Scroll To Top

U.K.: Faith Groups Weigh in on Marriage Equality, Labour Party Doesn’t

U.K.: Faith Groups Weigh in on Marriage Equality, Labour Party Doesn’t


Five religious groups in Scotland have endorsed marriage rights for gay couples rather than the civil partnerships currently available, while some activists are criticizing the U.K.'s Labour Party for not taking a stand on the issue.

Civil partnerships have been available throughout the United Kingdom -- England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland -- since 2005. The partnerships offer most of the rights and responsibilities of marriage, but they cannot take place in a church or be officiated by clergy.

Unitarians, Quakers, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Pagan Federation, and Liberal Judaism have issued a joint call to the Scottish government to enact marriage equality, the BBC reports. The government is currently seeking public input on the issue.

"We have published a consultation on same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships, and made clear that we tend towards the view that same-sex marriage should be introduced," a government spokeswoman said. "However, we are aware that for religious reasons, some faith groups and celebrants may not want to solemnize same-sex marriages, and that is why we are making it clear that they should not be obliged to do so. We recognize that there will be a range of views on the consultation proposals, and we want to hear the views from all sections of Scottish society."

The Roman Catholic Church has been adamantly opposed to upgrading civil partnerships to marriage, even if it would be exempt from solemnizing gay unions. "Bishop of Paisley Philip Tartaglia said a Scottish government which backed same-sex marriage did not deserve the support of the Catholic community," the BBC notes.

Meanwhile, U.K. LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell issued a statement denouncing the Labour Party for not taking up marriage rights at its annual national conference, going on this week in Liverpool, England. "It is a big disappointment that the Labour Party conference has not debated or voted on ending the gay marriage ban," he said. Two major U.K. parties, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats, have endorsed marriage equality, but the Labour and Conservative parties have not, he noted.

Advocate Magazine - Gio BenitezAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories