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Penny Booth: Suing the church...?

Date:5 MAR 2010

Suing the church...?

Penny BoothAn amendment to the Equality Bill voted in by the Lords on Wednesday may have some interesting results for the celebration of 'togetherness'.

 The Bishop of Winchester warned in yesterday's Times (Thursday 4 March 2010 page 17) that the vote by peers to lift the ban on civil partnership ceremonies in religious buildings will have some far-reaching consequences. Among the consequences to this proposal he feels that challenges to the law might result in anti-discrimination legislation being used against those churches which do not permit such celebrations. The bishop thinks that individual clergy could be sued for discrimination if they officiate at a wedding but not at civil partnership signings in their churches.

This amendment to the law does rather undermine the claim made by many churches that marriage is special and civil partnerships are nothing more than a 'sop' to equality to make equal provision for the legal consequences of same sex relationships. Further it is another inroad...

Read the full article here.