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News & Politics News & Politics

‘I am still not getting what I want’: Gay couple suing church for refusing ‘wedding’

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 11:06 PM
  • 36 Replies

BY HILARY WHITE

  • Fri Aug 02, 2013 17:17 EST

LONDON, August 2, 2013

Less than two weeks after the coalition government’s gay “marriage” bill was signed into law, a homosexual man has launched a lawsuit against a Church of England parish in Maldon for refusing him and his civil partner the lavish church wedding of their dreams. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle that he has launched the suit because, despite the law, “I am still not getting what I want.”

Section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which comes into effect next year, grants anyone in a civil partnership the ability to convert that partnership into a “marriage.” But the law contains measures specifically to preclude unwilling churches from being forced to participate.

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, left, with boyfriend Tony.
Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, left, with boyfriend Tony.


Drewitt-Barlow said, “The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church. It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognize us.”

“But we don't want to force anyone into marrying us – it is supposed to be the happiest day in my life and that would make me miserable and would spoil the whole thing,” he said. “Aren’t Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?”

He added, “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.”

Drewitt-Barlow is a high-profile homosexual campaigner who in 1998 went to court in the U.S. to force government for the first time to allow only him and his partner, Tony, to be named on the birth certificate of their twins, who were conceived with a donated ovum and carried by a surrogate in California.

The two have since acquired three more children through similar means and opened Britain’s first surrogacy business catering especially to same-sex partners.

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow has donated around £500,000 to groups lobbying for same-sex marriage.

“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized – in that sense it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do. We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians,” Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle.

“I am a Christian – a practicing Christian – my children have all been brought up as Christians and are part of the local [Church of England] parish church in Danbury. I want to go into my church and marry my husband,” he said. “If I was a Sikh I could get married at the Gurdwara. Liberal Jews can marry in the synagogue – just not the Christians.”

Legislators had insisted that churches and clergy would not be subject to legal harassment over the proposal. Equalities Minister Maria Miller unveiled a series of amendments, called the “quadruple lock,” that the government said would stave off attempts of this kind.

Both the Catholic Church and Church of England, as well as legal experts, however, dismissed the government’s promises, saying that no law in Britain was safe from being overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. The Church of England, the nation’s established religion, warned that a successful legal challenge could make it impossible for the Church to continue its role conducting marriages on behalf of the state.

They called the government’s attempt to re-write the marriage law “divisive” and “essentially ideological.”

Aidan O’Neill QC had given evidence to the government’s hearings saying that, because the Church of England is obliged to marry any eligible person who lives in a parish boundary, the “quadruple lock” is “eminently challengeable” at the European Court of Human Rights.

Moreover, existing Equalities law could allow local councils to enact reprisals against religious groups who refuse to “marry” homosexual partners, including refusing them the use of community center facilities.

In June, an openly homosexual Government Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt, admitted to the BBC that the attempt to proscribe Church of England participation in “gay marriages” “may be problematic legally.”

The government’s proposal, he said, “is that marriage should be equal in the eyes of the state whether it’s between a same-sex couple or whether it’s between a man and a woman.” Thus, the opposition to the law by churches would fall under the provisions of the Equalities Act, the same act that resulted in the forced closure or secularization of every Catholic adoption agency in England and Wales.

“We’ll have to see what happens with that,” Blunt told the BBC.

by on Mar. 20, 2014 at 11:06 PM
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SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 11:07 PM
4 moms liked this

“But we don't want to force anyone into marrying us – it is supposed to be the happiest day in my life and that would make me miserable and would spoil the whole thing,” he said. 

He added, “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.”

“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized – in that sense it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do. We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians,” Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle.

He intends to convince them by suing them?

Sounds like he wants to force them.

Oh boo hoo. Cry me a river.

Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Mar. 20, 2014 at 11:32 PM
1 mom liked this

Are you well versed on British law and the Church of England, enough so to have a true educated POV on this subject?

