First gay marriages marked by rainbow flag over Whitehall

A rainbow flag will be flown over Whitehall this weekend in light of the first same-sex marriages taking place on Saturday, the Deputy Prime Minister has announced.

Nick Clegg said it is a symbol to celebrate a “massive achievement” and called the introduction of gay marriage a “momentous occasion”.

This comes as Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who is gay, challenged the Church of England on how it would discipline clergy who enter into a same-sex marriage.

Guidance

Recent C of E guidance states that the Church is not willing for someone in a same-sex marriage to be ordained, and would consider it inappropriate for current clergy to enter into a same-sex marriage.

But Mr Bradshaw raised a question in the House of Commons in order to seek “clarity” over the Church’s position, as he says they are in a “muddle” over the issue.

He asked what the Church of England’s policy is on priests entering a same-sex marriage and “what guidance has been given on what would happen to a priest who did so”.

Complex

Earlier this month, homosexual C of E vicar Revd Andrew Cain said he plans to defy the Church’s rules and marry his long-term partner.

“They can’t frighten me, the legal procedures for defrocking somebody are extraordinarily complex and expensive and very public”, he said.

He added that “to try to defrock someone simply for exercising their rights as a United Kingdom citizen would be extraordinarily bad publicity”.

Conventional

The first couple to have a same-sex marriage in the UK this Saturday say they are “not buying into a conventional marriage”.

David Cabreza is entering a same-sex marriage with his partner Peter McGraith, who said: “We are changing marriage – it is not marriage changing us.”

A recent BBC news website feature focussed on many people who are against the redefinition of marriage.

Reasonable

The piece included the views of academics such as Prof David Paton, an industrial economics lecturer at the University of Nottingham, who said: “It seems reasonable for the state to treat the one type of relationship from which children can directly result in a different way to others, and this is the basis for marriage laws”.

Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce was also featured – he wrote in 2012: “I am a Conservative and a homosexual, and I oppose gay marriage”.

When same-sex marriage passed through the Houses of Parliament last year, the campaign group Coalition for Marriage warned that redefining marriage will “come back to bite” David Cameron.

More than two-thirds of a million people have signed the grassroots organisation’s petition supporting traditional marriage.

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