1. National

CofE exempt from gay marriage

New legislation will explicitly state that it will be illegal for the established Churches of England and Wales to conduct same-sex marriages, Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced.

View all 45 updates ›

Labour MP slams CofE 'lock' in same-sex marriage plans

Labour MP Chris Bryant (Rhondda), a former Anglican clergyman, said the same-sex marriage legislation should not include such an "ultimate lock" which prevented the church from easily changing its mind in future.

Under Government legislation outlined in the Commons, it will be illegal of the Church of England and the Church of Wales to marry same-sex couples, even if some of their clergy want to carry out the ceremonies.

To shouts of protest from the Tory benches, Mr Bryant asked Maria Miller:

Will you consider not putting such an ultimate lock on the Church of England so there is genuine freedom for the church so that one day, just like the Church of England all voted to keep slavery and kept slavery for another 30 years, they can eventually change their mind?

The Equalities Minister replied:

The Church of England can, of course, come forward with a change of view at any time and we can consider the appropriate action to be taken.

More on this story