Church in Wales exempt from same-sex marriage law


Here's a quick update on the UK government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

The Equalities Minister, Maria Miller, has been updating MPs - and explaining how places of worship won't be forced to hold gay weddings. Indeed, the Church in Wales will get its exemption from the new law written in the legislation.

Mrs Miller told MPs: "Because the Church of England and Wales (sic) have explicitly stated that they do not wish to conduct same sex marriage the legislation will explicitly state that it would be illegal for the churches of England and Wales to marry same sex couples.

"This provision recognises and protects the unique and established nature of these churches. The churches' canon law will also continue to ban the marriage of same-sex couples, therefore even if these institutions wanted to conduct same-sex marriage it would require a change in primary legislation at a later date and a change in canon law, additional protection that cannot be breached."

This is part of what she called a "quadruple legal lock" to guarantee protection for religious organisations from a challenge to their policy on the subject.

Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant - a former Church of England vicar - said the plans didn't go far enough: "I find it difficult to believe that any Christian would not want to extend marriage".

Cardiff West Labour MP Kevin Brennan pointed out that the Church in Wales is disestablished although it will be treated in the new law the same way as the established Church of England.

Mrs Miller told him: "What I'm doing there is to really recognise the very different obligations that are on the Church of England and the Church in Wales and to make sure that protections there are reflecting those obligations in full."

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    #11 'I've no idea the amount of old broken down,boarded churches there are in almost every community in the rhondda'

    I think that you would find that the great majority were chapels: the Wesleys' evangelism co-inciding with the huge expansion of mining in the South Wales valleys.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    who cares what the outdated church thinks on anything?
    this is a church that helped with the systematic abuse of children for how long?centuries maybe?
    we can see how popular the church is in wales by looking at the demographics.Old people.
    I've no idea the amount of old broken down,boarded churches there are in almost every community in the rhondda.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Boxer if you can't take it don't give it. I seem to have upset you I apologise. Which is something we do not get from you. I was just being a bit humorous nothing nasty was intended. I am sorry you couldn't take it in the same way others are expected to take when you do it to them. On the chin.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    #8 It's a very good point: perhaps someone out there can answer it. Maybe DC could ask to see the Emails - if there are any.
    Is it possible that Mini Mouse could have made a Commons statement without any knowledge of the constitutional position or the views of CinW ??
    The fact that this looks very possible makes me wonder if I am on the wrong side of the Devolution debate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    So did Maria Miller consult the Church in Wales about this proposed legislation or just assume (ignorantly) it´s an ´EnglandnWales´ thing?

    There´s something a little pathetic about Westminster politicians trying to retain this EnglandnWales stuff - almost as if they are trying to pretend that they still legislate for the whole of the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    My #2 'And now we have a Minister planning to enact legislation to stop the CinW of making changes, if it were so minded.'
    I now see that the Right Reverend Barry Morgan seems to agree with me that this is a matter for CinW and Miss Miller should get her tanks off of his lawn.
    Do you think she realised that CinW wasn't established?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    With all due respect, Alf, you are about the last person on here to complain about fat-fingered typing. You explained you had a problem: we accepted it.
    I must admit it would have been funny if an errant spellchecker had corrected it to impotent.
    It would also be funny if WAG took HMG to the Supreme Court for acting outwith its powers over CinW.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    It's a shame people have to be so hostile towards the people of the Church, it isn't about equality, it is about accepting the person, yes the church accepts the people but like anyone they do not have to accept what they do, allowing gay marriage in the church modernises the church and putting our ideas and our will over Gods word which will destroy the church.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Forget the Aaron: poor joke gone wrong.

    But, if CinW is disestablished, why is it picked out from the other 57 varieties of Christianity by the Minister?
    Couldn't it just have been left, like everyone else, to make its own corporate decision?
    I'm not frustrated: I'm not angry. I just don't understand what she is at. It just seems outwith her powers and responsibilities.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Don't get frustrated Boxer or it may may affect you feeling impoertant. Sorry I couldn't resist it. Not from the Bronx are you. Aaron Williams? Do you mean Rowan Williams, or am I missing something.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    'Another win for Wales.'
    Please explain. I thought the disestablishment of the Church in Wales was an impoertant early step in devolution, freeing Welsh churches from rule by Canterbury and Westminster. And now we have a Minister planning to enact legislation to stop the CinW of making changes, if it were so minded. How in the name of Aaron Williams is this a win ??

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Another win for Wales. Were they afraid we would take them to the Law Lords again for them to have another embarrasing trousing..



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