Kirk votes to permit ministers to enter civil partnerships

May 17, 2015 by

 Frank Cranmer , Law and Religion UK. The BBC reported, and the Kirk subsequently confirmed, that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted to allow congregations to ordain or induct ministers who are in same-sex civil partnerships: commissioners voted 309 in favour and 183 against. The issue has been the subject of several debates, both within the General Assembly and in the wider Church; and at the Assembly in 2014 the issue was sent down to the 45 presbyteries under the terms of the Barrier Act. The presbyteries voted 31 to 14 in favour of change. The co-ordinator of the Principal Clerk’s office, the Very Revd David Arnott, said: “The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decided today to allow individual Kirk Sessions the possibility of allowing a Nominating Committee to consider an application from a minister living in a civil partnership. During a vacancy a Kirk Session may, but only if it so wishes, and after due deliberation, agree to a Nominating Committee accepting an application from such a minister. No Kirk Session may be coerced into doing so against its own wishes. This decision was in line with a majority of presbyteries who voted in favour of such a move.” A further vote will be held later this week on whether or not to extend ordination/induction to ministers in same-sex marriages. Read here See also: Church of Scotland plan for gay ministers offers possible template for Anglicans, John Bingham,...

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Judge gives go-ahead for ‘marriage-lite’ legal case

Feb 27, 2015 by

From The Christian Institute: A heterosexual couple who want a civil partnership have been given a green light to legally challenge the Government. Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld do not want to get married and are calling for civil partnerships – which currently are for homosexual couples only – to be extended. Pro-marriage group Coalition for Marriage has warned that heterosexual civil partnerships are “marriage-lite” because they involve no lifelong commitment. Permission granted The Government has previously rejected the idea, and also acknowledged that the change would cost £3-4 billion in public sector pensions alone. However Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing has now given permission for Steinfeld and Keidan’s case to proceed. The couple are attempting to raise money to fight the case against the Government, but have also called on equalities minister Nicky Morgan to introduce a “simple amendment” which would allow for heterosexual civil partnerships. Read here...

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The green light for all couples to marry

Dec 10, 2014 by

By Nicky Morgan & Nick Boles, Pink News: For many, there is nothing particularly momentous about today. It is Wednesday. There are 15 days left until Christmas. It is also the 146th anniversary of the traffic light. However, today is an important day in our country’s proud history of supporting equality before the law. Spring of this year saw a seminal moment when the first marriages of same sex couples took place; today we complete another piece of the jigsaw by allowing same-sex couples already in civil partnerships to convert them into marriages if they wish. We are absolutely delighted to be delivering on our promise to allow these conversions by Christmas and we are especially proud to be able to say, as of today, there is no reason in law why anyone cannot marry the person they love just because of their gender. Read...

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Heterosexual couple start legal bid for civil partnership

Dec 5, 2014 by

From The Christian Institute: A heterosexual couple have started legal proceedings in a bid to force the Government to introduce civil partnerships for opposite-sex couples. In June this year the Government rejected the idea, following overwhelming public opposition. However, Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld claim that marriage has “sexist trappings” and want to formalise their relationship with a civil partnership. Lifelong The Coalition for Marriage has opposed heterosexual civil partnerships, saying they undermine marriage because no lifelong commitment is involved. And the Government has acknowledged that bringing in such heterosexual unions would cost £3-4 billion in public sector pensions alone. Keidan and Steinfeld have given notice of a judicial review against their local council – Kensington and Chelsea – but are also petitioning Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan. ‘Sexist trappings’ Steinfeld said the couple is seeking “a social institution that will express how we see each other”. Read here Read also:  Tom Utley for the Daily...

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Religious venues to be used for converting Civil Partnerships to gay marriages

Oct 17, 2014 by

by Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart: The government has altered plans to allow gay couples to convert their civil partnerships to marriages, by allowing the conversion ceremony to take place at a range of venues including churches, synagogues, meeting houses, hotels and other registered venues. Previously, the plans only included provision to convert the status of the partnership at a registry office. In order to avoid the “quadruple lock” put in place to appease religious opponents of gay marriage, only registrars will be able to perform the ceremony. The announcement that civil partnerships would be able to be converted to marriages came in June, but left some couples disappointed that they would not be able to hold ceremonies in religious and other buildings. However, Pink News has reported that a source close to the Education Secretary told that website that the planned regulations have now been amended to allow for ceremonies to take place in venues other than registry offices. The couples will still have to attend a registry office to legalise the proceedings. Writing for Pink News in June, Sajid Javid, the Conservative Minister for Equalities wrote: “For me, freedom has always been about the right to be who you are and love who you love.  That’s why I was proud to walk through the “aye” lobby at the House of Commons in support of equal marriage. “And that’s why I’m pleased to announce that, from 10 December, couples in England and Wales who have entered a Civil Partnership over the past decade will be free to convert it into a marriage. “We’ve made the process of conversion as straightforward as possible. Couples will simply have to attend a Register Office and sign a declaration that they both wish to convert their Civil Partnership to a marriage in front of the Superintendent Registrar. That’s it. Read...

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Religious venues to be allowed for civil partnership conversions

Oct 15, 2014 by

By Joseph Patrick McCormick, Pink News: The government will soon announce plans for civil partnership conversion in England and Wales, which will still take place later this year, and now include the provision to allow a conversion ceremony to take place with a registrar at venues other than register offices including churches, synagogues, meeting houses and other registered venues. Some couples already in civil partnerships were upset earlier this year as the original announcement by then Equalities Minister Sajid Javid meant the only conversion option was to attend a register office, and did not allow for a conversion ceremony to take place at other venues, such as religious buildings or hotels. Read here...

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