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Same-sex marriage will be a nightmare for the basic liberties and public privileges of religious groups. And not just for Christians :

Sikh temples have been advised to halt all civil marriage ceremonies on their premises to protect them from possible legal challenges for refusing to conduct same-sex weddings.



It is the first example of a religious group altering its marriage practices to avoid potential litigation based on equalities or human rights law . . . .



Lord Singh, the director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, told the House of Lords that he feared opponents of same-sex marriage would be “coerced” into accepting the new legal definition of marriage.

The network also advised members that it believes faith groups could end up being “bullied” into conducting same-sex marriages.

The same-sex marriage Act, which received  Royal Assent this week , contains provisions to prevent individuals and groups from being compelled to carry out such unions, under a so-called “quadruple lock” of legal protections.

But Sikhs In England has told supporters that such assurances could be swept away by a challenge in Strasbourg. Harmander Singh, principal adviser to Sikhs In England, said: “We are concerned that the quadruple lock isn’t going to be worth the paper it is written on.”


Of all the reasons to support gay marriage, belief in an unspecified “freedom” is perhaps the most naive.

Articles by Matthew Schmitz

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