Gay couple to sue Church of England for marriage rights [CNA]

London, England, Aug 3, 2013 / 06:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Following legislation that permits same-sex marriage in the U.K. yet prohibits the Church of England from performing the ceremony, a gay couple are planning to sue to be able to marry in their church.

“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized – in that sense it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do,” Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle Aug. 1.

“We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians.”

On July 17, the U.K.'s gay marriage bill became law, meaning that beginning next year same-sex couples – who can already obtain civil unions – can become married in England and Wales, though not in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The legislation allows churches and other religious groups to conduct weddings for gay couples at the church's discretion, though the U.K.'s established church, the Church of England, is barred from doing so.

Drewitt-Barlow and his partner Tony are members of the Church of England, and are upset that they will not be able to marry in their own church.

“I want to go into my church and marry my husband … it upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don't think it is going to happen straight away,” Barrie said.

“As much as people are saying this is a good thing I am still not getting what I want.”

The new legislation allows all religious groups except the Church of England to perform same-sex weddings.

“If I was a Sikh I could get married at the Gurdwara, liberal Jews can marry in the Synagogue – just not the Christians … the only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church.”

“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 … aren't Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?”

“It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognize us,” he added.

The Drewitt-Barlows had indicated their willingness to sue for the right to be married in the Church of England as early as December, when the marriage bill was just being introduced.

They told the BBC Dec. 17 that a ban on gay marriages in the Churches of England and Wales would “legally discriminate” against them.

The bill has raised considerable concerns over religious liberty and conscience protection.

The Catholic Church and her officials could be subject to law suits similar to the Drewitt-Barlows'  under human rights laws, for refusing to solemnize the marriage of same-sex couples. Such couples could sue for discrimination.

The British government has assured that religious groups would be protected from such suits.

Earlier, it had assured that religious groups would be barred from performing gay weddings, so as to provide for conscience protections.

In the government's consultation document, written ahead of the legislation's introduction in Parliament, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, wrote that “the Government is not seeking to change how religious organizations define religious marriage and any subsequent legislation would be clear that no religious organization could conduct a religious marriage ceremony on religious premises for same-sex couples.”

The Drewitt-Barlows' plans to sue are not the first time the Church of England has been pressured over its opposition to performing gay marriages.

A month before the legislation was finally adopted, some Members of Parliament were demanding that the Anglican chapel in Westminster Palace be transformed into an inter-denominational or inter-faith chapel so that same-sex marriages might be solemnized there.

Full article…

Lots of “I want” statements. Me me me.

Yeah. It’s all “me.” It all starts withnthe self.

Coming soon to an American court near you…


Not meant to insult Anglicans, however perhaps these satiracal quotes from the Britcom “Yes Prime Minister” come closer to the truth than many realize…:wink:


“The Church of England is primarily a social organization not a religious one.”

“The bench of bishops should have a proper balance between those who believe in God and those who don’t.”

“Bishops tend to live a long time, perhaps because the Almighty is not all that keen for them to join him.”

“We cannot leave the appointment of Bishops to the Holy Ghost, because no one is confident that the Holy Ghost would understand what makes a good Church of England bishop.”

“An atheist clergyman could not continue to draw his stipend, so when they stop believing in God they call themselves ‘modernists’.”

“Nowadays bishops only wear gaiters at significant religious events like the royal garden party.”

“The plans for a new church in South London had places for dispensing orange juice, family planning, and organizing demos, but nowhere to celebrate Holy Communion.”

“The Queen is inseparable from the Church of England. God is an optional extra.”

My favorite quote is that Christians are supposed to accept and forgive. So sue them into acceptance. Half the guys statements contradict themselves.

Watch closely on this, because this will come to America soon.

It’s the trinity of the selfish, 'Me myself and I."
I want SOMETHING give it to me now.

I wonder where all the posters that said this wouldn’t happen.

Please pray for the protection of the Catholic Church every day in addition to your prediction of “coming to America soon”. We know it is coming. As a Catholic (if conscientious), would you keep the protection of the Church in your daily prayer?

I really believe that the tax exempt status for American churches will be ending soon for the ones that do not marry gays or allow them to use their parish halls for wedding receptions especially if they rent out their halls.

Sadly, this is true. :sad_yes:

I pray to St. Michael every day to watch over our Church.

Already been tried in America several times. Luckily, thrown out every time, but still…

A similar sort of thing happened here in NZ. A man wanted to become a priest only he was gay and in an active relationship so the anglican church (for some reason) wouldn’t let him and he sued. This can only keep on happening in the west. Discrimination is now apparently a crime in every sense,


I’m not surprised. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a criminal offence to say that homosexuality is wrong.

I cannot predict what will happen in the future but the separation of Church and state is still strong in the USA despite all of the alarmists.

The problem that GB has is that the Church of England is intimately tied to the state. I would doubt for instance that any similar suit against the Catholic Church will get near as far.

Church and State serve different needs. Sins and crimes, for instance, are completely different both in nature and how they are to be enforced. Just because gay marriage is a sin does not mean it should be a crime, so to speak. (I know the analogy is imperfect not allowing is not the same as criminalizing, but the analogy holds.) It is not the job of the state to prevent sinful behavior. And as long as the Church of England is a part of the state it should not be surprising that people think that it too should not work to prevent sinful behavior.

If churches in the US can’t be forced to perform inter-racial marriages – and they can’t – I don’t see how they could be forced to perform SSMs.

We are going through a shift in what some think should and should not be permitted in the name of religious liberty, and frankly it is a shift toward a reduction in liberty, and an increase in the power of the state over religious liberty. Effectively, the current regime considers religious liberty to by not much more than freedom to worship.

There are numerous examples, the HHS Mandate, the failed attempt to eliminate the the ministerial exception , being among them. I see no end to the push to marginalized religious liberty in favor of government power, and the secular agenda.


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