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Anglicans Fears Proposed Law Mandates Same-Sex Ceremonies

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Although Prime Minister David Cameron has tried to assure British churches that any new same-sex marriage legislation will apply only to civil law, lawyers from the Church of England are arguing that the new legislation would force them to perform same-sex ceremonies in spite of their beliefs.

“If Parliament were in due course to legislate for same-sex marriage, as recently suggested by the Prime Minister, we would of course be in new territory,” said the General Synod of the Church of England in a recent paper.

The proposed legislation is expected to allow civil same-sex marriage ceremonies that could be held in state register offices or other “approved premises,” such as large homes.

Although members of Parliament have tried to craft legislation that would leave churches out of the same-sex marriage process, the Church of England is concerned that the pre-existing 2010 Equality Act will force them to either perform same-sex ceremonies or be subject to prosecution.

According to the church’s paper on same-sex marriage legislation, “A key relevant section is section 29 of the Equality Act which makes it unlawful for a person concerned with the provision of a service to the public or a section of the public to discriminate on various grounds, including sexual orientation.”

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