Don't rush same-sex marriage legislation, says Church

PA

The Church of England has urged the Government not to rush bringing forward legislation on same-sex marriage.

It wants the Government to hold off until draft clauses on protections for churches and other faith groups are "right".

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry MP asked the Government to wait until Church officials and other faith representatives "have agreed that those clauses will do what they say on the tin".

Culture Secretary Maria Miller last month promised a quadruple lock to ensure that churches and clergy are not forced to marry same-sex couples or host the ceremonies on their premises.

She also gave assurances that the Equality Act 2010 would be amended so that discrimination claims cannot be brought against religious organisations or ministers who refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

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Mr Baldry told MPs: "Whatever the views of the Church of England and other faith groups might be on same-sex marriage ... it is in everyone's interests that we get the quadruple lock provision properly sorted, and that it will not help the Government's handling of the measure if there is any confusion about these provisions on Second Reading."

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