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Peter Tatchell says protections for churches “open to legal challenge”

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Homosexual rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has questioned the legality of the government’s plans to make it illegal for the Church of England and Church in Wales to perform same-sex ‘marriages’.

Legal lock

Women and Equalities Secretary Maria Miller announced there will be a “quadruple lock” as part of the Government’s proposed legislation for same-sex ‘marriage’. The lock is intended to provide legal safeguards for religious institutions.

One of the four aspects of the lock is that same-sex ‘marriages’ will not be permitted in either the Church of England or the Church in Wales.

All other religious institutions will be required to “opt-in” should they wish to participate.


The legal safeguards are designed to provide assurance to churches and other groups who are opposed to the redefinition of marriage.

Before the announcement of the safeguards, legal and religious opinions had been expressed voicing concern over the impact any redefinition of marriage would have on churches.


Mr Tatchell’s comments will most likely deepen the already existing unease about churches facing possible legal challenge.

Mr Tatchell said: “This faith-based discrimination could be open to legal challenge. The government is treating two churches differently from all other religions. Discriminating between faith groups is probably illegal under the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, said: “The Government has been told repeatedly that redefining marriage will have unforeseen consequences. It has been warned that legal challenges will be made against churches if this legislation passes. Now this possibility is already being spoken of, just days after the Government’s announcement.

“But this legislation will not only create legal difficulties. It threatens to alienate a huge section of the public who believe that marriage is between, and can only ever be, between one man and one woman”.


Pink News

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