Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remember Maria Miller, Religious Freedom Works Both Way

I very much welcome Maria Miller's commitment to protecting churches who choose not to marry same-sex couples. It is right that we protect religious freedom.

“To make sure there is no element of doubt, we would be legislating to protect the rights of religious institutions to continue to have freedom on this matter.”
But is she really dedicated to religious freedom? Given the proposals remain only about "civil marriage" (a novel legal concept I understand) doesn't she feel the proposals themselves aren't supportive of religious freedom?

How can we say it is right that LGBT friendly religious groups be banned from holding legally recognised same-sex marriages? Is it right that if they wish to hold even a civil partnership they may end up paying higher fees or that they may be denied the right to at all due to health and safety concerns (even though they carry out marriages in their building already!)?

If Maria Miller and the Coalition Government really believe in religious freedom they will put forward proposals for full marriage equality with the correct safeguards in place to protect all those unwelcoming groups who want nothing to do with it. Otherwise their claims to be concerned about religious freedom will be shown to be no more than subservience to certain religion's views over others.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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