Archbishop welcomes safeguards against legal challenges over CPs in churches

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark today welcomed the assurances given in last Thursday's debate on allowing civil partnerships on religious premises (see previous post). He said:

“I was very glad to read the clear assurance given by Lord Henley for the government in the debate in the House of Lords on 15th December on civil partnerships in religious premises.  We had sought such an assurance to avoid any legal challenge to the regulations and to make clear beyond any doubt that the regulations and the Equality Act safeguard the legitimate freedom of churches not to allow such ceremonies on their own premises.  At the end of the debate the Minister gave a very clear assurance to this effect, and said: “It is proper to say that it is Parliament’s intention that that is the position.”

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