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Gay couple launch legal campaign for church wedding

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A homosexual couple have launched legal proceedings against their local parish church so that they can get ‘married’ at the venue.

Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow have been in a civil partnership since 2006 and run the British Surrogacy Centre together.


The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act does not allow the Church of England to offer same sex weddings.

Speaking to the Chelmsford Weekly News, Mr Drewitt-Barlow said: “We’ve launched a challenge to the Government’s decision to allow some religious groups to opt out of marrying same-sex couples.

“We feel we have the right as parishioners in our village to utilise the church we attend to get married.

“It is no reflection on our local church, who have been nothing but supportive towards us.

“We understand their hands are tied by a higher group of people within the church.”

“I’m not getting what I want”

The couple announced their intention to take legal action last month, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow telling the Essex Chronicle: “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.

“As much as people are saying this is a good thing I am still not getting what I want.

“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 recognise us.”


Andrea Minichiello Williams commented:

“Sadly this comes as no surprise. The government had been warned before the legislation passed that churches would face legal challenge, despite assurances of a 'quadruple lock'.

“By introducing a law on same sex marriage the government has created problems not only for itself but for many people in this country who believe in biblical marriage. Churches are under threat of being forced into recognising something which clearly contravenes biblical teaching.

“How long before churches are forced to hold same sex ceremonies or face sanctions if they refuse to?”


Chelmsford Weekly News