My own response to the government

Phew, just finished writing my own response to the current round of consultation on changes to marriage law in Scotland.

This one is not about the principle of introducing marriage for same-sex couples but about how such proposals will be implemented.

It is more complex than you think because marriage law is more complex than you think!

Anyway, here is my response, if anyone is interested:

Consultation response Kelvin Holdsworth – March 2013

To save you time wading through it, here’s the most interesting thing I’ve said:

I believe that if someone is authorised to conduct a straight couple’s marriage then they should automatically be authorised to conduct marriages of same-sex couples. The law should apply equally to people and what has been proposed is not equality. For these reasons, I do not support the current proposals for determining who can and who can not conduct the marriage of a same-sex couple.

If churches wish to limit the ability of a celebrant to conduct a marriage then they should continue to be able to do that through their own internal disciplinary procedure.

I look forward to being able to celebrate marriages for same-sex couples one day in my congregation (St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow). I note with interest that once the state licenses marriages for same-sex couples, my own denomination (The Scottish Episcopal Church) will automatically have an authorised liturgy for blessing such couples – the service of Benediction, which is explicitly authorised in Canon Law for use with couples whose marriage is legal but which has not been performed according to the rites of the church.

The consultation closes on Wednesday. More details here:

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