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Ramon Johnson

NEWS: British Muslims Want in on UK Gay Marriage Exemption

By December 19, 2012

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England is in the middle of a delicate dance over the issue of gay marriage, as legislators decide how far it will go to protect the Church of England at the expense of its lesbian and gay citizens. A proposed gay marriage bill, if enacted, would exempt the Church of England and the Church in Wales from performing same-sex ceremonies. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) says it wants an exemption as well.

MCB, which represents over 500 affiliated mosques, charities and schools, says the discriminatory law is discriminatory. "No one in their right mind should accept such a discriminatory law," MCB secretary-general Farooq Murad said. "It should be amended to give exactly the same exemption to all the religions."

It's only fair that everyone should have the right to discriminate. I fail to see the logic.

Culture Secretary Miller, who presented the bill to Parliament last week, says that every house of faith is given equal consideration:

"We are 100 percent clear that if any church, synagogue or mosque does not want to conduct a gay marriage it will not - absolutely must not - be forced to hold it."

Churches that want to perform same-sex unions can "opt-in" to be excluded from the exemptions and those that do decide that they will not perform gay marriages will be protected from being sued for discrimination.

Since 2005, gay and lesbian couples can enter into civil unions with the full rights of marriage, however it is forbidden to use the term 'marriage'. If enacted next spring, Miller's new gay marriage bill will go into effect in 2014.
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