Same-sex marriage and religious freedom

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Responding to claims from socially conservative Christian lobby groups that provision for religious groups to perform same-sex weddings will lead to compulsion for those who do not, Ekklesia associate director Symon Hill said:

"In years of working and talking about this issue, I have never come across anyone who wants to force churches to host marriages that they do not believe in.

"Churches are not obliged to marry everyone. For example, Catholic churches can legally refuse to marry divorced people, and Anglican churches in England can require parties to have a parish connection.

"Several European countries have legalised same-sex marriages without the courts forcing churches to host them."

"Religious supporters of same-sex marriages respect the right of faith groups with other views to decline to host them.

"Many will regard it as unfortunate that some opponents of same-sex marriage do not feel able to show the same respect for the religious liberty of those with whom they disagree."