January 28, 2013     

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Submitted by paulvcassidy
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Gay Marriage Equality linked to Established State Churches
While I'd like to have said it was an urgent civil rights issue I opted for 'not a wedge issue but pretty important'. Having said that I am advocating the re-establishment of the Church of Ireland as our official state church making Ireland notionally Protestant though largely Catholic. The reason being that the Roman Catholic Church describes itself as promoting 'conservative theology', plainly refusing to deal with the liberal agenda whereas its Anglican counterpart in the UK would be regarded as liberal and most likely to sanction Gay Marriage Equality. As it stands the Anglican Church of England & Wales has an 'opt-in clause', on UK Marriage Equality legislation which they'll no doubt opt into in time.

The Gay Marriage Equality lobby need to think this through some more because they are really talking about two men or women walking up the aisle but which aisle where? Well the onus logically falls on the state to make the legislative provision and therefor the state to create or nominate an established church which is compelled to reflect civil law. Well in the case of the UK the Anglican Communion already fills that function and once did in Ireland prior to independence. So in our case the path towards marriage equality is logical enough: re-establish the Church of Ireland as the official state church of Ireland and progress the debate in that context. 

But that of course makes the English Queen the head of the Irish church indirectly and so would also involve Ireland re-joining the Commonwealth. All possible and do-able but tricky. The Gay lobby are right to contextualise this as a civil rights, as opposed to human rights, issue and would be better off directing the marriage equality debate at state churches as opposed to institutional churches so as to avoid direct confrontation with more conservative theologies. The argument has to be won nation by nation, station by station so its best not work people up into an evangelical crusader mode.  



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