David Cameron | Gay Marriage | Great Britain | News

Muslims Demand Exemption from Marrying Gays in Britain

Last week I posted a same-sex marriage plan put forth by David Cameron's administration that puts in place four legal "locks" in order that religious organizations not be required to marry same-sex couples. Under the rules, the Church of England would be forbidden to do so in any case.

MuradMuslim groups are now angry that the religions are being treated differently:

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), with more than 500 affiliated mosques, charities and schools, said it was "appalled" by "utterly discriminatory" legislation on same-sex marriage set out by the government.

The proposals would allow faith groups to conduct gay marriages but would ban the CofE and the Church in Wales from doing so.

The MCB secretary-general, Farooq Murad, said his organisation had strongly opposed gay marriage alongside other religions and was seeking an urgent meeting with culture secretary, Maria Miller, to express the concerns of many Muslims over the proposals. "No one in their right mind should accept such a discriminatory law," he said. "It should be amended to give exactly the same exemption to all the religions."

The criticism from the MCB comes after the CofE last week attacked the government's lack of consultation over its gay marriage plans, saying senior ecclesiastical figures learned of them only when Miller announced them to parliament.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Precisely why there shouldn't be any specific exemptions in the first place. The law can be written in a general way without mentioning distinct religious groups.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 18, 2012 9:30:03 AM

  2. I'm with @Steve - England is a wuss.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 18, 2012 9:32:38 AM

  3. The Muslims already have exactly the same exemption as every other religion. What the C of E has, for some inexplicable reason, is a prohibition against performing gay marriages. I guess that's what he wants, but the prohibition would only come in handy if he's worried that he'll become gay friendly some day and wants to have a prohibition now to lock him into his current anti gay stance.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 18, 2012 9:32:48 AM

  4. I don't get this. Religions would not be required to perform marriages for same sex couples. That means Muslims would not be required to perform the marriages. But for some reason the Church of England would be forbidden to perform such marriages. Is the Muslim Council demanding that they be forbidden to perform such marriages?

    Posted by: john patrick | Dec 18, 2012 9:52:14 AM

  5. It's hard to tell if he even understands the wording. His organization fought FOR discrimination, and now that the law is written so that his organization has the freedom to choose to do as it pleases, its leaders are angry that the government is not forcings its hand, too?
    The only thing that should be an outrage is that the government is forbidding one religious group (the Anglicans) from having the right to change its mind on this issue.

    Posted by: GregV | Dec 18, 2012 9:55:00 AM

  6. Live and let live people! Your religious institution will not have to marry gays so just chill! There is something in the conservative religious mind that just loves to stir the pot. Even before Prop 8 in California happened the California Supreme Court had ruled that no church would have to preform same sex marriages . However they still spent millions lying that same sex marriage would be taught in schools etc. Now we see the same thing happening in the U.K. which like Ca has laws already giving gays most of the rights /protections, so really the Prop 8 people are getting all worked up over the word marriage...

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Dec 18, 2012 10:20:17 AM

  7. GregV : I'm not sure.....what he's talking about either. I might be missing something.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 18, 2012 10:31:33 AM

  8. To answer your question.

    The Church of England is a state church in England. It is different than any other religious organization in that respect, though freedom of religion is guaranteed in England. What the government did was basically accede to the church's desire not to perform gay marriages at all. But rather than get in an argument with the church, and given Cameron's desire to pass the legislation, they just did an end run around the church and by law made it irrelevant to the discussion. The church is upset about that because they wanted to stay relevant. They are no longer so.

    The Muslims are just doing what fundamentalists always do.--whining. They are ignoring the fact that if they want to perform gay marriages--and in sure there are some liberal mosques that do, though I don't know of any-- they have to opt in.

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | Dec 18, 2012 10:44:27 AM

  9. @Ben in Oakland

    Hmmm. I hadn't thought of it in exactly those terms, but it makes sense. Cameron basically made their "concerns" irrelevant by excising them from the discussion entirely. "There. Now you can't marry gays even if you wanted to, so shutcher pie-hole!" He made them redundant, a solution that's almost elegant in it's dismissal.

    I think what this guy is complaining about is that they weren't made members of the super-duper gay-haters club along with the CofE. He feels slighted that his homophobia wasn't given the same 'special' recognition.

