The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain is considering additional legal safeguards for its proposed equal marriage legislation in order to protect faith groups from the threat of legal action, if the legislation goes ahead, according to the Culture Secretary Maria Miller, reports Jason Shaw
During an interview with serious British newspaper the Telegraph, Mrs Miller said: “I would not introduce a Bill that would in any way impinge on a church’s power to decide who it marries. Faith groups should have the ability to control that. There are already clear protections within European law. Marriage is all about creating some stability in society.” she told the paper.
The possible introduction of protections for religious bodies in the bill comes after months of warnings from back bench MP‘s that European law increases the risk of faith organisations facing potential legal action if they refuse to provide gay couples with same-sex marriages.
“It is all about helping people have long-term relationships together. I think more people should be married and I don’t think the state should stand in the way of people getting married unless there is a really good reason — and being gay isn’t one of them.”
There has never been a better time for marriage equality in the UK, with the leaders of all three of the major political parties supporting equality and earlier this year the government opened a marriage equality consultation. They are due to issue a formal response to that consultation before the end of this year.