Churches and religious organisations will be able to host same-sex weddings under gay marriage legislation due to be unveiled next week. The prime minister is backing the proposal, which could lead to open battles with traditionalist Conservative MPs as well as other opponents of the change, such as the Church of England and the Catholic hierarchy. David Cameron is supporting a compromise through what is known as a permissive clause that allows gay marriages to be held in places of worship but does not oblige religious organisations to hold same-sex weddings. Cameron said: "I'm a massive supporter of marriage and I don't want gay people to be excluded from a great institution. Also let me make clear, this is a free vote for members of parliament but personally I will be supporting it. A government spokesman said: "We are committed to bringing equal civil marriage forward and the consultation results will be announced next week.
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List of Christian denominations affirming LGBT
UK to allow same-sex "marriage" in church - reports | Reuters
I posted last week on the British government's announcement that it intends to allow the registration of same-sex civil partnerships on religious premises, if these are happy to allow it. Currently they can bless before or after the registration, but the registration itself must not take place in a church or synagogue. I saw it as an issue of religious freedom. My argument, essentially, was that the state was seeking to redefine marriage when it had no right to do so. Without actually saying so, I implied that the definition of marriage -- a sacred institution -- was essentially safeguarded by religious tradition. Speaking on behalf of the bishops of England and Wales, Peter Smith pictured , Archbishop of Southwark and a canon lawyer, said this morning that, indeed, Parliament has no right to alter the definition of marriage -- but not because that definition lies with religious bodies. He describes marriage as "a fundamental human institution rooted in human nature itself" entailing "a lifelong commitment of a man and a woman to each other, publicly entered into, for their mutual well-being and for the procreation and upbringing of children.
Catholic Church and gay marriage
Gay men and women will finally be allowed to marry in churches after the House of Lords dramatically voted in favour of lifting the ban on religious premises holding same-sex partnerships. The amendment to the Equality Bill, which was tabled as a free vote by gay Muslim peer Waheed Alli, received overwhelming backing in the Lords, including from a number of prominent Anglican bishops. Under current UK law religious venues are forbidden from holding civil partnerships, although some liberal denominations within Christianity and Judaism have been willing to bless gay unions once a partnership ceremony has taken place elsewhere. The lifting of the ban, which still needs to be approved by the House of Commons, will now give religious venues the option of conducting civil partnerships — but it will not compel them to do so, as some traditionalists had feared. Lord Alli denied the suggestion that religious communities would be forced to accept gay marriages.
The first same-sex marriage at an Anglican church in the UK is expected to take place in Glasgow later this summer. The vote resulted in canon law being changed to remove a doctrinal clause stating that marriage was between a man and a woman. Holdsworth said the cathedral had already had one booking from a same-sex couple in England who could not get married in their local Church of England parish. It was a very supportive place and it seemed to me important to get the church to tell the truth that it was accepting about people in same-sex relationships and then gradually members in this congregation started to help in the push for gay marriage.