    FWIW, a news story linked here a few days ago in one of the "News" day end aggregates said that many Anglican clergy are angry that they'll be forbidden to perform same-sex marriages because they WANT to do it. They're planning to counsel their gay congregants (and clergy) to go to other churches, Unitarian or Quaker, to marry then the Anglican clergy will perform a ceremony to bless and recognize the union, since they weren't allowed to actually marry them.

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 18, 2012 11:31:09 AM

  10. Well we certainly don't expect him to stand by and let the church of England be more homohobic than he is allowed to be.

    Posted by: Don | Dec 18, 2012 12:47:44 PM

  11. The CoE is an artifact of the UK govt. and it's theology is dictated by law, so this rule would clarify it's cannon. The UK govt. has no authority over other religions, so they cannot dictate cannon, even though some Muslims think they can. What these Muslims are really hoping for is for Islam to become a state religion in the UK, which would mean that they could implement Sharia, etc. This is already partially true, as UK law gives a lot of discretion to religions to regulate the behavior of their adherents. However, the protest is mostly silly.

    The objection from the CoE is over the right to be consulted on all matters of cannon before parliament enacts any changes. This is a statement of their political power in the UK. However, ultimately, parliament has complete authority.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 18, 2012 2:21:29 PM

  12. The Conservative Party always foul up every piece of legislation they introduce. It's time to kick them out again.

    Firstly they say they are introducing gay marriage when half of their own party oppose it. Then to pamper the people who don't want it they say they are going to make it illegal for the Church of England and Wales to perform gay marriage. The vast majority of people belong to the Church of England so that means there is absolutely no point in having gay marriage. It has been one ridiculous mistake after the next. It just shows they never fully intended to introduce gay marriage at all. They just wanted to be SEEN to be pro gay after being so anti gay for all these years. Basically they are still so unpopular they can't win an election outright on their own even after being out of power for over 10 years !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Dec 18, 2012 3:01:39 PM

  13. Also, the Queen is the Head of the Church of England and taxpayers fund the Church of England so now we have gay people;s taxes funding an anti-gay Head of the Church and an anti-gay church.

    I am OK with the church not wanting to perform gay marriages but if that's the case then gay people should pay less taxes.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Dec 18, 2012 3:03:09 PM

  14. The Queen has never been considered anti-gay. It's their policy not to comment on things like that anyway. Yes, the church can be anti gay but you're reaching pretty far to call the Queen so.

    Posted by: Isaak | Dec 18, 2012 6:55:27 PM

  15. "I think what this guy is complaining about is that they weren't made members of the super-duper gay-haters club along with the CofE. He feels slighted that his homophobia wasn't given the same 'special' recognition."

    We have a winner!

    But I think the specific CofE language was actually to appease the higher ups in the church, who don't want liberal vicars "going rogue" and further inflaming the chasm in the Anglican Communion. They very much wanted to be "made irrelevant" because it suits their efforts to keep their power consolidated. Like the beardy old guy who's retiring, Rowan something or rather. (I'm an anglophile but I find the C of E particularly ridiculous and difficult to fathom, like haggis. So I don't bother remembering their names.)

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Dec 18, 2012 7:43:28 PM

  16. "The vast majority of people belong to the Church of England so that means there is absolutely no point in having gay marriage."

    I'm not sure I see your point. You're still allowed to be a citizen of the UK and not belong to the C of E. (Although, of course, you have to fund it which is a sort of belonging) You can have a marriage elsewhere. If anything this is good, it will continue to marginalize the church to young people, a process essential to an advancing civilization and which is already much further along in the UK than in the US. Don't buy this cr-p about religion preventing violence; the most religious societies are usually the most violent.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Dec 18, 2012 7:51:01 PM

  17. Echtkultig has it right. The issue is precisely trying to keep the Anglican Communion together. The Anglican Communion includes both the gay-friendly Episcopal Church and the gay-killing Church of Uganda. When The Episcopal Church ordained +Gene Robinson, the Anglican Communion essentially went into schism. It got worse when it appeared TEC was ready to sanction religious same-sex marriage.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 19, 2012 3:44:24 AM

  18. I think gays and lesbians in the UK should be exempted from recognizing the citizenship of Muslims. Fair is fair.

    Posted by: Modest Proposal | Dec 20, 2012 6:41:56 PM

  19. but why is that weird discrimination.

    Posted by: Gey Men in America | Nov 28, 2013 4:44:13 AM

Post a comment


« «Obama Floats New 'Fiscal Cliff' Offer to Boehner« «