(Church Times) Civil-partnership ban seen as challenge

The possibility of getting church halls approved for the registering of civil partnerships is being explored after new regulations on civil partner­ships in places of worship came into force on Monday. The Church of England nationally is not allowing the use of churches.

A note from the General Synod’s secretary-general, William Fittall, sent to Synod members last Friday, said that under the new rules “no Church of England religious premises may become ”˜approved premises’ for the registration of civil partnerships without there having been a formal decision by the General Synod to that effect.”

An accompanying Legal Office memorandum seeks to allay fears of litigation under the Equality Act if churches refuse to hold the cere­mon­ies. It says that the “clear view” of the Legal Office and government lawyers is that churches would not be guilty of illegal discrimination.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sexuality