The threat of an unprecedented clash between church and state over the issue of gay marriage has opened up after the Church of England delivered an uncompromising warning to the government against pressing ahead with controversial proposals.
The deadiline for the consultation is appraoching and the church is panicking a little from the sounds of it.
Introducing same-sex marriage could lead to the church being forced out of its role of conducting weddings on behalf of the state, the church claimed in a potentially explosive submission in response to the government’s consultation on gay marriage, which closes on Thursday.
This issue could lead to the church being dis-established. And this is a bad thing? Surely it’ll ease the workload on the clergy, and that has got to be A Good Thing, hasn’t it?
In a 13-page submission, the church says it cannot support the proposal to enable all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony.
“Such a move would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history,” it says.
It wouldn’t alter a thing for anyone except for the people that want to get married, and tell me if I’m wrong, but with civil partnerships already in place the only real difference would be what the union between two people of the same sex can legally be called.
“Marriage benefits society in many ways, not only by promoting mutuality and fidelity, but also by acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity which, for many, includes the possibility of procreation.”
The underlying complimentary nature of two people does not come from one having a vagina and the other a penis, it comes from their personalities. Teh mechanics of it all is, just window dressing. If the “possibility of procreation” is so important, why isn’t the church trying to stop infirtile couples from marrying? After all, an infirtile couple, in their prospects of having children with no outside intervention, are no different to a same-sex couples.
If the cry that teh gays marrying will de-value marriage for everyone else isn’t enough, then fall back on history…
“The canons of the Church of England are part of the law of England and have been continuously since the reformation of Henry VIII,” said one senior figure.
“Is it possible to have the law of the Church of England saying something different to the law of England? The question is how long we can sustain that.
Yes. Yes it is possible. In fact it is very possible for the church to say one thing and the law of the land say another. I’d say that it is not only possible, but desirable.
“It raises the sort of problems that no one has had to address before.”
It raises all sort of problems for the church that no one in the church has had to address before. Everyone else doesn’t actually give a fuck.
He added: “I do believe that the European Court could make it impossible for Church of England to go on having the role that it has got at the moment in relation to conducting marriage on behalf of the state.”
What is the problem? You don’t get hordes on Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Jehovas’ Witnesses and happy-fucking-clappers dragging cases through the European courts just because they have to make a stop at the register office on the way back from their temple to make their weddings legal.
The distinction would become “politically unsustainable”, the legal paper adds, while also calling into question whether heterosexual couples might also press for the right to have civil partnerships.
Maybe we could have a discussion about whether civil marraiges should be called civil marriages or civil partnerships, without the need for having someones choice of parter deciding on the terminology. Does it really matter what it’s called, as long as it’s called the same for everyone?
More fundamentally, it argues, the new distinction would call into question the Church of England’s place as part of the state both nationally and locally.
Ah, “more fundamentally”. Is this all a smokescreen for what the church is really worried about? With the seperation of canon and the law of the land, the church would lose it’s unearned privilege of power, and we all know those in positions of power hate to lose it.