Gay marriage vote before Christmas?

by Richard on November 22, 2012

From The Guardian

A government go-ahead for plans for gay marriage is likely before Christmas, but Downing Street was reluctant to confirm reports that the vote in the Commons would be fast tracked and pushed through within a month.

It is likely the vote will be regarded as a conscience issue so ensuring there is a free vote that will see supporters of gay marriage win comfortably.

Some ministers believe it is a good idea to deal with the issue quickly rather than leave it as a running sore for many months, with opponents of gay marriage trying to build up momentum.

There is also a belief that with Christian evangelicals on the back foot over the vote on the ordination of women bishops it may be the right time to show they may have over-played their hand, and are in the minority in terms of public opinion.

The government has repeatedly stressed that the church will not be required to administer marriages stating “no religious organisation will be forced to conduct same-sex religious marriages as a result of these proposals”.

There is bound to be scare-mongering by the likes of Christian Concern over the next few weeks. I hope the Methodist Church will have the courage to lobby the government to make any new legislation sufficiently permissive that churches which choose to can celebrate gay marriages.

And let’s have a debate at next year’s Conference so that Methodist churches can offer services of gay marriage (and the blessing of civil partnerships).

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1

jeff 11.23.12 at 3:05 am

I wish you all the best. it is slow going in the United Methodist Church in the US but maybe someday we’ll have it too, even if we have to have a church schism.

2

Richard 11.23.12 at 9:56 am

I wouldn’t put money on us making progress on this, but social change always looks impossible. If the Methodist Church won’t act now, then when?

3

Judy Anderson Hamby 11.23.12 at 12:59 pm

I live in North Carolina - a state that has outlawed gay marriage. As a 5th generation United Methodist I do not believe gay marriage has a place in my church.

4

Richard 11.23.12 at 1:55 pm

You’re entitled to take that view, of course.

It seems very likely that when gay marriage legislation is brought to parliament, it will be passed. My concern is that the law should be framed so that those gay Christians who want to celebrate their marriage in church in the context of worship are allowed to do so. Secondly, I want the Methodist Church through its Conference to give permission to ministers to take part in those celebrations. Neither of those seems to me to be asking too much.

5

Pam Oakley 11.24.12 at 10:25 am

it’s Gods Church !

6

Richard 11.24.12 at 10:56 am

Yes. And?

7

Kim 11.24.12 at 7:42 pm

:)

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