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Church of England responds on same-sex marriage

In its submission to the Government consultation on same-sex marriage, which closes on 14th June, the Church of England states it cannot support the proposal to enable "all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony".

The official Church of England submission also claims that:

  • Several major elements of the Government's proposals have not been thought through properly and are not legally sound. Ministerial assurances that the freedom of the Churches and other religious organisations would be safeguarded are, though genuine, of limited value given that once the law was changed the key decisions would be for the domestic and European courts.
  • The Church has supported the removal of previous legal and material inequities between heterosexual and same-sex partnerships. To change the nature of marriage for everyone will deliver no obvious additional legal gains to those already now conferred by civil partnerships.

According to the BBC, the Government has welcomed the Church of England's submission, but has reaffirmed its commitment to legislate on the matter.

Speaking to the BBC, Home Secretary Therese May said: "The government is not going to ask anybody to do anything that is against their conscience. We want to ensure that we can put into place a framework that makes sure that those people who don't want to host same-sex marriages are not required to do so."

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