The bishops express concern that people might be “compelled to provide a service which de facto promotes same-sex marriage”. This could mean that civil registrars and others might indirectly be denied “their legitimate right to freedom of religion, expression and conscience.”
Jason Evert has reported that his message has been able to reach tens of thousands more people than he would have been able to reach with a few talks in Ireland.
“It became clear that the line in the sand had turned into a canyon. This protocol graciously allows us to continue to live out the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, albeit in different expressions,” says Methodist Bishop Thomas Bickerton.
European Convention on Human Rights does not include the right to marriage for homosexual couples, neither under Article 8 nor Article 12, the right to marry and to found a family.
“Longer life spans now mean that close and exclusive relationships must last for four, five or even six decades; consequently, the initial decision has to be frequently renewed”.
Archbishop Richard Clarke, who attended the Canterbury meeting, said people need to read the statement “very carefully rather than the headlines that have been put on it”.
Northern bishops highlight how motion was "completely silent" on the "vital issue" of respect for individual religious conscience and protections for Churches.
“One of the most appalling things is that families are becoming homeless, and last month 70 families became homeless. That's two or three new families every day.”
"What will happen will be determined exclusively by the courts and we know from past experience that test cases can produce unexpected results” - Archbishop Martin.
Irish philosopher says introducing SSM in Ireland is legally even more catastrophic than it has been in England because of our special constitutional protections for the family.
In the event of marriage being redefined as a consequence of a Yes vote in the referendum, the bishops may instruct priests not to act as civil registrars for marriages.
Equality would be best served by diversity of adoption providers with reasonable accommodation in law for those of a particular religious ethos: NI bishops.