In an inspired attempt to stop the C. of E's increasingly rapid descent into insignificance and immorality, Hove member of parliament, Mike Weatherley, has written to the prime minister demanding that churches which refuse to conduct gay marriages should be stripped of their licence.

In his letter he claimed that lawmakers behind the initial decision six years ago knew it would result in inequality.

He said: “As long as religious groups can refuse to preside over ceremonies for same-sex couples there will be inequality. Until we untangle unions and religion in this country we will struggle to find a fair arrangement.”

Andrew Manson-Brailsford, rural dean of Brighton, said: “Many people living in our country still believe in God and wish to have a service which both recognises their union and asks for God’s blessing on it. One day, I hope that we shall all be free to share the same privileges. Taking them away is not the answer. Rather than reduce the religious aspects of marriage, my own hope is that the Church of England will rethink the stand on marriage and allow the priest to be present in other venues.”

The Rev Philip Wells, of Calvary evangelical church, Brighton, said: “As long as independent churches are not breaking the law the state should not be telling them what they should or shouldn’t do – it's a matter of religious freedom. The problem we are aware of is that as soon as some service or provision becomes a possibility there’s a risk that people might then demand it as a right.”

COMMENT: Yes, Philip, that's exactly what happened when Parliament made it a possibility for dissenters to set up their own chapels.

Full story at CHRISTIAN TODAY.


From Bruce:

I was browsing at Friends of Jake, and found this ray of sunshine, from the Southern Methodist University (SMU) student newspaper - thought you might like it:

The truth of the matter is that what we have here-to-fore referred to as "same-sex" marriage is no different than any marriage between opposite-sex couples. In both cases, two people come together in love and unity to declare, before God, their unending love for one another. It makes no difference whether it is a man and a woman, two men, or two women. Ultimately, holy matrimony derives its sanctity from the love that both partners share for one another, and not from the genitalia with which they were bestowed....

Gay men and women across the country are not fighting for "same-sex marriage;" they are fighting for "marriage."



  1. Very good point from Bruce.

    Well, I do think any clergyperson needs to have the prerogative to refuse to officiate at any marriage – gay or straight. I suppose, however, that it gets complicated with an established church…

  2. Well, Tracie, there seem to be a lot of people here in ‘Murrica who need to have things explained very slowly using small words….

  3. Oddly, a conservative friend of mine seems to be comfortable with the idea of the state only doing civil marriages for everyone (which would have the same legal/tax/etc guarantees for everyone.) He (currently Evangelical) is willing to leave “marriage” to churches and he is picking a church which wouldn’t marry GLBT persons.

    I am serious in asking if this could work?

    Thank God we do not (yet) have an Established Church.

  4. I think the French system is great. But they’ve been doing it for a very long time and it is their custom to have both a civil marriage and then a religious wedding. I fear that the rural dean may be right to worry. I have a feeling that, this late in the day, rather than becoming like the French church we will just become even more of an irrelevancy in people’s lives.

  5. I would quite happily never officiate at another wedding. Go jump over a broom somewhere and then come to church Sunday morning and have the nuptials blessed. Who needs the hassle?

    BTW. Down with trolls, go back under the bridge and bother the goats.

  6. It’s not a custom; it’s the law in France to have a civil ceremony before a religious wedding. A religious wedding ceremony, by itself, even with a marriage license, isn’t recognized as a legal marriage in French law.
    This wastes a lot of time for French couples and is an example of laicite’ gone nasty; better to have a blood test, a marriage license and choose which way you want to get married, civil or religious.

  7. I never said it wasn’t the law. I said it had been the case for so long that it had become customary, in other words, accepted. Please pay attention.