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Homosexual 'Marriages' to be allowed in Churches

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Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister, is expected shortly to outline plans to lift the ban on civil partnerships being conducted in places of worship and to allow such ceremonies to have a religious element. A consultation is likely to be launched on the proposed changes and Ministers will discuss whether civil partnerships formalised in places of worship will officially be called ‘marriages’ under the law.

Equality and homosexual rights campaigners will see the move as a triumph.

Last year an amendment was added to the Equalities Act by Lord Alli, the Labour peer, paving the way for civil partnership ceremonies to be held in places of worship. However, Ministers still need to pass separate legislation for this to become law. Mrs Featherstone will recommend that this process will now start.

A spokesman for the Government equalities office has said previously that the move will pave the way to allow religious groups "to let civil partnership ceremonies take place in their churches, mosques, synagogues and so on if they choose to do so". The spokesman added: "It will not force any religious group to do anything that is not compatible with their faith."

However, homosexuals are likely to take anti-discrimination action against Christians if they were barred from getting married in the place of worship of their choice.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:

“This move was not asked for by the general public, but pushed for by homosexual lobby groups who advocate a radical, ideologically driven ‘equalities agenda’, that seeks to re-define the family and re-organise society. I believe that the British public value the institution of marriage and don’t want to see marriage and the family undermined. Marriage is a life-long commitment and the safest place to nurture children with the complementary role models of a mother and a father. It is the bed-rock of society.”

“Although we are being promised that the proposed new rights will be ‘optional’, there is little doubt that our existing laws will be used and tested by homosexual campaigners to pursue discrimination claims against those who resist.”

“This new move could be a very significant marker towards the ending of genuine religious freedom in this country. In a very short time we may well see churchmen from a range of backgrounds being dragged through the Courts for refusing to marry homosexuals and sanction their behaviour.”

Further briefing and resources from Christian Concern can be found here.

Sources:

BBC News

The Telegraph

Related Stories:

Christian Concern: Sexual Orientation

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