UK DirectGov Consultation on “Civil” #gaymarriage*; note the careful wording…

Equal civil marriage consultation

This consultation sets out the government’s proposals to enable same-sex couples to have a civil** marriage.

The key proposals of the consultation are:

  • to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage i.e. only civil ceremonies in a register office or approved premises (like a hotel)
  • to make no changes to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman
  • to retain civil partnerships for same-sex couples and allow couples
  • already in a civil partnership to convert this into a marriage
    civil partnership registrations on religious premises will continue as is currently possible i.e. on a voluntary basis for faith groups and with no religious content
  • individuals will, for the first time, be able legally to change their gender without having to end their marriage

Current legislation allows same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, but not civil marriage.

The full details of the consultation are included in the pdf version of the consultation document, which is available to download below.

Trying to read it from an “anti” perspective gives a sense of what the anti-brigade are (presumed to be) fearful of:

  • that the word marriage will no longer ‘belong’ to the church – it doesn’t already, but most folk don’t think like that
  • that same-sex couples may demand a civil marriage in a approved premises like a church a-la bed-and-breakfasts
  • that the CoE’s trendy wing will leverage this as an opportunity to perform the above

But this is all about civil marriage, so that’s OK, isn’t it?

*and Lesbian too, etc, blame the hashtag.
**put joke about uncivil marriage here

One Reply to “UK DirectGov Consultation on “Civil” #gaymarriage*; note the careful wording…”

  1. Reading from a further different perspective, I spy:

    * no mention of opposite-sex couples being able to enter into civil partnerships (although that’s probably for debate elsewhere in its own context)

    * business opportunities for the owners of de-consecrated former churches (of which there are quite a few), to hold civil weddings there

    * when it comes to making changes to religious marriages, that’s clearly outside the Government’s remit, although it would be nice if Dave the PM was to raise the subject with Her Majesty when they get together for their regular cuppa and chat – after all, she heads up the Church of England (among her other jobs) and might have a view on the subject (especially since there’s a sufficiently large number of royals that it’s likely there would be some who would wish to take advantage of such a change).

    This last point reminds me – I can’t help but be gently amused and bemused by all the brouhaha about women bishops. Clearly some vocal elements within the Church of England are so out of touch with the times (never mind rationality) that they haven’t noticed it’s been headed by a woman for the last 60 years…

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