Oxford politics Professor Iain McLean wrote an open letter to the Anglican Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, about civil partnerships on religious premises, after the bishop opposed such a development. The bishop responded personally. This is McLean's further reply, following the House of Lords vote on an amendment to the Equality Bill on the issue.
A range of campaigning groups and faith-based organisations have expressed their support for a decision to allow the use of religious premises and religious language in same-sex partnership ceremonies.
Several members of the House of Lords were probably already in bed by the time their colleagues voted last night to allow the use of religious elements in same-sex civil partnerships. But those of us who have long waited for this vote were wide awake.
In a dramatic development, the House of Lords has voted to allow the use of religious premises and religious language in same-sex partnerships. Peers voted in favour of the proposal by 93 votes to 21, despite government opposition.
The thinktank Ekklesia has welcomed moves to give legal recognition to same-sex partnerships carried out by religious groups and institutions, but suggested that the growing diversity of arrangements highlights the need for wide-ranging reform of marriage law.
In argument we attack and defend on the basis of positions we know and hold. Conversations are determined by questions in which we inquire also about what we don’t, and can entertain the new, says Martin Marty. Nowhere is such an approach needed more than in the vociferously contested debate about sexuality.