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The Church of England added that introducing gay marriage could also lead to challenges to civil partnership law, as removing the concept of gender from marriage while leaving it in place for civil partnerships would be unlikely to be "legally sustainable".
In a highly critical response to the Government's consultation on gay marriage which closes on Thursday, the Church of England said several "major elements" of the proposals had not been thought through properly and were not legally "sound".
Gay marriage threatens the establishment of the Church of England and could lead to it being forced out of its role of conducting weddings on behalf of the state, it has claimed.
The Church of England said introducing same-sex marriage would lead to an unprecedented clash between its own canon law - that marriage is between a man and a woman - and that of Parliament.
It also warned that in spite of ministerial assurances that churches would not have to conduct gay marriages, it would be "very doubtful" whether limiting same-sex couples to non-religious ceremonies would withstand a challenge at the European Court of Human Rights.
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The Church of England said the introduction of same-sex marriage would lead to a clash between its own canon law and that of Parliament.