The homosexual couple promoted by the British government to help sell the state’s new gay marriage legislation to the public have now claimed that the policy does not go far enough, and are considering suing the Church in yet another push to redefine the institution of marriage.
Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, says he and his civil partner Tony will go to court to force churches to host gay weddings. He told the Essex Chronicle that he will take legal action because, “I am still not getting what I want”.
Critics argued, when the British government instituted the gay marriage legislation earlier this year, that campaigners would not be satisfied with their newfound equality, and indeed force religious institutions to marry them also. It seems that this new development may prove those campaigners correct.
The government bill legalising gay marriage passed Parliament recently, but it included measures to protect churches from being forced to perform same-sex weddings. Mr Drewitt-Barlow said: “The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church.”
The gay couple shot to fame in 1999 when they became the first British same-sex couple to be named on their children’s birth certificates. They entered a civil partnership in 2006, and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow has reportedly donated around £500,000 to groups lobbying for same-sex marriage.
Last year the Church of England warned that the Government’s plans to redefine marriage could trigger legal problems and end the 500-year link between church and state.
In January this year a leading lawyer cautioned that the plans left the Church of England open to legal challenge and British Prime Minister David Cameron was sent a copy of the opinion by Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury. In June 2012 Crispin Blunt MP, who was then a Justice Minister, admitted that the Government’s plans could lead to legal issues.
He said the Government is “seeking to protect, indeed, proscribe religious organisations from offering gay marriage”, but he continued: “That may be problematic legally”.