-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Mar. 20, 2014 at 11:55 PM
1 mom liked this
“Aren’t Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?”




Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha breathe hahahahahahahahahahaha
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 11:59 PM
4 moms liked this

I read this article, and others that were in British sources. I understood the articles.

So yes, I am well-versed enough to have a true educated POV on this subject as an American citizen concerned about freedom of religion, who follows religious freedom issues all over the world.

Sounds lilke you think Americans aren't qualified to comment on international issues. 

But I've never seen that stop you before.

So why would it stop me? :)

Nice try. Intimidate much?

Are you always so condescending about religious freedom issues, or is this just my lucky day?

Quoting Sisteract:

Are you well versed on British law and the Church of England, enough so to have a true educated POV on this subject?


Schauseil
by Bronze Member on Mar. 21, 2014 at 12:59 AM
3 moms liked this
I think the issue here is the pre-existing law that the church must marry any eligible person within it's perish. Well if homosexuals are now eligible, then legally the church should have to marry them.

Better idea. How about not dictating who any church has to marry ever. Let homosexual marriages be conducted by people willing to do so and recognized legally.
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Mar. 21, 2014 at 5:14 AM
2 moms liked this

Yes. Doesn't mean you can force someone to marry you.

This "practicing Christian" needs to learn what it means and doesn't mean to be a Christian. 

Good grief.


Quoting -Celestial-: “Aren’t Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?” Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha breathe hahahahahahahahahahaha


vic270
by Vic on Mar. 21, 2014 at 8:09 AM

 that is exactly why the don't ask don't tell should have stayed in place in the US military,this kind of thing will be happening there to. its like the article reads that(the courts) is the new way to force people into having to cater to their sin.

Quoting SallyMJ:

“But we don't want to force anyone into marrying us – it is supposed to be the happiest day in my life and that would make me miserable and would spoil the whole thing,” he said. 

He added, “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.”

“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized – in that sense it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do. We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians,” Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle.

He intends to convince them by suing them?

Sounds like he wants to force them.

Oh boo hoo. Cry me a river.

 

vic270
by Vic on Mar. 21, 2014 at 8:12 AM

 

Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes. Doesn't mean you can force someone to marry you.

This "practicing Christian" needs to learn what it means and doesn't mean to be a Christian. 

Good grief.

Quoting -Celestial-: “Aren’t Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?” Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha breathe hahahahahahahahahahaha

 

Schauseil
by Bronze Member on Mar. 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM
I agree 100% with you, but the issue is the law. Under the law they are qualified to be married by this church and so have a valid case. I think it was a stupid move on the governments part to ever legislate who the church MUST marry.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes. Doesn't mean you can force someone to marry you.

This "practicing Christian" needs to learn what it means and doesn't mean to be a Christian. 

Good grief.

Quoting -Celestial-: “Aren’t Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?”




Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha breathe hahahahahahahahahahaha

Schauseil
by Bronze Member on Mar. 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM
That's a pretty fucked up statement. This has nothing to do with the United States or our military. The United States has always held a healthy respect for religious freedom. We don't legislate who a church must marry.

I forgot already where this is going on. Let's say the UK. Anyway, other there, they do legislate who the church must marry. And under the law the church must marry any eligible person. This homosexual couple has just as much a case as any heterosexual couple that the church might refuse to marry.

Quoting vic270:

 that is exactly why the don't ask don't tell should have stayed in place in the US military,this kind of thing will be happening there to. its like the article reads that(the courts) is the new way to force people into having to cater to their sin.


Quoting SallyMJ:


“But we don't want to force anyone into marrying us – it is supposed to be the happiest day in my life and that would make me miserable and would spoil the whole thing,” he said. 


He added, “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.”


“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized – in that sense it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do. We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians,” Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle.


He intends to convince them by suing them?


Sounds like he wants to force them.


Oh boo hoo. Cry me a river.


 

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