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Gay Couple Sues Church That Won't Host Same-Sex Weddings

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Aug 02
  • Comments

A British same-sex couple says they will go to court to force churches to host gay weddings, Charisma News reports. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle that he and his civil partner, Tony, will take legal action because, he says, "I am still not getting what I want." A government bill legalizing gay marriage passed Parliament in the U.K. recently, but it included measures to protect churches from being forced to perform same-sex weddings. "The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church. It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognize us," said Drewitt-Barlow. "It upsets me because I want it so much -- a big, lavish ceremony, the whole works. I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away. As much as people are saying this is a good thing, I am still not getting what I want." The gay couple shot to fame in 1999 when they became the first British same-sex couple to be named on their children's birth certificates. They entered a civil partnership in 2006, and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow has reportedly donated around £500,000 to groups lobbying for same-sex marriage. Last year, the Church of England warned that the government's plans to redefine marriage could trigger legal problems and end the 500-year link between church and state. In January this year, a leading lawyer cautioned that the plans left the Church of England open to legal challenge. The prime minister was sent a copy of the legal opinion by Lord Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury. In June 2012, Crispin Blunt, who was then a justice minister, admitted the government's plans could lead to legal issues. He said the government is "seeking to protect, indeed, proscribe religious organizations from offering gay marriage," but he continued: "That may be problematic legally."