Britain's Parliament legalized same-sex marriage recently, and despite the inclusion of measures in the law designed to supposedly protect churches from being forced to host same-sex marriage ceremonies, a wealthy and high-profile homosexual couple has decided to mount a legal challenge to destroy those safeguards to religious freedom.
Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his partner Tony, who made history in 1999 when they became the first homosexual couple in Britain to be named on their children's birth certificates, went through a civil ceremony in 2006, but that is not enough, insisted Drewitt-Barlow, because they cannot be married in a church. “We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized,” Drewitt-Barlow told the UK's Essex Chronicle. “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 insisted that not only is he a Christian, but “my children have all been brought up as Christians and are part of the local parish church in Danbury. I want to go into my church and marry my husband.” He added that “if I was a Sikh I could get married at the Gurdwara, liberal Jews can marry in the Synagogue — just not the Christians. 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 likened the legal obstacle to a church wedding to “someone giving me a sweetie [candy] with the wrapper on and telling me to suck it.... As much as people are saying this is a good thing, I am still not getting what I want.”
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