Giving up marriage

I was intrigued by the statement made to the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Scottish Parliament of someone representing the Church of Scotland. They seemed to suggest that if they don’t get their way in stopping same-sex marriage then they might stop conducting marriages altogether.

BBC report here:

I think that it is interesting in that there are quite a lot of religious people who talk about getting out of the legal marriage business. It wouldn’t particularly trouble me if we had the same situation as they have in France whereby people get married at the town hall and come to church for a religious ceremony afterwards. I think they would end up just as married before God and state if we had that system in Scotland as they clearly do in France. However, that wholesale system doesn’t appear to be on the cards.

I sometimes find myself wondering whether I will feel comfortable doing marriages (as opposed to weddings) at such a time as the law allows same-sex marriage but the Scottish Episcopal Church doesn’t. I don’t find it difficult to think that it would be reasonable to expect straight couples to go to the registry office and come to church for a service if that is what the Episcopal Church expects of a gay couple in similar circumstances. What’s good for the gander and the gander is surely good for the gander and the goose, as the old proverb would say.

Anyway, well done to Bishop John Armes who was also speaking to that parliamentary committee this morning. Well done particularly for making it so clear that the Scottish Episcopal Church contains people who are strongly in favour of same-sex marriage as well as those who are not. It was just a little bit more helpful than hiding behind the “the church is made up of people who have a diversity of views” which is what we usually get.