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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 16 2011: Yo Stuart,

    By forcing a church to comply with a social norm, you are forcefully altering the religion itself. Here in the U.S, as long as the religion and its practices are not impeding on the personal rights of other individuals, you cannot "force" them to do anything. Freedom and stuff.
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      Dec 16 2011: By allowing religious bodies (and no other bodies) to opt out of laws regarding equality, isn't equality all. My rights should not be reliant on the benevolence of religious groups...they should be protected by law. Freedom and stuff.
      • Dec 16 2011: First off, I completely understand your frustration, but I must add that - I am not following your logic. Are you saying that the church is impeding on your personal rights because you have the right to be married by any church of your choosing?

        Firstly, you must not overlook a few key points. I will repeat what i said above in a different manner. The freedom of religion encompasses protection from outside forces manipulating it. Religion in it's pure essence is a set of ethical standards. Thus, by forcing a specific religion to change its ethical standards, you are forcefully manipulating the religion. Like I mentioned above, the freedom of religion, which includes practicing, only applies as long as the religion is not impeding on the personal rights of others (which sounds similar to what you were claiming above, with the - "My rights should not be reliant on the benevolence of religious groups..." comment).

        As far as gay rights, you would do far more good for the cause if you argued: do homosexual couples have the right be be married? If they do, you can then argue that the state should provide a way for them to marry if no churches will. If thats not already the case.

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