Gay Marriage 2

​Savi Hensman writes for Ekklesia and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. She lives in London. PCN asked her to comment on the recent campaign by some church leaders against the notion of gay marriage.

“The world is wracked by suffering, and the threat of war. Many face intense poverty, even in rich countries, and social exclusion affects various minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Ecological damage could bring an end to many forms of life on this planet entrusted by God to our care. But some senior clergy in the UK seem more passionate about whether same-sex marriage will be legally recognised.

​Reasoned discussion about the meaning of marriage in today’s society is to be welcomed, including the pros and cons of equal marriage. But the exaggerated fears encouraged by the more extreme opponents of marriage equality, supposedly linked with ‘Christian’ values, make the church seem mired in prejudice, and are off-putting to numerous people who might otherwise be drawn to Christ. I wish cardinals and archbishops were more aware of the damage they did to mission and ministry by seeming to prioritise exclusion over welcome.”

If you would like to take part in the Government’s consultation on “Equal Civil Marriage” you can do so via this link http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/ .

The key proposals of the consultation are:

to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e. only civil ceremonies in a register office or approved premises (like a hotel)

to make no changes to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman

to retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage

civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content

individuals will, for the first time, be able legally to change their gender without having to end their marriage

Current legislation allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, but not civil marriage.

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