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Stuart Cameron

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If/when same-sex marriage is legalised, should ALL religious bodies be required by law to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies?

So, some people may know that here in Scotland there has been a public consultation on same-sex marriage (and it's looking extremely promising!). One of the questions in the consultation was as follows:

"Do you agree that religious bodies should not be required to conduct same-sex marriages or civil partnerships if it is against their wishes?"

So what are your thoughts? As an abstract idea, should religion be able to have its own say? In the context of Scotland, should religion have its own say? Bearing in mind that our government is supposed to be separate from church/religion. Why?

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  • Dec 15 2011: If we put aside fundamentalist views and look at the state of the modern churches (I'm Scottish so this will be directly relevent and perhaps only exclusively relevent to this debabte) they have slowly begun to accept homosexual members, including priests etc., so it seems ludicrous to then deny them the LGB community priviledge of a church ordained service.

    The arguments put forward by some people that we should simply let the churches die out or lose members isn't very helpful. There will, for better or worse, be same-sex couples who wish to be married in a religious fashion. Since religion practice is a choice there are no 'rights' associated with it bar the state trying to limit discrimination against it. However there are rights about bodies discriminating against same-sex relationships, which seems to be the crux of Stuart's argument, which is clearly what is happening here; the church is saying there is one rule for one group of individuals and another for the group in question.

    The murky waters in this argument between the state protecting the views of religious institutions and the state protecting the LGB community all comes down to simply protecting the feelings of both. The state wants there to be a country entirely free of discrimination or segregation of any sort and the arbitrary but influential rules of religion oppose this process.
    • Dec 15 2011: There is no civil right that I know of in any society that says a religious group has to do a certain thing, unless there is no separation of church and state. Boy does this issue get confused. "Not discriminating" is a very wide berth. All organizations do so in many ways. The question would actually solve itself if it were to become legal. Some churches would do it and some not. Forcing a religious group to do it is not in any way changing discrimination against gays.

      I agree with Allan below, civil society is civil society, religious society is well, just that.

      As I said before, please do not force me to return to the 16th century.

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