UK government bans same-sex Church of England weddings
LONDON, December 12 - RAPSI. The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned from holding same-sex weddings on a legislative level, but other religious organizations can make their own decisions on this, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said at the British parliament on Tuesday.
Thus, the UK government has finally formed its position on gay marriages and wedding ceremonies after holding on public consultations on the issue. Miller said that by law the Anglican Church in England and Wales will not be allowed to hold gay wedding ceremonies and the Equality Act 2010 will be amended.
The amendments will protect religious leaders from charges of discrimination and lawsuits if they refuse to hold these ceremonies.
"I am absolutely clear that no religious organization will ever be forced to conduct marriages for same-sex couples, and I would not bring in a bill which would allow that.
European law already puts religious freedoms beyond doubt, and we will go even further by bringing in an additional 'quadruple legal lock'. But it is also a key aspect of religious freedom that those bodies who want to opt in should be able to do so," Miller said.
The United Kingdom has recognized same-sex civil partnerships since 2005, although this union is not deemed a "marriage".