Gay couple sue church for refusing to marry them

I remember some on here warning this would happen and many saying ‘No this won’t happen they just want the right to get married, they won’t sue a church for not marrying them’. :frowning:

Knew this would happen ! The devil is not done, he is just getting started.

The couple cites that same-sex couples who are Sikhs can marry in the temple and those who are liberal Jews in the synagogue (Reform and sometimes Conservative, never Orthodox). I would add that Native Americans are not at all opposed to homosexuality or gay marriages and even celebrate it as part of one’s life destiny, and the same appears to be true of many Quakers. However, all of this is hardly the point. The Church of England opposes such religious unions and this couple has therefore no right to demand their Church conduct itself against its moral values. Their lawsuit has NO merit whatsoever.

Drewitt-Barlow said, “The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church. It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognize us.”
“But we don’t want to force anyone into marrying us – it is supposed to be the happiest day in my life and that would make me miserable and would spoil the whole thing,” he said. “**Aren’t Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?”/**QUOTE]

I find the two bolded statement very telling. First they don’t feel reconized and the idea of Christian forgivness. Both of which they have absolutly to clue of which they are speaking.
Certainly they are recongized and are to be treated with dignity and love, but no their lifestyle does not have to be recongized. The action screams of “look at me, I just like you” . If they only understood how much they are, they are adopted children of God and subject to sin, as we all are.

Aren’t there secular wedding halls? Or churches that do perform the ceremony?

They’re wasting their efforts.

I don’t recall anyone predicting that no churches, anywhere, at any time, wouldn’t be sued over the issue of SSM. I do recall predictions that such suits would not prevail in US courts and I think that that prediction holds.

I can’t account for other countries, but in the United States there is no way something like this would happen without significant constitutional changes at both state and federal levels. I wouldn’t recommend people freak out here at least.

I don’t like to think of what is coming next…:frighten:

This is the next level of Satans war on the church, we must be faithful to the end!!!

I think the problem is, not that they will win, but pesky things often termed nuisance suits. Lawyers are expensive and you will need to hire one every time someone brings a suit, even if you have an inside counsel you will often have to hire outside litigation attorneys. Court fees are also expensive, it would be nice if the Church could get all court fees and costs paid for by the person bringing the suit, but with the Church being a “faceless organization” and the plaintiff being some guys with faces sitting in the court room, how often do you think that will happen. How many lawsuits can one organization endure? And all it takes is one rouge judge or one obscure state law and then it is off to the appeals courts. More money, more expense.

This particular case has numerous legal problems because the Church of England is a State Church. The Queen who is the head of the Church just gave royal consent to the marriage law. So then how do you not conclude that the CoE must follow her and accept “gay marriage.” (A theological answer might be, that as the Anglican’s generally allow for a greater diversity of opinions on doctrine, that they are not bound to accept the Queen’s actions as something they all have to follow. A secular argument would be that the Queen at the time of the assent was not acting as head of the Church but as a constitutional monarch. (It is my understanding that she doesn’t have much/any say about what passes and she has to sign everything, but I may be mistaken). Didn’t the King of Spain run into a similar problem a few years ago. He was more or less constitutionally bound to sign the Gay marriage law?:shrug:

The Constitution is pretty clear on the matter, I just don’t see it being the issue here that it would be in other places. The Church has plenty of money to defend these lawsuits, but I doubt any of them would even make it to court. The State cannot order a religious institution to practice a religious rite against their will, this is why the separation of Church and State is so important.

At present, I tend to agree.

I don’t know how to seriously respond to this other than just roll my eyes.

August Burns Red fan? Ha.


America, I would not be so confident. The gay marriage movement is gaining traction. I believe it’s just a matter of time when we see the same challenge there.

Ultimately in the UK, the European Court of Human Rights has the final say and can overturn the ‘quadruple lock’ designed to combat such challenges but this ignores the Equalities Act which can also be applied in this case. This is the same Act which forcibly closed or secularized every Catholic adoption agency in England and Wales.

We can at least be slightly optimistic, in that the European court has previously set a precedent in deciding that gay marriage is not a ‘human right’.

It doesn’t matter how much traction the movement gains, America has a very clear constitutional separation of Church and State specifically so that the State cannot tell the Church what to do regarding religious matters. In order to force a church (Protestant or Catholic, or any faith for that matter) to perform a religious rite would require amending the Constitution to remove religious freedom and there is just no way that is going to happen. The language in the First Amendment is very clear, and there are over two centuries worth of precedence setting cases to protect it. Don’t believe in the hype and fear mongering you may hear about how the Supreme Court is going to force your priest to perform a marriage service for two homosexual people, it won’t be an issue. As I said before, I doubt any lawsuits filed would even make it to court.

They won’t force a church to do anything but what they might do is try to get tax exempt status removed and burden churches with other laws unless they comply.

Has any church had its tax-exempt status revoked or had burdensome laws vindictively imposed for not performing inter-racial marriages? If not, then what makes anyone think that those things will result from not performing SSMs?

I remember my grandma talking about this subject shortly before she died in 2004 thinking that will never happen…

Filing suit and having a judgement go your way are two different things. I am for SSM but equally against the State interfering with internal church matters. If you want the benefits of a club, join the club and follow the club rules.

Having said this, the nonreligious structures that are rented out to nonchurch function, these are a grey area. But if a church is not willing for an SSM ceremony to happen in the sanctuary area, then no such ceremony should happen.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit