“but, but, but we didn’t mean that we wanted you to BAN us from conducting gay weddings”

Timothy Kincaid

December 14th, 2012

Oh what a funny funny state the world is in.

For example, over in the UK, marriage is on the table. And the Anglican Church was wrought up about the sanctity of penis and vagina or some such thing. And how dare, how very dare the government to hint that anything other than penis and vagina could be linked in holy hoohaw.

So the government came of with the perfect solution. They would protect the Anglican Churches with a lock, no a double, scratch that, the government would protect the Anglicans with a “quadruple lock”. They would say that while other churches could opt-in and offer marriage if they so wanted, Anglican churches can’t. Even if William and Kate’s little bundle of joy grows up to be a charming young man who trots off to St. Andrews and falls in love with the Earl of Pudding.

So now they are all in a dither. You see, they didn’t want restrictions on themselves so much. They really just wanted the government to tell the Quakers and Jews what not to do. (Scotsman)

Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan said that the move to outlaw gay marriage in the Church of England and Church in Wales came as a “total shock” when it was announced by equalities minister Maria Miller on Tuesday as part of a “quadruple lock” to protect them from legal challenge.

Dr Morgan said that his church did not want the protection, which has put it in an “enormously difficult position”.


December 14th, 2012

But surely, when they later decide to perform weddings after all, parliament would be willing to change the law to allow them to do so?


December 14th, 2012

Whoever thought up this amendment is brilliant.

Ben in Oakland

December 14th, 2012

At first, I was pissed about this. Then I realized, it was absolutely brilliant.. The church by its own request has rendered itself irrelevant to the discussion.

Eric in Oakland

December 15th, 2012

“Dr Morgan said that his church did not want the protection, which has put it in an “enormously difficult position”.

Hah. Of course they didn’t want the protection. What they wanted was to prevent gays from having access to church weddings, even if their ministers and churches wanted to perform them. However, they thought they would be clever and ask for something that sounded less bigotted. Homophobes in the U.S. would be similarly nonplussed should the government limit marriage to fertile couples.


December 15th, 2012

With so much coverage of the homophobia and sexism of the Catholic and Mormon churches, it’s surprising that the Anglican church’s regressive views don’t receive more air time. (And unlike the Catholic and Mormon churches, it holds the reins of government in England.) Thanks for bringing its hypocrisy into the open, Timothy.


December 15th, 2012

“Dr Morgan said that his church did not want the protection, which has put it in an “enormously difficult position”.”

Not really, Dr. Morgan — the church has put itself in an enormously difficult position.


December 15th, 2012

It looks like one Archbishop, specifically a *Welsh* Anglican. Have the Welsh Anglicans previously expressed an opinion against gay marriage? I can’t imagine any Anglicans against gay marriage would oppose this law. Maybe either this particular Archbishop, or perhaps Welsh Anglicans in general support marriage equality. Maybe we shouldn’t be mocking him.


December 15th, 2012

@ Ryan: Apparently the Archbishop of Wales is in a minority — there doesn’t seem to have been any strong support for marriage or religious civil unions in the Anglican Church as a whole, including the Church in Wales, and quite a bit of opposition. I suspect Morgan got caught in the crossfire in a political tussle between the Church and the government. Since the English hierarchy was also taken by surprise, I suspect it was a move by the Cameron government to make them look bad by giving them what they wanted (and then some) and forcing them to backpedal.

From what I can gather, the CofE has been a huge pain the neck for Cameron on SSM. I didn’t think he was evil enough to stick it to them like this, but he did. If the Church changes its position in the future (which some clergy are already suggesting will happen), they’re going to have to come to the government to allow it.

Payback’s a bitch.


December 15th, 2012

It really is funny when someone shoves his head up his ass and then squirms.

Timothy (TRiG)

December 15th, 2012

The Anglicans have the very conservative church in Africa, the Episcopalians in America, who are quite liberal, and are confused at home in the UK. They’re the established church in England (CofE) and Wales (CiW), but not in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

And apparently the Church in Wales wasn’t even consulted about this law.

Probably the church wanted some sort of legal block on marriage equality partly to hold themselves together, to help paper over the cracks between the conservative and liberal wings. Being a state church has it’s pluses: it’s easier to put pressure on the government; and also its minuses: it’s possible for the government to legislate specifically about your practices.

I think Ben’s on the money:

The church by its own request has rendered itself irrelevant to the discussion.


Ben in Oakland

December 15th, 2012

Hunter,I don’t think Mr. Cameron was being evil in this, I think he was being very practical, very much like Obama was when he evolved on marriage equality, far enough ahead to get the gay vote and money AND to take the issue effectively off the table.

In this case, I believe that he thinks marriage equality is the right thingsto do. I suspect he doesn’t want any church interference in what ought to be both a strictly secular and a religious freedom matter. I also suspect that he has some other plans that might get the holy knickers in a twist.

This is both good politics and practical.


December 15th, 2012

Only the Church of England is still established (the Church in Wales was disestablished some 90 years or so ago).

By English law the CoE is required to marry parishioners who can legally marry with a few exceptions (divorced people being the big one), even parishioners who aren’t Christian. This means any new law on marriage would have to take this into account. I don’t know whether the Church in Wales has this requirement post-establishment; it can still marry people by banns or license from the bishop (I believe all other ceremonies religious or not have to get paperwork from the registry office).

Church of England Canon law is state law which means if the the CoE decides to change the canon on marriage to allow same-sex marriage it must get Parliament to approve it even without this proposed law (the only thing added is that Parliament at the same time would have to modify its own law and lift the ban). The canons of the Church in Wales don’t require Parliament approval so they are in a different and worst situation.

The second lock may be more problematic as it presupposes in a religious denomination a hierarchical governance with a minister in control of a premise. It does not seem to allow a governance where individual congregations have ultimate power even if organized in larger groupings. For example if a baptist congregation decides it has no problem with SSM it won’t be able to perform them legally without leaving the larger group (in the US in states where SSM is allowed the congregation could do so and the convention would then have to accept, ignore, or kick out the offending congregation). I could be wrong.


December 16th, 2012

TRiG: Actually, the Church in Wales was disestablished in the 1920s — it’s autonomous, like the Episcopalians in the US.

Ben in Oakland: I meant “evil” in the sense of ruthless. And I agree with you completely, which was the thrust of my comment — it’s a political showdown, of a sort, between the Church and the Government. At least, that’s my reading.


December 16th, 2012

Erp: I’m not really up on formal governance in the Baptist church, although in theory I believe you’re correct — individual congregations are independent. In practical terms, if a Southern Baptist congregation decided to allow SSM, they would likely be kicked out of the convention — that’s already happened to congregations that decided to allow openly gay members. There is another convention (American Baptist?) that seems to be a bit more liberal.

What seems to have happened over the past couple of decades is that the Southern Baptist convention has gotten more centralized, which I find rather ironic, since a central principle has always been the autonomy of congregations.

Ben In Oakland

December 16th, 2012

Funny thing in this morning’s paper. Apparently, the Bishop of Leicester said that this action of the government implied that the church was antigay.

Now ehre could we have gottren that idea?

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