Even though the official Church of England has been against gay marriage, lawmakers are looking at a workaround that will allow gay marriage in churches, but give a legal exemption to the Church of Englad and others. Here’s part of an article from Mail Online:
Gay marriage will be legal in some British churches by 2014, despite furious Tory warnings that the issue could split the party and cost it the next election.
In a surprise move, the Church of England will be guaranteed a blanket exemption from holding same-sex marriages. But this failed to quell a major Tory backlash.
Amid stormy scenes in the Commons, Equalities Minister Maria Miller vowed to fast-track plans to legalise gay marriage, saying the change was needed to keep the institution of marriage ‘vibrant and relevant to society’.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller promised a ‘quadruple legal lock’ to prevent the Church of England from being forced to hold gay weddings
She confirmed a government U-turn on the issue which will allow religious institutions, such as the Quakers, that want to conduct gay marriages to ‘opt in’ to the law and hold ceremonies in their churches.
But unexpectedly, she announced there would be a specific legal ban on the Church of England and Church of Wales holding gay weddings.
Mrs Miller said this would give the Church ‘iron-clad’ protection against legal action by gay rights campaigners.
Other religious institutions, such as the Catholic Church, will also be allowed to refuse to hold ceremonies for same-sex couples, as will individual vicars. Mrs Miller said the legislation would include a ‘quadruple lock’, meaning no church will ever be forced to conduct a gay wedding unless it wants to. The legal protections include:
– A guarantee that no religious organisation or individual minister can be compelled to marry same-sex couples or to permit this to happen on their premises.
– A legal bar on allowing ministers to marry same-sex couples unless their organisation’s governing body has expressly opted in to provisions for doing so.
– Amendment of the Equality Act 2010 to ensure no discrimination claim can be brought against religious organisations or individual ministers for refusing to marry a same-sex couple.
– An explicit statement that it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to marry same-sex couples and that Canon Law, which bans same-sex weddings, will continue to apply.