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  • "Eeyore" started this thread
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Wednesday, March 3rd 2010, 10:58am

Gay couples can now marry in Church

It's about time!


(their wording, not mine!!)

Gay couples will be able to marry in church after the House of Lords last night lifted a ban on same sex unions in religious premises.

The vote wipes out one of the final distinctions between marriage and civil partnerships.

It provoked warnings that it would undermine the institution of marriage.

The move – backed by some Church of England bishops – was hailed as a breakthrough last night by gay rights campaigners.
But it is seen by church traditionalists as a damaging step on the road to forcing churches to marry gay people against their will.

It is likely to be opposed by the Pope, who has already criticised government policies on homosexuality, when he makes his first visit as Pontiff to the UK later this year.

The amendment to the Equality Bill does not force churches to accept civil partnership ceremonies.

But it lifts the barrier that had been in place preventing homosexual blessings in churches and also the prohibition on religious language being used in such ceremonies.
It is likely to lead to pressure from the gay community for the church to recognise same sex partnerships.

The Church of England will maintain its official opposition to blessings and civil partnerships but the vote is likely to mean that some pro-gay clergy simply ignore the official policy.

They received encouragement when several senior churchmen in the Lords announced last week that they would support the measure agreed last night, which was proposed by the openly gay Labour peer Lord Alli.

It passed by 95 votes to 21, a majority of 74.

Bishop of Salisbury, the Dean of Southwark and four retired bishops all backed the move.

Lord Alli denied that his amendment was ‘an attack’ on the Church of England or the Catholic Church.

He said: ‘Religious freedom cannot begin and end with what one religion wants.

‘This amendment does not place an obligation on any religious organisation to host civil partnerships in their buildings.

‘But there are many gay and lesbian couples who want to share their civil partnership with the congregations that they worship with. And there are a number of religious organisations that want to allow gay and lesbian couples to do exactly that.’

His plan was backed by Quakers, Liberal Jews and Unitarians.

The former Bishop of Oxford Lord Harries denied the amendment would undermine marriage.

He said: ‘It actually strengthens marriage. The real enemy in our society is promiscuity, not permanent faith-based relationships.’

But the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev David James, who voted against the change warned of "unintended consequences".

He said: ‘The fundamental difficulty that many churches and faiths will have with this arguments is that we, like the Government and the courts, have been quite clear ever since civil partnerships were introduced that they are not the same as marriage.’

Conservative Christians warned the vote could be the thin end of the wedge. Before the vote, Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, said: ‘It is a step towards forcing churches to conduct same-sex unions that would go against their beliefs.

‘Changing the law will further blur the distinction between marriage and what the Government put forward as a purely secular ceremony.’

Other leading opponents of the amendment included Tory former Cabinet ministers Lord Tebbit and Lord Waddington.

The amendment has still to be agreed by the Commons but neither of the main parties is likely to overturn the Lords decision, since it was offered as a free vote.

Labour’s Lords Leader Baroness Royall and Tory equality spokesman Baroness Morris, a Roman Catholic, both spoke against the amendment but then abstained.

The decision is also likely to deepen splits in the worldwide Anglican communion caused by differences over homosexual rights.

Evangelicals and African leaders have threatened to quit the church over the decision of the American church to ordain a gay bishop.

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My journey has now ended. 6 babies in Heaven.

'It'll be all right in the end - if it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end!'



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Tuesday, March 16th 2010, 11:27am

Thanks for posting this Eeyore!

May 4th & 5th 2009: 3rd Double IUI - :BFP: woohoo
05/06/09: 6 week scan showed TWINS, 2 little [zx076][zx076]

13/01/10: Two perfect little boys born weighing 4lb 9oz and 5lb 7oz



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Reg: Jun 28th 2008

Location: Herts

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Friday, March 19th 2010, 4:15pm

Cheers Eeyore!

ICSI Jul09 BFP m/c (blighted ovum)
ICSI Nov09 :BFP:

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