
    The decision frees whole churches to perform same sex marriages but not individual parishes within a hostile church.

    You said yourself you would not perform same sex blessings until your church sanctioned them, although there was nothing in civil law to stop you.

  4. Erika, you need to study passed situations, such as that regarding the marriage of divorced people in church. Individual priests will follow their own conscience on this one and decide which law to follow. As an established church, under the Queen, we are governed by Parliament as well as Synod. If the Queen signs off this legislation, the head of our church will have given her permission for it to happen.

    Personally, I will still follow my bishop’s instructions. But that is a strategic choice on my part based on how I think disobedience would effect my integrity as a fighter for equality.

  5. Hurrah!!! Agreed, well done all round. A rose for Lord Alli and the former Bishop of Oxford Lord Harries. A raspberry for the Bishop of Bradford David James.

    PS Boaz – you’ve outdone yourself.

  6. “Religious freedom cannot begin and end with what one religion wants.”

    Well, hot damn! That is absolutely outstanding.

    And this one is as well:

    “The real enemy in our society is promiscuity, not permanent faith-based relationships.”

  7. PS

    Oh, and phooey on Bp James. Absolutely EVERY change (action, decision, whatever…) about any issue at all is going to trigger “unintended consequences.” That’s kind of the way the universe works. (Imagine not having noticed that…)

    What a coward.

  8. Yes, Ellie. And most of the most wonderful things that have happened to me in my life, including meetingMrs MP, have been unintended consequences of something quite different.

  9. Wonderful news! I wonder if one of the unintended consequences will be the transfer of membership into churches where same sex marriages are welcomed. That has happened here.

  10. As soon as the House of Commons passes this Bill at its Third Reading, and it is signed off by EIIR, then I shall approach our parishes here to see if they would be supportive of me officiating at such ceremonies in their building. I have gone by the law of the land regarding re-marriage of divorcees with a former partner still living, and I shall go by the law of the land on this one as well.

  11. Amelia,
    but that would be a good consequence because it would leave the CoE purer and more holy. I bet the consevos can’t wait for us to cross over now.

  12. MP: “Erika, you need to study passed situations, such as that regarding the marriage of divorced people in church. Individual priests will follow their own conscience on this one and decide which law to follow.”

    I’ve studied the history in TEC, which now requires that any remarriage receive the consent of the appropriate bishop (sometimes more than one). Your statement seems to imply that in the C of E the individual priest makes the decision without the involvement of the bishop. Is that actually the case?

    wv = liesseco
    (dry falsehoods)

  13. Thanks, SR. I can imagine that it is difficult for someone outside of our strange legal situation to understand how this will work itself out. Hopefully your comment will give them more confidence that this really could be a momentous moment in the English church.

  14. Yes, Paul (A). Individual priests make such decisions without reference to their bishop because in respect of marriages they are officers of the state.

  15. Inclusive minded Church of England priests will now start quietly conducting wedding ceremonies for same sex couples (and, yes, they will be real marriages) as they have the backing of English law and an established church is subject to the law of the land in a very organic way

    Really? Well, HUZZAH!

    [Though I hope said marriages are done no more “quietly” than “opposite marriages” ;-/ are performed.]

    Seriously, my wv is . . . covow! Co-vow: sounds like marriage to me! 😀

  16. What I mean, Mr. Grumpy, is that the priests won’t be running around town before the service shouting “I’m conducting a gay wedding” at the top of the voices, or telling the local newspapers, other than on the wedding announcement pages if the couple so wishes. So, yes, exactly the same as a str… No, I’m not going to say it because there ain’t no difference now.