Texts in full
Catholic schools will be forced to teach about gay marriage Read correspondence between bishops and Equalities Minister
20 February 2013, 9:00
This week the bishops' conference of England and Wales published its correspondence with Maria Miller, Minister for Women and Equalities, on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
The Government rejected proposed amendments by the Church to its gay marriage Bill, and said the new definition of marriage will have to be taught in Catholic schools.
The Church suggested a number of amendments to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill during a meeting with Culture Minister Maria Miller in January.
In a letter to Archbishop Smith that was released yesterday, Ms Miller said teachers in Catholic schools will need to reflect the fact that 'marriage is open to both opposite and same sex couples.' She said, however that 'the discussion or criticism of same sex marriage [in schools] would not be ‘of itself' discrimination under the current law,' and that this would only be the case if this took place 'in an inappropriate manner or context' which resulted in discrimination.
You can read a letter to Archbishop Peter Smith from Ms Miller dated 3 February 2013, and Archbishop Peter Smith's response. This is in the form of a detailed memorandum prepared with expert legal advice from Professor Christopher McCrudden. Also attached is a summary of the memorandum.
Both the Secretary of State's letter and the memorandum were submitted to the Public Bill Committee, which will be considering amendments to the Bill in the coming weeks.
23 March 2013 15:07 (4 of 4)
I'm a bit confused about why this civil/religious divide is an issue. Not every attempted marriage can be celebrated within the Church, and these situations are no different from many other situations that are handled quite adequately in our schools. The state licenses second marriages after divorce, for example, which is adulterous in the eyes of Catholics. Why would civil recognition of other unions not recognized in the eyes of a Church be treated any differently than they? Anyone over the age of twelve or so can easily grasp the difference between the civil actions and sacraments.
26 February 2013 15:17 (3 of 4)
The Right Hon. Maria Miller in her response to correspondence from the Catholic Bishops Conference stated: 'Clause 2 of the Bill protects anyone who takes part in the solemnisation of a religious marriage'.. It can't because it contradicts a religion's Article 9 rights. 1. Clause 2 of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill is declared by the EHRC to contradict the Article 9 rights of religious organisations. It will have to be amended to prevent interference with the freedom of religious organisations. 2. A Stated Aim of the Bill: 'to protect religious organisations and *individuals* from being forced to conduct same sex marriages' 3. An amendment to Clause 2 (as suggested during EHRC testimony before the Public Bill Committee) will leave conscientiously objecting ministers who belong to 'opt-in' religions exposed to coercive religious sanctions for non-compliance, thereby defeating one Stated Aim of the Bill. 4. A Stated Aim of the Bill would be compromised with individual ministers of religion facing sanctions of 'opt-in' religions for not solemnising their same-sex relationships as marriages.
25 February 2013 7:45 (2 of 4)
Sure LGBTIAQQetcs! I'll till the kids about 'gay' marriage. I'll teach them that it is WRONG. Hmm...I wonder what the Bible says about homosexuality? /sarcasm
22 February 2013 21:31 (1 of 4)
If the Bill were to refer to same sex coupling as 'Pairrage', (or similar deliberately fabricated word) emphasizing that participants would have the same legal rights as participants in 'marriage', many of the objections would disappear. A new phenomenon requires a new word.