British law maker withdraws attempt to remove clergy exemption on same-sex marriages

Feb 1, 2019 by

from ACNS:

Three members of the House of Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament, have tabled an amendment to a Bill on marriages and civil partnerships that would have removed the exemption for members of the clergy to solemnise the marriage of a same sex couple. But the amendment was withdrawn by the main proposer, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, after the Government said it could not support the proposal.

The amendment was tabled by three opposition Labour Party peers: Richard Faulkner, Raymond Collins, and Michael Cashman. If introduced into law, it would require the Secretary of State to make regulations within six months to remove the exemption for clergy.

The Act of Parliament that legalised same-sex marriages in England and Wales contains “opt-in” protections for religious groups. Clergy may not solemnise same-sex marriages unless their denomination’s governing body has formally opted in. The law also protects religious groups who do not conduct same sex marriages from claims under anti-discrimination law. The Act contains specific additional exemptions for the two Anglican Churches, the Church of England and the Church in Wales, which prevents them from opting in without a change in the law.

The Church of England’s General Synod has the legal authority to make such a change in the law. The Act contains provisions for the Lord Chancellor to change the law by secondary legislation, if the Church in Wales’ Governing Body decided to opt in to same sex marriages.

Read here

See also:

Commentary from Christian Concern: House of Lords debates clergy exemption from same-sex marriages

And from Coalition for Marriage: It was only a matter of time…”the quadruple lock is under attack”

C4M Update: Dangerous amendments withdrawn

Read the full debate in Hansard here


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