The Cardinal should be thinking about Covenants not worrying about civil marriages


Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.—His Eminence Keith Cardinal O’Brien in The Sunday Telegraph

As a gay man, and a Christian, it really disheartens me to read what His Eminence has written it seems that he has not actually put much thought into what he is writing, and is reacting rather angrily to proposals that could see an end to discrimination.
As I understand it, none of the proposals to introduce gay marriage in the United Kingdom are forcing churches to solemnize them. In fact, it is really to do with Civil Marriage which can have no religious component whatsoever. For many couples finding music to play can be quite difficult. I know it was for Andrew and me last May for our Civil Partnership. Oh dee, I’ve gone off on a tangent, where was I? Oh yes, the proposals are about civil marriage. I do not understand why clerics feel the need to pronounce warnings of doom and the death knell for society because of an amendment to the definition of marriage.
It often seems to me,that it would be much simpler if we had two words: one for the religious marriage and one for the civil one. Many of the friends and family that attended the religious service on the day following my Civil Partnership last year said that we had got the terminology just about right. For Andrew and I had the legal ceremony conferring all the legal and civil benefits of a partnership one day. The religious aspects were in a simple ceremony that we called a

Covenant of Commitment

It was this term that so many of our friends and family who were present, as well as those who were not with us, said was a far more appropriate religious terminology. Perhaps, the Churches should move away from “marriage” to “Covenanted relationship”?
After all, the current form of marriage as understood by most people has not lasted for centuries, it is relatively new. How long is it since married women were considered chattels of the husbands? Perhaps this is the form of traditional marriage that Cardinal O’Brien is meaning when he calls on people to support a petition.

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