Tuesday, 12 June 2012

THE CHURCH OF STATE


The Church of England’s response to the Government’s proposals on gay marriage has been widely reported today. Despite some of the reports by the media, the full response appears to be rational, clearly argued and even to someone with no religious sympathies not without substance. Insofar, however, as the Church is worried that gay marriage will undermine its own status, I don’t suppose it can be shored up with gay divorce? After all isn’t it the Church of England that can trace its roots back to Henry VIII’s desire for a divorce.
 
One of the concerns is clearly that the Church of England’s role as the state Church will diminish. The role of the Anglican clergy includes performing marriage ceremonies for any eligible parishioners who seek such. The problem it fears is that if the law is changed and it then denies the right to marry in Church to a gay parishioner who otherwise fulfils all the other criteria, it may find itself at the wrong end of a Human Rights' challenge and ultimately lose its privileged position as the Church of state.

It is ironic that a state Church created by legislation to allow a king to divorce, could be ended by legislation to allow commoners to marry.



Monday, 11 June 2012

ON AIR


My thanks to BBC Radio Tees which likes my voice enough to have invited me onto its mid-morning show for the second time in 10 days.

This morning the discussion centred around a report published by Michigan State University based on data collected in the UK which states that married people are on average happier than they would have been if they hadn’t got married. Apparently happiness levels of unmarried individuals decline as they get older whereas for married couples they remain stable!

It hardly sounds like the greatest advert marriage has ever had! Moreover, what better way to spoil the limited feel-good factor it engenders than by asking a divorce lawyer to comment on the increasing number of over-fifties who have seen their marriages break down?