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Law & Religion UK is intended as a forum for what (we hope) is academically-rigorous exploration of the interactions between law and religion – broadly defined – together with the human rights issues associated with them. We are always interested in guest posts from colleagues in the field of law and religion.

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Frank Cranmer and David Pocklington

Law and religion round-up – 22nd October

A week in which the main theme seemed to be discrimination on grounds of gender or sexual orientation

Church of England to debate blessings for same-sex couples?

Last week, as we noted, the Hereford Diocesan Synod passed a resolution requesting the House of Bishops to initiate the formulation of a discretionary liturgy for use following the registration of a civil partnership or a same-sex marriage. The BBC subsequently reported this under the headline Church of England to discuss same-sex blessing, stating that “The general synod will now debate a form of service described as ‘neither contrary to nor a departure from’ the doctrine of the church”. Continue reading

Hereford Diocesan Synod Motion – CofE Statement

Following Thursday’s resolution at the Hereford Diocesan Synod on the formulation of a discretionary liturgy for use following the registration of a civil partnership or a same sex marriage, the Church of England has today issued the following Press ReleaseContinue reading

Gender, religious belief and discrimination in service provision

On Sunday, there were various media reports that a Southampton-based printer, Nigel Williams, had refused to produce business cards for Joanne Lockwood, a trans woman who works as a transgender diversity consultant; the reason stated for this refusal was that Mr Williams did not want to promote a cause that he felt might harm his fellow Christian believers.
Continue reading

Being Boring – How Bureaucrats Determine Religious Freedom

In this guest post, cross-posted with permission from Religion Going Public, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oslo Faculty of Theology, explains that “Civil servants determine the shape and scope of religion in every section of society. Here’s how they get away with it.”

The literature and news cycles on religious freedom tend to be dominated by big, principally important cases, where the foundational principles of liberal democracy are in the balance. Continue reading

CofE service after same sex marriage?

Hereford Synod vote of significance to Church of England as a whole

On the evening of Thursday 19 October 2017, the Hereford Diocesan Synod passed, by a significant majority, a resolution to request the House of Bishops to initiate the formulation of a discretionary liturgy for use following the registration of a civil partnership or a same sex marriage. Details of the Diocesan Resolution and a link to the briefing paper approved by the Bishop’s Council, reproduced below, were reported by Thinking Anglicans. Continue reading

Another Romanian church property dispute: Orăştie

Yet another property dispute between the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church.

In Orăştie Romanian Greek Catholic Archpriesthood United to Rome and Orăştie Romanian Greek Catholic Parish United to Rome v Romania [2017] ECHR 913 [in French], the applicants sought the restitution of their church, which had been expropriated by the Communist regime and handed over to the Orthodox in 1948. They were unsuccessful before the domestic courts [7-17], the High Court of Cassation and Justice noting that 90.71% of the population of Orăştie was Orthodox and 1.02% Greek-Catholic [16]. Continue reading