Thursday, 1 August 2013

Why the Drewitt-Barlow's going to court have got it wrong #equalmarriage

This is not what I wanted!

What you may ask?

Well Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow are going to take the Church of England to court to make them have to carry out same-sex marriages. You may remember them as the first same-sex male couple in the UK to legally be both named of fathers of their children.

But what are you opposed to them doing that, you may ask, aren't I a gay Christian too?

Well yes I am, but I don't want to coerce any faith group into having to carry out marriage irregardless of the sexuality involved, I want them to come to that decision voluntarily. That is done not by threatening them, but by being inside and asking them why not. Not just from the LGBT couples but from our straight friends, families and allies.

We live in a country that allows both personal freedom and religious freedom. If someone's religious freedom means that they don't want to marry a same-sex couple in their church that freedom is to be protected just as those faith groups and people of no faith who do want to carry our a same-sex marriage is also protected. We cannot demand anything of another group and claim it to be in the name of personal freedoms when we are denying their. That is why in the Liberal Democrat policy on Equal Marriage we allow any faith group 'that wishes to do so' to perform same-sex marriages.

We are not in the business of interfering with outher freedoms. Until the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act comes into effect no faith group is even allowed to legally carry out a marriage ceremony for two people of the same-sex, nor is any registrar, nor humanist celebrant. What the act does is enable most faith groups to come to their own decision within their own Governance structure.

The one glaring exception of course if the Church of England. They wanted protection behind a quadruple lock, which should a General Synod at some point in the future decide in all three houses that they do want to carry out same-sex marriage will need secondary legislation to untangle the web that the Bishops and their supporters in both Houses have put in the way of them doing so.

The Drewitt-Barlow's say "The government is attempting to enshrine discrimination in law against people just because they are gay." going on to say "It’s not just about human rights; it’s about doing what is right?" Yet they are prepared to roller coaster over the religious freedoms, which along with sexual orientation are enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. They are discriminating in a different way and that is the issue, another wrong doesn't make it right.

Read also Jae has also covered this in his own inimitable style.

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