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What Now Of Mr Cameron's Assurances?

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New Judge | 22:35 Tue 15th Jan 2013 | News
31 Answers
In December sp1814 posed a question on gay marriage:

Essentially I argued that the Mr Cameron’s assurance that the C of E would be “protected” (or even prevented) from having to conduct gay marriage services would be undermined by Human Rights legislation. My argument was summarily dismissed.

Today we find this in the Daily Mail:

Headline: “CofE 'will be sued over gay marriage': Human rights law 'undermines' Cameron plans”

“…the document argues that the exemption granted to the Church of England by the Coalition Bill to prevent it having to conduct gay marriages is ‘eminently challenge-able’ in the European Court of Human Rights…”

Today there were two decisions by the ECHR that effectively put paid to individuals and organisations adopting practices that put their religious beliefs before equality:

Does anybody still think Mr Cameron’s assurances hold water?


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As J said above, the C of E does "have a say in the running of the state", given that the bishops in it have seats in the Lords. However, that church is 'established' only in England, as far as I know. I've often been amused by English people who bring up what is called "the West Lothian question" the matter of Scottish MPs being allowed a say in purely English...
08:10 Wed 16th Jan 2013
Frankly I suspect most of the country (not to mention Answerbank) is now getting just a little bit bored about the whole gay marriage thing.

Although the plan to give freedom to decide to all the churches apart from the CofE did sound a bit crazy.

Institutionalising prejudice by act of parliament!

Can't wait to find out it was at the Queen's direction
marriage service, civil marriage, civil partnership. Semantics?
I've never believed ANY of Cameron's assurances.
A mad world. How is insisting on getting married in a particular faith a human right ? Who gives these folk control of defintions like this ?
As I understand it, there's no problem with other churches, e.g. the Catholic church, refusing gay marriage.

The central issue is that the CofE is the established church. The way this is going, it will either have to become disestablished or allow gay marriage. It can't have both.
Don't why that would be. An "established" label ought not mean you lose control.
Don't SEE why ...
a human rights lawyer says he can sue... well, he would, wouldn't he, that's a lawyers' job.
Because being established links the religion to the state, which means you (to some extent) have state sanctioned homosexual discrimination. Whereas other religions are just applying their religious freedom, and you can choose whether or not you want to be a member of that club, when it comes to the CofE you're forced into a relationship with it - and it with you - via its establishment with your state.
You may be the religion of the State, but that ought not mean the State has any more say in your religious decisions than any other religion. Any more than the religion ought to have any special say in matters of the State. No citizen of the State is forced to be a member of the established religion. It should be a simple recognition that the religon in question is the one formally accepted as the official religion of the country.
currently, the religion does have a say in the running of the state, with its functionaries sitting in the House of Lords. The USA was wise to stop this happening there.
Yes wholly bizarre. By all means allow the Church of England to opt out from gay marriage but prevent it from opting in? Or have I misunderstood?
In this regard it seems that the issue is similar to the BA case in a way as in both cases there seems to be discrimination against the CofE in particular from different quarters.
I think BA were discriminating against Christianity in general. They might argue they would ban burqas and kirpans with equal vigour, but the court basically said none of it affected her ability or willingness to do her job. With the nurse, though, they ruled that there could be a health and safety issue if she wore a cross at work (not that there was one, but senior doctors had said there might be, and the court was prepared to take their word for it).
Old_Geezer, let's assume it makes no difference to the C of E whether it's the established church or not.

If it's true that it makes no difference, then it simply needs to disestablish and it can refuse gay marriage the same as any other religion.

If it does make a difference, we then need to look at the reasons WHY it makes a difference - and those reasons are the same reasons why it should not be allowed to prevent gay marriage.
Get everyone arguing about gay marriage. Get them diverted from EU membership.
as I understand it (and I could have got this wrong), it wasn't the church's idea to ban gay marriages, it was the government's; bishops were protesting that they hadn't been asked their opinion.
A Matrix Chambers member with time on his hands, now there's a surprise. Still, no harm in getting some opinion, drafted in an idle moment, into the Mail. That it contains a solicitor's point or two shouldn't stop you if it's good for debate and business.

So the C of E in any parish has to marry anyone resident in that parish ? True. And when that was ecclesiastical or statute law, how was marriage defined , what was contemplated? And if, post hoc, Parliament changes the definition, how is the rule established for a different one abrogated? Not at all. And how then does this fall to be against human rights read as a whole? Not at all.
As J said above, the C of E does "have a say in the running of the state", given that the bishops in it have seats in the Lords. However, that church is 'established' only in England, as far as I know.
I've often been amused by English people who bring up what is called "the West Lothian question" the matter of Scottish MPs being allowed a say in purely English concerns. They completely overlook the fact that 26 English blokes - with no reciprocal arrangement based on religion - make legal decisions affecting Scottish concerns.
I am an atheist who happens to believe that 'marriage' is an institution involving a man and a woman, so - although I obviously do not believe in 'gay marriage' - I believe in the C of E even less! Accordingly, I hope Cameron gets what's coming to him in the way of legal challenges.
There really isn't any reason to get your knickers in a knot over ANYTHING Dictator Dave says. Nothing will EVER happen about ANYTHING. He has u-turned, lied, denied, backtracked and broken promises on everything. He'll be lucky if he's still around at the election in 2015. "Cameron's Assurances"....mmmm, something of an oxymoron methinks! Every time he speaks, another load of voters will swarm over to the UKIP. He is a 100% liability to the Tories.... and a traitor to this country and it's people.
Ok Ellipsis, I disagree a church must be forced to disestablish in order to gain control of itself. If it does then the meaning of established church needs to be looked at and redefined.

But ignoring the establishment aspect. It then boils down to the much debated question as to whether it is discrimination or not. Much like telling the Jolly Green Giant he can't be a jockey because he doesn't fit the criteria: would that be size discrimination ? If other religions are to be able to make a choice, and they should be, then so should the CoE.

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