First UK civil partnership between gay men held on religious premises

The first UK civil partnership between homosexual persons was officially registered in a Unitarian Church in Liverpool between  a self-described Catholic, and a self- described Anglican. The self-described Catholic is a member of Quest, a group dissenting from the Church’s teaching on sexuality.

According to The Tablet, ‘The event included an interesting ‘liturgical innovation’, with a trained owl flying the length of the Grade-1 listed building to deliver the rings to the best man. ‘The Gospel was read by a religious sister of the Bethlehem Community in Liverpool’, which is part of the self-described LGBT ‘Ecumenical Catholic Church’.

Protect the Pope comment: When Tony Blair and the Labour government pushed through legislation to allow civil partnerships he attempted to re-assure Christians that the distinction between civil partnerships and marriages would be rigorously maintained by prohibiting civil partnership ceremonies in religious premises.

In a couple of years after David Cameron legalizes unnatural ‘marriages’ in 2015, with the re-assurance that this will have no impact on ‘religious’ marriages, expect the law to be changed to allow unnatural marriages in religious premises. These politicians words mean absolutely nothing.

 

21 comments to First UK civil partnership between gay men held on religious premises

  • Karla

    They call ‘slippery slope’ a fallacy, but in the case of marriage there truly does exist a slippery slope that occurs. It starts with civil partnerships then gay ‘marriage,’ in America there is some push in various editorials for polygamous marriages with the reasons being used in those arguments that gay ‘marriage’ has been legalized and marriage redefined, so why not redefine it again for marriage to multiple people.

  • Karla

    This editorial describes in places with legal gay ‘marriage’ there is low enthusiasm for it and there is high incidence of gay ‘marriage’ divorce:

    ‘..Enthusiasm for marriage is somewhat lopsided by gender. Divorces, too. According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, two-thirds of legally recognized same-sex couples in the United States are lesbian. (Solely on the “marriage” front, in Massachusetts’s first four years, this statistic was 62 percent.) While data in the United States are clearly limited, Scandinavian countries have been at this a little longer. Denmark was the first country to introduce recognition of same-sex partnerships, coining the term “registered partnership” in 1989. Norway followed suit in 1993, and then Sweden in 1995. Again, Stockholm University’s study seems to confirm the American trend. In Norway, male same-sex marriages are 50 percent more likely to end in divorce than heterosexual marriages, and female same-sex marriages are an astonishing 167 percent more likely to be dissolved. In Sweden, the divorce risk for male-male partnerships is 50 percent higher than for heterosexual marriages, and the divorce risk for female partnerships is nearly double that for men. This should not be surprising: In the United States, women request approximately two-thirds of divorces in all forms of relationships — and have done so since the start of the 19th century — so it reasonably follows that relationships in which both partners are women are more likely to include someone who wishes to exit.

    The debate over marriage does not necessarily hinge on its popularity among the eligible, and advocates of gay unions would no doubt assert that “equality” is not a numerical proposition as quickly as their opponents would aver that the very idea is a hopeless category mistake. But it is nonetheless worth noting that there is no particular groundswell — even in states and cities that have both legal gay marriage and significant numbers of homosexuals — and that, when gay couples do decide to get married, they are more likely than their straight equivalents to change their minds later.’

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/299944/gay-divorcees-charles-c-w-cooke

  • asrajit

    It is time for Catholics to be counter cultural. Elizabeth Anscombe, philosopher, was right when she said that once we accept contraception, there is nothing stopping us from accepting homosexual acts as morally good. Those who dissent from Church teaching on contraception tend to support ” gay Marriage. ” So this non-Catholic body is at least being consistent.

  • Jim P

    As a stanch defender of religious freedom I would assume that you welcome this partnership.

    If you want the right to make your own rules for Catholic marriages then you must respect the rights of other religions, like the Unitarians to do what they are equally convinced God wants them to do.

    If you don’t respect the religious freedoms of others then what right do you have to claim those freedoms for yourself?

  • asrajit

    You have something there Jim P. Religious “freedom” is no freedom if not supporting the common good. So, for example, torturing people because of a false belief that they are possessed should never be allowed even if those carrying it out are convinced that this is what God wants them to do. There is good evidence to support the view that stable heterosexual marriages support the common good.

  • Kinga Grzeczynska LLB

    Catholicism is the Faith created by Jesus Christ, The Second Person in the Holy Trinity. The rules of the Catholic Church stem from the teachings of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ made St Peter the First Pope. Subsequent sucessors to the Papacy have been made/created/ordered to be The Pope.
    The Pope and his Cardinals (The Princes of The Church)over the centuries considered/ debated the implemtation of The Rules of The Catholic Church, the prayers of the Catholic Church and the Liturgy of The Holy Mass and many others. Some of these Rules are based on the 10 Commandments – which God gave to Moses – and other Rules created by the deliberations of the Pope and Cardinals/ Archbishops/Bishops over the centuries.
    St Paul writes to the Romans that sex between two people of THE SAME GENDER is wrong and sinful. It is as simple as that. Wrong means wrong and sinful is sinful. It does not change over time or in different faiths who have adapted the Catholic Rules to meet their own needs or created their own rules.

    This has nothing to do with religious freedom. It is simply the case that having sex with the same gender is wrong and sinful.
    Different faiths have cherry picked what they want out of the Catholic Faith and adapted and implemented their own rules. Therefore, any person can pick and chose any religion which suits their needs or personal habits. This does not mean that these needs or habits are not wrong or sinful. It means that they exist and are being put into practise by a certain group of people.

