U.K. Bishops’ Voting Guide Reveals Pope Francis’ Influence – Bondings 2.0

Conversations on marriage and family initiated by Pope Francis have opened doors within the church for families which are considered “non-traditional” by church leaders. But could the pope’s shift to mercy and inclusion in church discussions be having public policy implications as well? There is good evidence from the United Kingdom that the answer is yes.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 9.57.59 AMLike many episcopal conferences, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) released a voting guide ahead of the U.K.’s general election this June. These guides generally include both guiding principles and specific political positions, which too frequently are reduced to the bishops’ opposition to abortion and to LGBT rights.

It is therefore highly significant that CBCEW’s guide omits commentary on LGBT rights altogether, and poses questions rather than dictating positions on issues which are taken up.

Source: Bondings 2.0

English Bishop’s Apology to LGBT community. | Queer Church News & Opinion

In a joint press conference on the Family Synod with Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton issued an apology to the LGBT community, that this important issue had not been properly addressed. A report at Christian Today includes this:

He (Bishop Doyle) also apologised that the Synod had not had time to deal with the issue of homosexuality. “I’m very sorry for the LGBT good people who were looking to the synod for something. It was really hard for people of same sex attraction. It wasn’t blocked. There was just so much to deal with.”

Source:  Queering the Church

Methodist Church begins mass consultation on gay marriage – Telegraph

The Methodist Church in the UK is to conduct a consultation of its members on whether to respond to the introduction next year of marriage equality, with approval for same – sex weddings in its churches.

The Methodist church could become the first major Christian denomination in Britain to conduct same-sex weddings after launching a consultation of its members about changing its official teaching.

Members of more than 5,000 congregations across mainland Britain are being asked to take part in a mass listening exercise which involves questions on changing the definition of marriage.

Churchgoers have until February to air their views before the findings are put before Methodist Conference, the church’s decision making body.

Under the terms of the Same-Sex Marriage Act, which comes into force next year, religious groups can perform gay marriage ceremonies if they actively opt-in as a group.

Although a handful of small Christian groups including the Quakers and Unitarians have made clear that they will conduct the weddings the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches are opposed.

– Telegraph.

The Church of England has just published the recommendations of its investigations, which resulted in the recommendation that ministers should be permitted (but not compelled) to conduct church blessings. The Church of Ireland is currently engaged in its own investigation. The global Catholic Church is preparing to conduct an Extraordinary Syynod on Marriage and Family, preceded by its own worldwide consultation. In the US, decisions by the ECLA and PCUSA to permit ordination of openly gay and lesbian clergy came after their own processes of extensive listening, study and consultation. Whatever the ultimate recommendations of the processes by the Methodists and Church of Ireland, one positive outcome is guaranteed: a greater understanding by all, of the issues involved.

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Poll shows most Britons want gay marriages and straight civil partnership

New YouGov poll shows majority of Britons support same-sex marriages and civil partnerships for straight couples

Most Britons back same-sex marriage legislation with only a third against.

That’s the result of a new poll by YouGov.

It indicated ongoing support for the legislation going through the UK Parliament for the change in England and Wales. Separate legislation is being developed in Scotland.

The survey found 54% of Britons support same sex marriage legislation, with 36% opposed. Among Conservatives, more people oppose the measures than support them but the margin is narrow (48% to 45%).

And 64% of Britons support opening up civil partnerships to straight couples. Heterosexuals in a relationship were the most likely to back the change (73% supportive).

Civil partnerships give couples similar legal rights as civil marriage and have been available to same sex couples since 2005. At present, straight couples cannot have a civil partnership.

The poll also looked at whether people preferred marriage or a civil partnership. Nearly three-quarters of Britons (74%) would prefer to be married to someone ‘in an ideal world’. Only one in 20 (5%) would prefer a civil partnership.

This shows why it is important to allow same sex couples to marry – most Britons still see marriage as the ideal, preferring marriage to a civil partnership.

-continue reading at Gay Star News.

 

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Ministers signal gay marriage could take place in church

Same-sex marriages should take place in Churches, senior aides to David Cameron said yesterday, despite repeated Government pledges that religious groups would be exempt.

Desmond Swayne, Mr Cameron’s parliamentary aide, said that those churches which want to marry gay couples should be free to do so.

Meanwhile Crispin Blunt, the prisons minister, said that the current plans for a blanket ban on religious groups from carrying out gay marriages could prove “problematic legally”.

He added the promised exemption for religious groups may not survive even the initial Parliamentary process.

And the Home Office confirmed that it was “listening to” some religious groups who have said that they would like to carry out same-sex weddings.

The admissions appear to represent a step back from the previous Government assurance that any bill to introduce gay marriage would specifically exclude religious groups to protect those who object on grounds of conscience

Telegraph

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We do… MPs to give strong show of support to same-sex marriage

The House of Commons is set to vote in favour of legalising gay marriage by a big majority, according to a survey of MPs who have disclosed their view on the controversial issue.

It shows opinion running 4-1 in favour of the Government’s proposal to bring in same-sex civil marriage. Despite vocal opposition from many Conservatives, it found the number of Tory MPs who have declared support for the plan (63) outnumber those against it (44).

The rolling survey is being compiled by the Coalition for Equal Marriage, which is lobbying for the change. It is based on public comments by MPs, petitions they have signed in favour and against gay marriage and letters written to constituents who asked them for their view. Tory opponents of same-sex marriage claim their numbers will grow after Downing Street made clear that David Cameron will allow a free vote when it goes before the Commons. But the survey suggests strong support among Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs will ensure the move is approved.

-full report at Independent

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Gay marriage gets ministerial approval

Same-sex couples set to receive equal rights to marry, despite opposition from within the Conservative party

Ministers have pledged to push through legislation to give same-sex couples equal rights to get married despite mounting opposition from within the Conservative party and the threat of a split with the Church of England.

Following a day in which it emerged that the Home Office has had more than 100,000 responses to its consultation, a petition against gaymarriage has been signed by more than half a million people, and a poll by leading gay rights group Stonewall showed that four out of five people under 50 support the move to legalise gay marriage, one of the government’s few openly gay minsters appealed for more “calm” in the debate and for supporters of the move to show respect for opponents.

Greg Barker, the Conservative climate minister, said: “What’s important is, given how much the world has moved on in a good way in mainstreaming relationships [between gay couples] and how much acceptance there has been, we must now make sure this debate doesn’t polarise opinion again and it’s conducted in a civil and calm way, and we don’t project the worst views of our opponents onto everyone who disagrees with us.”

– full report at Guardian

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