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Gay Marriage By Gordon Hopps


Well, I don’t know about you but those two words don’t scare me at all. Alas, for some people it marks the beginning of Armageddon, the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the end of the Mayan calendar (?)


Actually, this was also said when Civil Partnerships were introduced to the UK and other than some sections of the church (and by far NOT the majority) getting their collective knickers in a twist, it simply has not happened. Either that means God (?) does not mind, has more important things to worry about or… the church is simply out of touch. You have to remember that it was this very august body of ‘loving and caring individuals’ that put up such a good terrific case in support of slavery. See, opinions can change, even if they have to be brow beaten into doing so.


However, gay marriage campaign Out4Marriage warns that the Government risks legal challenges if Churches, Quaker Meeting houses, and Synagogues are banned from performing same-sex weddings


In its official submission to the Government’s consultation to introduce equal civil marriage for same sex couples, Out4Marriage, the cross-party campaign for gay marriages has warned that banning religious institutions from performing same-sex marriages could break British human rights laws and internationally recognised Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The organisation also called for same-sex spouses of someone receiving an honour, such as Sir Elton John’s partner David Furnish, to be given an appropriate courtesy title.


Broadly welcoming the Government’s overall plans, Out4Marriage said: “Marriage is an important social institution widely acknowledged as the supreme act of commitment and expression of love between two people. The role of marriage in modern Britain extends well beyond that of its traditional theological context; its reach is embedded into both socio-economic rights, legislation and cultural norms.”


Sophie Robson, a member of Scarborough Quaker Meeting social justice campaigning group (QPSW), said: “We note with sadness that the currently proposed legislation would not allow equality between gay and heterosexual couples.” Quakers traditionally take a liberal and progressive attitude to matters of sexuality, in stark contrast to many people’s expectations. Ever since their Yearly Meeting in York in 2009, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has been seeking “a change in the law so that same sex marriages can be prepared, celebrated, witnessed, reported to the state, and recognised as legally valid, without further process, in the same way as opposite sex marriages are celebrated in Quaker meetings.”


Churches continue to believe that they have the only right to claim marriage as a sacred bond between a man and a woman. We here at Bent believe that the only claim that Churches, Government and individuals should make is one of Equality for all… regardless of faith, political persuasion or sexual choices.