    The goal posts of Morals have moved so many times that there simply are very little boundries left. People can do what they want and when they want, speak as they want, and behave as they want. As long as there are no criminal acts done ( Laws based on the 10 Commandments) then people do what they want.

    What the Catholic Faith gives us are Rules about Morals. Nothing wrong with that. The Catholic Faith also gives us boundries and self discipline, control of behaviour. Nothing wrong with that also.
    The Catholic Faith also shows us how we ought to live and behave. The roles of Mothers and Fathers and the creation of a loving, safe family environment for children to grow up in.

    Riots, murder, stealing, battering old people in their beds – no rules there. Do as you want to whom you want syndrome. Actions that totally ignore God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.

    Now either you want a decent society based on sound morals or you want your family to grow up into a society where anything can happen?

    Just because other faiths allow cetains actions – does not mean that these actions are in accordance with The Holy Trinity.

  • Mike2

    Jim P:
    The problem with allowing some religious groups to conduct Civil Partnerships in their buildings (or somebody else’s building) is that sooner or later someone will claim that it is discriminatory if other religious groups do not allow such ceremonies in their buildings. That is one of the reasons why there are new groups being set up with titles such as ‘Ecumenical Catholic Church’. They will allow such ceremonies in their buildings (if they have any) just so that homosexual activists can make this discrimination charge. From that point of view Catholics are unable to welcome the Unitarians’ decision.

  • Ioannes

    Even the arch-heresiarch John Calvin thought Unitarians were heretics, and had one (Michael Servetus) burned at the stake in Geneva in 1553.

  • harry

    Just to save tie for others:

    ‘A heresiarch (also hæresiarch, according to the Oxford English Dictionary; from the Greek: αἱρεσιάρχης, hairesiárkhēs, literally “heresy chief”) is a founder or leader of a heretical doctrine or movement, as considered by those who claim to maintain an orthodox religious tradition or doctrine. For example, according to traditional Catholic doctrine, the founders of Protestantism, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin were heresiarchs as well as schismatics. The miller Domenicio Scandella (called Menocchio) of Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms was also declared a heresiarch by the Inquisition judges.

    The first official heresy of the Christian church, Arianism, was created by heresiarch Arius. It taught that Jesus was of lesser being than God, and was rebuked by Constantine’s First Ecumenical Council of Nicea, which asserted that Jesus and God the Father were “consubstantial”, i.e. of the same divine being.’

    I learn something every day.

  • Ioannes

    Harry, there’s hope for you yet.

  • Not only are the promises meaningless, but they are factually inaccurate. The law makes no distinction between a religious marriage and a purely civil marriages. There can be no distinction made in terms of gay ‘marriage’ without a blanket ‘conscience clause’ for all officiators of marriages in the United Kingdom. I can’t see that happening, can you?

    • Jim P

      “The law makes no distinction between a religious marriage and a purely civil marriages. ”

      not sure that is completely true. The church and the state already have diferent definitions of marriage – on intention to use contraception or the ability of previously marriaged and divorced people for example.

      There is a precedent for this. The Church is against divorce and has every right to speak out on that subject (and sometimes it does) and keep to its own rules on that subject (and usually it does), but the suggestion that allowing civil divorce and civil re-marriage is a limit on Catholic religious freedom or is somehow a presecution rather than just something that you disagree with or that civil divorce is the start of a slippery slope that will end with faithful catholics in jail for refusing to marry divorced people would rightly be regarded as absurd. So it is with gay marriage.

  • Al

    The people who will suffer most from ‘gay’or so called ‘equal’ marriage marriage will be those who indulge in same sex sex. Just as HIV/AIDS followed on from the erasing of homosexuality as a psychological disorder in 1973, individuals so tempted in the future will feel the need to avoid it even less and put themselves further at risk. New health risks cannot be far away.

    • Jim P

      But there is good evidence (some of which is cited above in my post to Chris, but have a look on Medline for more if you want) that married gay men have lower levels of HIV infection than unmarried gay men. This is hardly surprising is it especially when we have long known that married straight men have lower levels of STDs than single straight men. Lesbians have very low levels of HIV, infact the only “partnership status” that increases their risk of HIV is being married to a man.

      Your argument is based on the assumptions that if we allow gay men to get married more gay sex and/or more risky promisuious gay sex will take place.

      The second assumption flies in the face of what know about marriage – that it moderates promisuity (imperfectly perhaps because of cheating, but it moderates it all the same on average) and both assumptions stand in need of evidence.

      Even if you regard men having sex as a sin, then from a purely health point of view it would be better if those men have sex within a mariage to a long term partner than with a different partner every week. Gay marriage and the idea of accepting gay couples and honouring their commitment to each other brings health advantages to the gay people themselves and also to wide society (the first citation to give to Chris above shows evidence that married gay men consume $300 less in mental healthcare costs than unmarried gay men for example)

  • Rob D

    Hear, hear, Jim P

    Your arguments sound quite rational and carry no threat to the church, despite the illogical extrapolations that permeate the anti gay marriage arguments.

    If practising Roman Catholics wish to preserve the faith then all marriages conducted according to the rights of the faith should be govenernde by those laws… not contraception, no sex without the prospect of procreation, no divorce. if you’re talking about preserving the faith and God’s law as brought to us by the church then you can’t have a foot in each camp.

  • [...] interview we gave to the Liverpool Echo (which was good, though I was having a bad hair day!), to a conservative Catholic blog which claims to Protect The Pope – although I am sure the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics is well able to defend [...]

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