Same-Sex Couple Sues Church for Refusing ‘Wedding’


gay_-wedding_cake[1]Less than two weeks after the coalition government’s gay “marriage” bill was signed into law, a homosexual man has launched a lawsuit against a Church of England parish in Maldon for refusing him and his civil partner the lavish church wedding of their dreams. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle that he has launched the suit because, despite the law, “I am still not getting what I want.”

Section 9 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which comes into effect next year, grants anyone in a civil partnership the ability to convert that partnership into a “marriage.” But the law contains measures specifically to preclude unwilling churches from being forced to participate.

Drewitt-Barlow said, “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.”

“But we don’t want to force anyone into marrying us – it is supposed to be the happiest day in my life and that would make me miserable and would spoil the whole thing,” he said. “Aren’t Christians meant to forgive and accept and love?”

He added, “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.”

Drewitt-Barlow is a high-profile homosexual campaigner who in 1998 went to court in the U.S. to force government for the first time to allow only him and his partner, Tony, to be named on the birth certificate of their twins, who were conceived with a donated ovum and carried by a surrogate in California.

The two have since acquired three more children through similar means and opened Britain’s first surrogacy business catering especially to same-sex partners.

The Christian Institute reported that Barrie Drewitt-Barlow has donated around £500,000 to groups lobbying for same-sex marriage.

“We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized – in that sense it is a big step. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do. We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize as practicing Christians,” Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle.

“I am a Christian – a practicing Christian – my children have all been brought up as Christians and are part of the local [Church of England] parish church in Danbury. I want to go into my church and marry my husband,” he said. “If I was a Sikh I could get married at the Gurdwara. Liberal Jews can marry in the synagogue – just not the Christians.”

Legislators had insisted that churches and clergy would not be subject to legal harassment over the proposal. Equalities Minister Maria Miller unveiled a series of amendments, called the “quadruple lock,” that the government said would stave off attempts of this kind.

Both the Catholic Church and Church of England, as well as legal experts, however, dismissed the government’s promises, saying that no law in Britain was safe from being overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. The Church of England, the nation’s established religion, warned that a successful legal challenge could make it impossible for the Church to continue its role conducting marriages on behalf of the state.

They called the government’s attempt to re-write the marriage law “divisive” and “essentially ideological.”

Aidan O’Neill QC had given evidence to the government’s hearings saying that, because the Church of England is obliged to marry any eligible person who lives in a parish boundary, the “quadruple lock” is “eminently challengeable” at the European Court of Human Rights.

Moreover, existing Equalities law could allow local councils to enact reprisals against religious groups who refuse to “marry” homosexual partners, including refusing them the use of community center facilities.

In June, an openly homosexual Government Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt, admitted to the BBC that the attempt to proscribe Church of England participation in “gay marriages” “may be problematic legally.”

The government’s proposal, he said, “is that marriage should be equal in the eyes of the state whether it’s between a same-sex couple or whether it’s between a man and a woman.” Thus, the opposition to the law by churches would fall under the provisions of the Equalities Act, the same act that resulted in the forced closure or secularization of every Catholic adoption agency in England and Wales.

“We’ll have to see what happens with that,” Blunt told the BBC.


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  • noel fitzpatrick

    Recently I have congratulated CL on its positive Catholic articles, but now I am confused. Why has CL given publicity to Barrie Drewitt-Barlow?

    Barrie Drewitt-Barlow

    • Struble

      It’s not, Noel, as if they need us to provide them publicity. The msm does plenty of that. Therefore, we should have no misgivings about publicly countering the enemy’s initiatives.

  • noel fitzpatrick

    many thanks for your reply to me.

    I always appreciate your comments, and feel, though we often seem to disagree, fundamentally we don’t.

    But I like to read here positive, encouraging inspiring articles.

    Today I was at the funeral Mass of a biblical scholar, Sean Freyne. It was uplifting and life-affirming, with prayers of joy, love, thanksgiving and mercy.

    I would prefer to hear of God’s goodness than the activities of same-sex couples.

    • Mary Kochan

      Yes, I see how you got confused since the title of the article did not alert you to the fact that it had something to do with same-sex relationships. Anyone reading the title of this article would be led to conclude it was about God’s goodness, so your disappointment is very understandable…

      • Struble

        Very droll, Mary.

    • Struble

      Noel. I heartily share your preference. Words cannot express how I detest hearing about the ssm issue. Unfortunately, they keep shoving it in our faces.

      But thanks for bringing Sean Freyne to my attention. Sounds like one worthy Irishman. Glad you could attend his funeral.

    • Chelsea Zimmerman

      Noel: You’re not the only person who reads Catholic Lane. We offer articles on a wide
      variety of subject matter to suit the tastes of our diverse readership.

      articles like this and others on the “fruitless deeds of darkness”
      aren’t always pretty or uplifting, but that doesn’t mean that we should
      not report on them. In fact, scripture compels us to expose them (Eph.
      5:11) and, believe it or not, many people appreciate being informed of
      these things, however disturbing they may be.

      There are always plenty of positive, inspiring Catholic articles here

      at CL (that’s not some new phenomenon you have been observing lately).
      Why not just focus on those, if they make you feel better, and just
      ignore these articles that bring you down?

      • Mary Kochan

        I’m sure Noel will take your sensible advice, Chelsea. I know he would not want to give the impression that he purposely reads articles he knows he won’t like just to complain about them.

  • noel fitzpatrick

    It was great to see contributions from so many of my friends here.

    Chelsea wrote “There are always plenty of positive, inspiring Catholic articles here at CL (that’s not some new phenomenon you have been observing lately). Why not just focus on those, if they make you feel better, and just ignore
    these articles that bring you down?”

    I agree and the advice is good.

    I find CL a blessing and am grateful for it. I would not be here otherwise

    “Let all things be done for building up” (2 Cor 14:26b).

  • noel fitzpatrick


    I read here “I’m sure Noel will take your sensible advice, Chelsea. I know he would not want to give the impression that he purposely reads articles he knows he won’t like just to complain about them.”

    Thanks for your comments. I agree with you. However here I want to pay tribute to both you and Chelsea for your great work for the Church. Our discussions should never detract from my great appreciation of your evangelization and commitment.

    Reading your post I am reminded of Robert Burns:

    “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us

    To see oursels as others see us!

    It wad frae monie a blunder free us,

    An’ foolish notion.”

    • Mary Kochan

      A most gentlemanly reply. 🙂

  • fsa0033

    If a person goes to a Mercedes-Benz auto-repair wanting them to work on his Mazda that auto-repair although repairs vehicles doesn’t manage that type. Same with same-sex marriages. Don’t go to a Christian church that doesn’t deal in same-sex marriage. They don’t deal in it. Go find someplace else that does.