Guernsey Press

Churches to opt out of same-sex marriage

CHURCHES will refuse to hold same-sex marriages when enabling legislation comes into force next year.


Different Christian denominations have said they would opt out of holding ceremonies when the law is in place and the Church of England is already prohibited under the current legislation.

But the Zen Buddhist Group, although it cannot legally marry people, said it could perform marriage ceremonies for both same-sex and different-sex couples if they obtained a marriage certificate at the Greffe.

Jacqueline Golden, from the group, said: 'Not having judgements is a main principle of Buddhism.'

Following the States backing same-sex marriage legislation by 33 votes to 5, it will be sent for Royal Assent and could be in place by the middle of next year.

The Dean of Guernsey, the Very Rev. Tim Barker said the legislation does not and could not apply to the Church of England, which also has its own system of law.

'The church holds to a traditional understanding of marriage as being for man and for woman, for life,' he said. 'Our pastoral ministry remains open to everybody regardless of who they are.

'We seek in every other way to serve the community.'

The Methodist community in Guernsey also said they would not be able to perform ceremonies for same-sex marriage as they are bound by what their superiors said in England.

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