Tuesday, February 5, 2013

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LIKELY TO BECOME LAW IN BRITAIN

The good news:
Parliament took a historic step towards embracing full equality for gay people when MPs voted on Tuesday overwhelmingly in favour of equal marriage at the end of a charged Commons debate that exposed the deep rift over David Cameron's modernising agenda at the heart of the Conservative party.

The 225-vote majority, greeted with rare applause in the public gallery, was marred for the prime minister, who suffered a humiliating rebuff when more than half of the Conservative parliamentary party declined to support the government on an issue he has personally invested in.
The Church of England lags behind the secular government and the people of the country in its response to "Equal Civil Marriage". 
The Church of England cannot support the proposal to enable ―all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony.

Such a move would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history.
Note that the church's response is to civil marriage.  If, as is likely, the bill passes in the House of Lords and goes to the PM, no authority will force any church or clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages, but churches that wish to do so may move forward.  In fact, as an added protection, the law would ban the Church of England and the Church in Wales from performing same-sex marriages.

The statement that "the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman" is "enshrined in human institutions throughout history" is nonsense.  Throughout history, marriage has had many different expressions, even in the Scriptures.

The further explanation of the church's position includes the following:
The Church‟s understanding of marriage

1. In common with almost all other Churches, the Church of England holds, as a matter of  doctrine and derived from the teaching of Christ himself, that marriage in general – and not just the marriage of Christians – is, in its nature, a lifelong union of one man with one woman.
As Molly Ivins would say, "You can't make this stuff up!"  The church allows divorce.  Maybe the explanation should be corrected to only one man and one woman at a time.  I favor the acceptance by the church of divorce and remarriage in certain circumstances for pastoral reasons, but to use the teaching of Jesus on marriage as a "lifelong union of one man with one woman" in order to condemn same-sex marriage, about which Jesus never said a word, is less than honest and not at all pastoral.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby weighed in with his opinion:
Speaking about the vote, the 57-year-old archbishop said: "I stand, as I have always stood over the last few months, with the statement I made at the announcement of my appointment, which is that I support the Church of England's position on this.

"We have made many statements about this and I stick with that."
What else could he say?  I guess...  Archbishop Justin said earlier, he will "listen to the voice of the LGBT communities and examine my own thinking."  One can only hope he has not given up on the plan.  The position of Archbishop of Canterbury is a bully pulpit.

10 comments:

  1. The position of Archbishop of Canterbury is a bully pulpit.

    Which is why I think we should ignore it completely. The new ABC is the same as the old ABC. I would type "yawn," if it were not for the tremendous damage that the ABC has done--and will continue to do--to my LGBT friends in areas of the Anglican Communion where being lesbigay (to quote Louie Crew) is potentially fatal.

    I think it's time to start the Episcopal Communion--and we don't need an Archbishop for it. That "primus inter pares" business *always* gets out of hand...

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    1. Doxy, I pay attention only because I fear that the leaders in the Episcopal Church still pay attention. Look what damage Rowan was able to do in our church with the complicity of our leadership. Plus, we could not even muster a clear "no" vote to the odious Anglican Covenant. Bring on the Episcopal Communion!

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    2. Look what damage Rowan was able to do in our church with the complicity of our leadership. Plus, we could not even muster a clear "no" vote to the odious Anglican Covenant. Bring on the Episcopal Communion! June

      Exactly, make that a double, the whole of the political intrigue makes me ill -- imagine, the cost of all this nonsense thanks, in great part, to ++Rowan the feckless, no-news-is-good-news, water muddier! It's all plain senseless and wasteful and has nothing to do with common decency (or any understanding of the impact against LGBT felt in Africa/beyond when some overly impressed with himself fuzzbag spouts off -- dangerous lot on more fronts than one).

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    3. Once the "Church of England" published the response to the proposed legislation, Justin Welby was trapped. As the new Archbishop of Canterbury, what could he say but that he agreed with the statement? And I note that the response is, once again, unsigned. Who writes the "Church of England" statements with no signatures? The writer(s) most certainly do not speak for the whole church.

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    4. Oh nonsense Mimi - they knew damned well what his opinions were long before they appointed him.

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    5. James, you may be right, but I allow for changes of mind, and I took him at his word when Justin said he would, "listen to the voice of the LGBT communities and examine my own thinking."

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  2. Chere Mimi:
    what 'really pulls my last nerve' (E.K.) is that we all know their statement is a blatant lie, but the purple shirts of 'Church House' are still so medieval in their conceits they think no one will notice their episcopal nakedness.
    just this morning, i read http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/weve-come-a-very-long-way--and-in-20-years-time-we-wont-recall-what-the-fuss-was-about-8482328.html
    which cites some of the 'marriages' still legal i.e. between two dead people; one dead the other alive.

    all Justin has managed to do in his first weeks is escalate the toxicity of Church culture. the way things stand now the onky honest thing he might possibly no would be to fall to his knees and admit 'we don't know the f**k what we're doing'

    as another of my online friends suggested the next British census is going to need a new option: 'Anglican orphan' for those abandoned by an abusive parent.

    shame on you Justin, you have no excuse or justification for this having previously witness the pain and wreckage Rowan wrought. shame Justin shame!

    Merci chere Mimi

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    1. David, I'm not optimistic that we will see quick change for the better with the new ABC. The hypocrisy in the statement is quite plain. Do the people at the top in the CofE think we're all such fools that we'll accept their false words and faulty reasoning?

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  3. the law would ban the Church of England and the Church in Wales from performing same-sex marriages.

    It wouldn't. This is a flat lie from the sponsors of the legislation.

    It is highly unlikely that the Deans of Jersey of Guernsey would countenance gay marriage (we are just in our first year of CPs in Jersey), but the writ of Westminster does not run to the islands. More importantly, nor does the writ of Westminster run to Europe (which has its own diocese of the Church of England).

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    1. James, I don't know about the dependency islands or the diocese in Europe, but is it untrue that, aside from the exceptions you mention, the rest of the Church of England and the Church in Wales would be banned from performing same-sex marriages?

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