Tuesday, 11 September 2012


In their latest email Coalition for Marriage points out that it is reported in the Daily Telegraph that “teachers could lose their jobs if they refuse to endorse gay marriage in the classroom”

The email continues : “The Telegraph's report also shows that parents would have little hope of withdrawing children from gay marriage lessons across the curriculum.

Outside education, foster carers and NHS chaplains could be penalised for expressing support for traditional marriage. And there is real concern that ministers of religion could be taken to court if they refuse to conduct gay weddings.

The Telegraph's report is based on a legal opinion produced by leading human rights and civil liberties lawyer, Aidan O'Neill QC. He shows the far-reaching impact of redefining marriage for freedom of conscience and civil liberty. You can read a summary here.

Already, we have seen cases of people being punished in their jobs for their opinions about gay marriage. Adrian Smith, a Housing Manager from Manchester, was demoted and had his salary cut by 40%, just for saying gay weddings in churches were "an equality too far". Lillian Ladele, a registrar at Islington Borough Council, was forced out of her job because she asked not to be designated as a civil partnership registrar..O’Neill advises on the position of the Church of England. As the established church, it is under a legal obligation to marry any persons who are eligible to marry in England and Wales.Even if Parliament passes a law which allows (but does not oblige) churches to host gay weddings, O’Neill advises that the UK Government could be in breach of European human rights laws if it allows the C of E to refuse gay weddings. This is because of the C of E’s unique status as the established State church. O’Neill says the church would be in a safer position if it was disestablished.

Despite Government reassurances that clergy would not be under any obligation to conduct same sex marriages I suspect that it would not be long before some one decides to take the matter to the Court of Human Rights. And how long would it be before those Bishops who support Gay Marriage put pressure on clergy and possibly on General Synod to change the legislation. From bitter experience we know that reassurances given and promises made can and often are changed


  1. You paint a bleak picture, Father ... one can only hope that reason will prevail & much of it will not come to pass.

  2. "....reassurances given and promises made can [be] and often are changed". Or simply not carried out.

    This is clearly Pandora's box - and I'm proud to be identified as one of Clegg's bigots.

  3. I don't have the reference to hand, but I recently read an opinion from the ECHR that suggested quite clearly that failing to provide "same sex marriage" is not a breach of human rights, but where such an arrangement exists it may constitute a breach of human rights for a cleric (of any religion/denomination) to recognise such partnerships as marriage.

    So priests are going to go to prison. But at least they don't feed them to the lions these days