Marriage Bill Formally Introduced in British Parliament

Jim Burroway

January 24th, 2013

As expected, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was formally introduced in Parliament, kicking off a process which is expected to lead to a second reading on February 5. The legislation will prohibit the Church of England from marrying same-sex couples, but will allow all other religious denominations to provide it if they so choose. According to the BBC, religious groups supporting the bill include Quakers, Unitarians and Reformed Judaism.

The bill will be officially published on Friday ahead of Tuesday’s debate. The bill has divided Conservatives, with David Cameron giving his M.P.s a free vote on the bill. If the bill passes its second reading, it will then go to a committee for further evaluation before returning to the House for its third and final reading. It will then go to the House of Lords.

Timothy Kincaid

January 24th, 2013

It’s getting marriagey all over the place. Tuesday is also France’s scheduled day to vote on equality.

Timothy (TRiG)

January 24th, 2013

Apparently the bit prohibiting the Church of England (and the Church in Wales, don’t forget) from marrying same-sex couples is not as absurd as might initially be supposed. All the other churches can decide for themselves whether or not to marry same-sex couples: it’s an internal church decision. But the Anglican church is established, and its internal regulations are bound up in complex ways with the actual law of the land. So “internal church decisions” of the Anglican churches in England and Wales sometimes have to be passed by Parliament anyway. If they ever do decide to support marriage equality, I’m sure the government of the day won’t stand in their way.

Or so I’ve heard. British law has a very long history, and can get quite complex betimes.



January 24th, 2013

@Timothy K: It’s true! I can hardly keep up with all the activity. BTB is helping and thanks for that.

Timothy Kincaid

January 24th, 2013


It’s the funny thing about theocracy-light: you make your church the formal legal church with the backing of the government, and then you have the government meddling in your doctrine and theology. The theocratically minded here in the US should take note.

Also, while British law is very long and very complex, much of the world can trace to it as a source – if not as part of the empire then via the US Constitution which served as model for many other nations. And jointly, through impact on the United Nations and similar bodies.

Considering that Britain is but relatively small islands, she has played a large role.

Donny D.

January 25th, 2013

Timothy Kincaid wrote,

It’s the funny thing about theocracy-light: you make your church the formal legal church with the backing of the government, and then you have the government meddling in your doctrine and theology. The theocratically minded here in the US should take note.

I think they are already on the non-establishment bandwagon. Traditional establishment of religion is by denomination, and the different parts of the Religious Right so strongly hate and distrust one another, none of them can accept denominational establishment.

If establishment were widened to include all of Christianity, then the government would suddenly be in the business of determining what specific religions are or are not Christian. The fundies absolutely couldn’t tolerate that, since they think they have the holy right to write all other types of Christians out of Christianity, while all the non-Mormon Christian Right types would gang up against the Mormons being part of Christian establishment, which would be a mess given that the Mormons consider themselves Christian.

Which isn’t to say the Religious Rightists won’t continue to push for other special preferences for themselves….

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