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Sep 13, 2011

Brits making gay marriage compulsory, for churches.

H/t Menzies House.

The state just can’t help it self, even when liberalizing matters it manages to bring the lash of authoritarianism into the equation. Sometimes it appears that the British are leading the world in this field, but when you look around, the rest of the Western world is not that far behind.

There is a tendency when governments bring in ‘reforms’ to make sure that third parties comply with their agenda by making it compulsory for them act in accordance with their wishes. For example it was reported here in 2007, how a doctor in Britain was likely to be struck off the Medical Register for giving unauthorized counseling to women seeking abortions.

Now a Conservative MP in England has demanded that legal sanctions be enforced on churches that refuse to carry out marriage ceremonies for gay couples:

Christian churches must be banned from performing any marriages if they refuse to hold civil partnerships ceremonies for gay couples, a Conservative MP has demanded.

Mike Weatherley has urged the Prime Minister to show no toleration to churches, which turn away gays and lesbians who seek to marry in their premises.

In a letter to David Cameron the south coast MP had said that the proposed Coalition amendment to the 2010 Equality Act to allow religious bodies or individual places of worship to register the controversial ceremonies would remain “unfair” as long as heterosexuals could marry in the churches of their choice.

The law must instead be changed to compel churches to register civil partnerships, said Mr. Weatherley, whose constituency near Brighton, which has one of the highest numbers of gay couples in civil partnerships in the country.
The gay community has been campaigning for some considerable time on the issue of gay marriage, which is a vexed issue among conservatives and most churches are opposed to it. There is really no reason for cohabiting homosexuals not to be considered in the same light as heterosexual pairs and it is reasonable that such unions be accepted.

It is an outrage to attempt to force clergy who may be morally opposed to such unions to conduct them. There is apparently no impediment to civil unions under the proposed law, nor any impediment to church unions where the church is prepared to conduct them. This is in fact about as reasonable as it gets. It is in fact questionable whether churches are obligated to marry heterosexual couples if they have doubts as to the viability of such a marriage.

At least he isn’t campaigning for the homosexuality itself to be made compulsory, which is a small mercy.


  1. This is a perfect example of why I'm a libertarian - governments and politicians don't even realise when they're taking one side against the other. For years it was taking the side of religion against the gays, and having finally realised how bloody unfair that was they're now doing precisely the opposite, blissfully unaware that the unfairness has not been eliminated but merely reversed. The only fair thing is for the state not to take sides at all and to refuse to regulate on what 'marriage' is. Rip up the bloody Marriage Act and let people work it out for themselves, and if you end up with a bunch of gays claiming to be married and a bunch of Catholics saying that their god says otherwise, well, as long as they're acting like adults and agreeing to disagree where's the problem? Pollies, mainstream ones anyway, seem congenitally incapable of seeing this.

  2. Bear in mind that homosexuals comprise around 2% of the population. The other 98% have to alter their ways to accomodate them. Unfair?

  3. In a true free society in my opinion homosexuality would be a non issue. The odd thing about state intervention is that rather than the idea of leaving people alone to do as they wish, they tend to come out in support of one element against the rest as is happening here.

  4. If church law was made before any parliament came into being, surely church law cannot be amended by legislation/government.