Legal advice reportedly sent to David Cameron warns that church could be sued under human rights legislation if they refuse to allow the services to proceed.
Exemption granted to the Church of England by the Coalition Bill to prevent it having to conduct gay marriages is “eminently challenge-able” in the European Court of Human Rights.
It also warns that the Government’s insistence that protections put in place for other religious groups who don’t want to marry homosexuals could be undermined by evolving European human rights law.
If Iain Dale* wants to get married in a church then I’m all in favour of whatever church wishing to marry Iain Dale being allowed to do so.
I’m a little less sanguine about the law forcing a church which does not wish to marry Iain Dale off to his civil partner to do so.
And I’m really most unhappy with the idea that the marriage law of England and Wales will be determined by an Azerbaijani, Armenian, Ukrainian, Serb, Russian and so on that make up the judges of the European Court of Human Rights.
Yes, no doubt this is crude xenophobia on my part. I would prefer to call it keeping a close eye on those who define our civil liberty myself.
* Used as an exemplar for no other reason than he’s the only person I know of in a civil partnership that I can imagine wanting to get married. Clearly an insight into the narrowness of my social circle.