There’s no nice way of saying this: Miss Greening should mind her own business. When parliament legislated for gay marriage the then Equalities minister, Maria Miller, went out of her way to make clear that the CofE would not be obliged to conduct gay marriages; indeed just to prove it, she went out of her way to bar it from doing so. End of, people thought at the time, though some wondered why they would need a safeguard. Which didn’t, I have to say, stop some blessings of gay marriage in various CofE churches turning into something indistinguishable from a trad, heterosexual kind of wedding.
It turns out that Anglicans were wrong to think that this was the end of the story. For it’s a short step from Miss Greening’s assertion that ‘people do want to see our major faiths keep up with modern attitudes’ to enabling the church to conduct those marriages and then obliging them to do so. It’s the authoritarian aspect of modern liberalism, outside the church and in it. I remember Yvette Cooper, at the Home Office, saying when civil partnerships were introduced that there was no possibility that this would end up turning into marriage for gay people – but it did. When Harriet Harman introduced the Equality Act it turned out that non-discrimination in the provision of goods and services ended up driving Catholic adoption agencies (which did a manifestly good job) out of business because they were obliged to treat homosexual couples the same as married heterosexuals. They refused, closed up shop, and children needing homes are the poorer for it.
That’s the inevitable progression in liberalism: first toleration, within strict limits, followed swiftly by the marginalisation or proscription of the opposition.
Read it all (my emphasis).