Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Marriage as a Credible Institution

So, the Church of England has suggested that the extension of the right to marry to gay couples will undermine the concept of marriage.

Lets have a little history lesson, Henry VIII establised the Church of England to nod through his divorce to Catherine of Aragon and sanction a marriage to Anne Boleyn, his mistress.

Where was the concern about undermining the institution of marriage then?

This is a clear precedent that the control of the validity of any such marriage is at the discretion of the State and that the Church has acquiesced in these political manoeuvrings for nearly 600 years.

Furthermore, the 1949 Marriage Act also defines how the Church of England can hold their ceremonies as well as allowing for Registry Offices to conduct marriages. Gyles Brandeth's private member bill in 1994 extends the right to conduct marriages in other approved locations.

Where was the concern about undermining the institution of marriage then?

It is clear that the State has the preeminent right to define how a marriage is valid. Not the Church. By history, by convention and by practise.

The Church can already lay down its own rules about who can marry in a Church. Henry VIII's Great (many times) Nephew - Charles Philip Arthur Windsor (aka Prince of Wales) faced controversy when marrying Camilla Parker Bowles. Although technically a widower as Diana has died, Camilla's ex-husband was still alive.

There is absolutely no reason whatsover, why the Church cannot set its own rules about who can or cannot get married within its premises.

But I do have to consider. What makes the bigger mockery of marriage? 

Britney Spears marrying Jason Alexander which was annuled 55 hours later?

Or two people of the same sex, who love each other very much and want to demonstrate that commitment the same as any other couple.


  1. Also, the statistics show that so many marriages end in divorce (including) my own....so what is SO special about the institution of marriage between a man and a woman...supposedly till death do us part...

    You make no mention of the nonsense perpetrated by the Catholic Church in Scotland whereby they have cut off talks with the Scottish Government.

    As this is likely to happen in the rest of the UK, maybe the UK Government should pre-empt that and cease discussions with the Archbishop of Westminster.

    After all, we did well without the Catholic Church under Henry VIII, so we certainly have no need of this cult, now.

    Even the Catholic Church cannot decide what their policy is on marriage. St Peter was married and then they change the rules so that the clergy cant marry. As they are fully of men who do not know what its like to be married, why the feck should they be laying down the rules on marriage?

    I certainly would trust them to babysit!

    PS - Prince Charles would presumably be a great, great x times grandson, rather than nephew....I would have thought?

  2. Thank you very much Andrew for your comments.

    I wrote this piece in June so the issue of the Scottish Cardinal has not been referenced here. I re-posted on FB in response to that as the arguments here are still valid.

    As for Charles. Henry VIII's direct line ended with Elizabeth in 1603. James I (of whom Charles is a great great Grandson claims the English throne by virtue of his Great Grandmother Margaret Tudor who was Henry's sister. http://www.britroyals.com/kings.asp?id=henry8