Monday, July 06, 2009

UK Law Forces Homosexuality into All Churches

Religious groups are to be forced to accept homosexual youth workers, secretaries and other staff, even if their faith holds same-sex relationships to be sinful.

And . . .

Homosexual "weddings" should be celebrated in churches, a Government minister has said in defiance of religious teaching.

-- From "Law 'will force churches to employ gay staff'" by Matthew Moore, The London Telegraph 5/21/09

Churches will be banned from turning down gay job applicants on the grounds of their sexuality under new anti-discrimination laws, a Government minister said.

Christian organisations fear that the tightened legislation, which is due to come into force next year, will undermine the integrity of churches and dilute their moral message.

It comes amid growing concern that Christians are being unfairly targeted by discrimination laws, following a number of high-profile cases of courts finding against believers who stand up for their faith.

Religious leaders had hoped to lobby for exemptions to the Equality Bill but Maria Eagle, the deputy equalities minister, has now indicated that it will cover almost all church employees.

Under existing equalities legislation, any roles deemed to be necessary "for the purposes of an organised religion" are excluded from gay rights protection.

But the Equality Bill, which is currently passing through parliament, for the first time defines this as applying only to those who lead the liturgy or spend the majority of the time teaching doctrine - essentially just ministers, bishops and their equivalents in other faiths.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Homosexual 'weddings' should be celebrated in church, says Chris Bryant" by Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent, The London Telegraph 7/2/09

Chris Bryant, [a government minister] who once posed in his underpants on a gay dating website, said he wanted clergy to be "much more open" to the idea of treating civil partnership ceremonies like traditional marriages.

However, his suggestion goes directly against the rules of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, which state that only the union of a man and a woman can be celebrated by a priest in church.

It comes as the Government is pushing through an Equality Bill that religious groups fear will force them to give jobs to homosexual youth workers or secretaries, even if their faith maintains that same-sex relationships are sinful.

Mr Bryant, a former deputy leader of the Commons who is now a junior Foreign Office minister, trained as an Anglican priest and served as a curate before becoming the MP for the Rhondda.

He was questioned by the magazine Time Out this week on whether he believed civil partnerships, introduced to England and Wales in 2005, should be scrapped in favour of same-sex marriage.

The minister replied: "All my friends who have entered into a civil partnership refer to it as their 'marriage' or their 'wedding' so the most important issue is that nobody should be discriminated against because of their sexuality.

"I would like to see churches be much more open to the idea of gay relationships or partnerships being celebrated in church."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.