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Church of England dismisses Coalition’s gay marriage plan

Written on:June 12, 2023
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Gay marriage will threaten that established role of the Church of England, warns the Church

Objecting to the Coalition’s proposal to permit gay marriages, the Church of England has warned that the ecclesiastical authority will stop conducting weddings on behalf of the state if same-sex marriage is legalised.

The church said government plans to introduce same-sex marriage would lead to an anomalous clash between its own and parliament’s law - that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Claiming that government’s proposed reforms to allow gay marriages are not legally sound, the Church of England warned that churches will challenge the proposal under European Human Rights laws despite of ministerial assurances that religious venues would not have to hold gay weddings.

The church further said this would make it ‘impossible’ for the Church of England to go on conducting any services on behalf of the state, adding that introducing gay marriage could also challenge civil partnership law.

The warnings from the Church of England came as it released its own legal analysis as part of its formal response to the consultation on Coalition’s plans to redefine marriage, arguing that new plans would abolish the centuries-old understanding of marriage.

However, gay rights groups say the church is making misleading claims about the gay marriage proposals. Campaigner Peter Tatchell said, “They will have no impact on faith organisations or places of worship.”

Currently, about a fourth of weddings in England take place in Church of England churches, which are legally obligated to provide a marriage service for any resident of a local parish, regardless of church membership.

The submission from the Church of England will create pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron, who is backing the proposal for gay marriages. Cameron is already under fire as some Tory MPs are opposing the proposal of same-sex marriage.

Tory MPs demand free vote on gay marriage despite criticism

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