Defining relevant person to give consent to a place of worship offering marriage of same sex couples

Bill: 
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013
Stage: 
LordsC
Proposer: 
Lord Curry of Kirkharle
Verdict: 
Meh
Synopsis: 

This amendment looks to define a lot more about how a person is recognised to give consent for a religious organisation to allow a place of worship to opt in to same-sex marriages - including covering what to do if there is conflict.

This is Number 20 in . For the .

Commentary: 

Seems OK.

Amendment: 

Page 5, line 33, at end insert—
““recognised” means recognised according to the ordinary
customs and usage of the organisation and in the event of a
dispute between the members over which person or persons
are recognised for the purpose of giving consent for the
purposes of this section, the Secretary of State shall consult
all members of the relevant religious organisation to
determine which person or persons are recognised, and this
shall include power to order a ballot of members in which a
quorum of 66 per cent shall be required and recognition
shall be determined by a majority vote;
“members” means those whose names have appeared on a
formal membership roll kept by the relevant religious
organisation for a period of at least 12 months prior to
written consent being given, and if no such roll is kept, then
the members shall be deemed to be those who have
attended worship at the place of worship for a majority of
services of worship during the 12 months prior to written
consent being given.”

Bill Text: 

5 Opt-in: marriage in places of worship

(1) After section 26 of the Marriage Act 1949 insert—

26A Opt-in to marriage of same sex couples: places of worship

(1) A marriage of a same sex couple in an appropriately registered building according to such form and ceremony as the persons to be married see fit to adopt may be solemnized on the authority of two certificates of a superintendent registrar.

(2) For the purposes of this section “appropriately registered building” means a building which has been registered under section 43A.

(3) An application for registration of a building under section 43A may not be made unless the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same sex couples.

(4) For that purpose, in relation to a building—

“relevant governing authority” means the person or persons recognised by the members of the relevant religious organisation as competent for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section;

“relevant religious organisation” means the religious organisation for whose religious purposes the building is used.

“recognised” means recognised according to the ordinary customs and usage of the organisation and in the event of a dispute between the members over which person or persons are recognised for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section, the Secretary of State shall consult all members of the relevant religious organisation to determine which person or persons are recognised, and this
shall include power to order a ballot of members in which a quorum of 66 per cent shall be required and recognition shall be determined by a majority vote;

“members” means those whose names have appeared on a formal membership roll kept by the relevant religious organisation for a period of at least 12 months prior to written consent being given, and if no such roll is kept, then the members shall be deemed to be those who have attended worship at the place of worship for a majority of services of worship during the 12 months prior to written consent being given.

(5) Nothing in this section is to be taken to relate or have any reference to marriages solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England.

(6) This section is subject (in particular) to sections 44A to 44C (registration of shared buildings for marriage of same sex couples) and regulations made under any of those sections.

(2) Schedule 1 (registration of buildings etc) has effect.