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

Posted by on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM
  • 228 Replies


LONDON, August 2, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 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.

The Christian Institute reported that 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.

source

by on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:33 PM
3 moms liked this

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll,    Who didn't see that coming?

katy_kay08
by on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM
14 moms liked this

let me know when the courts rule that the church of ENGLAND has to comply.

Their laws do not mirror our laws.   

Quoting candlegal:

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll,    Who didn't see that coming?


stringtheory
by Gold Member on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:42 PM
26 moms liked this
Might be a bit different in Britain, what with an established religion in the Church of England. If you are going to have a state church, I would think that church would be more subject to do the state's bidding. Aren't you glad the U.S. separates church and state?
Lorik1969
by Bronze Member on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM
5 moms liked this
If there is a provision exempting churches, then I don't see where they have a case.
katy_kay08
by on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:47 PM

that's an interesting point.  

Quoting stringtheory:

Might be a bit different in Britain, what with an established religion in the Church of England. If you are going to have a state church, I would think that church would be more subject to do the state's bidding. Aren't you glad the U.S. separates church and state?


PeeperSqueak5
by on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:48 PM
3 moms liked this

Not getting what he wants ?  LOL

TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM
Do they only have one church where they live? Are there no churches that will marry them?
candlegal
by Judy on Aug. 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM
2 moms liked this

bouncing

Quoting PeeperSqueak5:

Not getting what he wants ?  LOL


lizzielouaf
by Gold Member on Aug. 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM
3 moms liked this
Since I live in the US, I didn't see this coming...in England.


Quoting candlegal:

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll,    Who didn't see that coming?


Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Aug. 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM
3 moms liked this

But churches are unable to be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies.

They can still have the lavish wedding of their dreams so I'm not understanding how a church plays into this - besides that England has some of the most beautiful churches in the world IMO.

Why is marriage continually in quotation marks?

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