A homosexual group has reacted angrily to news that the Queen Mother’s former Scottish home is not offering same-sex ‘weddings’ because it does not have a civil licence.
The trustees of the Castle of Mey, near John o’ Groats, have explained that the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother preferred people to be married in Christian services.
This meant they had decided not to apply for a civil licence, but instead will offer weddings conducted by priests or ministers who have their own licences.
Therefore, civil ceremonies between heterosexual couples, and civil partnership ceremonies, cannot take place at the castle.
The head of the castle’s trustees is the Prince of Wales. The Prince himself married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 in a civil ceremony, so would have been excluded by the policy.
However, the homosexual lobby group Outrage have taken the decision as an attack on the homosexual community. A spokesman said Queen Elizabeth would be “spinning in her grave”.
“Doing this at the Queen Mother’s old residence is particularly odd. She had no problem with gay people – quite the opposite.”
The managing director at the castle, James Murray, defended the policy.
He said: “I think the trust is perfectly entitled to say that if you want to get married here that is wonderful but we would like it to be a religious ceremony. I don’t think it is discrimination, no.”
Last year a Christian registrar, Lillian Ladele, was labeled homophobic and bigoted because she asked to be exempted from registering civil partnerships on the grounds of her religious beliefs.
Another homosexual lobby group, Stonewall, last year called for the Christian Earl of Devon to be hit with a huge tax bill because he refused to offer civil partnership ceremonies at his family home, Powderham Castle.
The group said the Earl, who had already lost £200,000 income after having his civil licence revoked by Devon County Council over the issue, should lose the inheritance tax exemption he enjoys for allowing the public access to the property.