Conscientious Objections

Bill: 
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013
Stage: 
LordsC
Proposer: 
Lord Carey of Clifton
Verdict: 
Wrecking
Synopsis: 

This amendment would allow registrars to opt out of conducting or otherwise being involved in marriages of same sex couples if they have a strongly held religious belief.

This is Number 16 in . For the .

Commentary: 

This is a simple one - public servants should serve the public, same sex couples are part of the public. If a registrar cannot do their job they should not be doing the job.

Amendment: 

After Clause 2

Insert the following new Clause—
“Conscientious objection

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no registrar shall be under any duty,
whether by contract or by any statutory or other legal requirement, to
conduct, be present at, carry out, participate in, or consent to the taking
place of, a relevant marriage ceremony to which he has a conscientious
objection.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall affect the duty of each registration authority
to ensure that there is a sufficient number of relevant marriage registrars
for its area to carry out in that area the functions of relevant marriage
registrars.

(3) The conscientious objection must be based on a sincerely held religious or
other belief.

(4) In any legal proceedings the burden of proof of conscientious objection
shall rest on the person claiming to rely on it.”

Bill Text: 
2A - Conscientious objection

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no registrar shall be under any duty,
whether by contract or by any statutory or other legal requirement, to
conduct, be present at, carry out, participate in, or consent to the taking
place of, a relevant marriage ceremony to which he has a conscientious
objection.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall affect the duty of each registration authority
to ensure that there is a sufficient number of relevant marriage registrars
for its area to carry out in that area the functions of relevant marriage
registrars.

(3) The conscientious objection must be based on a sincerely held religious or
other belief.

(4) In any legal proceedings the burden of proof of conscientious objection
shall rest on the person claiming to rely on it.