Law and religion round-up – 17th September

Brexit (inevitably), school dress codes, clergy employment, humanist marriage, religious karaoke – another mixed bag…

Brexit

On Monday, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was given its second reading: Ayes, 326: Noes: 290. The Bill stands committed to a Committee of the whole House for eight days of detailed debate.

The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government both declined to recommend that legislative consent be given to the Bill by their legislatures unless it is amended to address their specific concerns.

Primary school uniform

Also on Monday, we reported the case of a husband and wife who had withdrawn their six-year-old son from his Church of England primary school after a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress to school. Continue reading

Gender dysphoria and school uniform in primary-schools

The Times (£) reports that a husband and wife are threatening legal action after withdrawing their six-year-old son from his Church of England primary school because a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress to school. (There is a less detailed story in the MailOnline.) He will be schooled at home with his older brother, whom they removed from the same school a year ago when a boy in his class also started wearing dresses. Continue reading

Church of Scotland votes on same-sex marriage: updated and corrected

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has agreed in principle to the report of its Theological Forum, An Approach to the Theology of Same-Sex Marriage. According to the Kirk’s press release, in presenting the report the Forum’s convener, the Very Revd Professor Iain Torrance, said that he and his colleagues could see “no sufficient theological reason for the Church not to authorise specific ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings”, adding that this would be possible “if doing so does not prejudice the position of those who decline to do so for reasons of conscience”.

The Deliverance of the General Assembly is as follows: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 30th April

Parliament was prorogued on Thursday ahead of dissolution on 3 May …

… but first, 

… there were several key pieces of legislation, of which there is a full list in Hansard, here.

Among the bills that survived the pre-Election frenzy, a truncated Finance Bill left out the trigger to start HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative, no doubt to the relief of small charities everywhere. But it will almost certainly be back on the agenda in due course, whatever the election result.

Parliament also passed the Northern Ireland (Ministerial Appointments and Regional Rates) Bill: a piece of emergency legislation which retrospectively resets the “14-day clock” in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 that expired on 27 March and replaced it with a 108-day grace period ending on 29 June. The duty on the Secretary of State to set a date for a new Assembly election is therefore suspended, at least for a period, and he can continue negotiations over power-sharing. Continue reading

Bishop of Llandaff – review announced

On Tuesday 28 March, Christian Today reported that following a complaint by five members of the Electoral College of the Church in Wales concerning the ‘deeply inappropriate’ references which were made to The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John’s homosexuality when considering his nomination as Bishop of Llandaff, a formal investigation has been launched into the process; a legal panel chaired by a judge will decide whether to scrap the decision not to take Dr John’s nomination forward. Continue reading

Next step after Synod Vote – Archbishops’ letter

Further to the Press Release from the Church of England and the Statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury, issued after the rejection by General Synod of the “take note” motion on the House of Bishops’ Report, the Archbishops of York and Canterbury have written to members of the Synod setting out the next steps. A copy of the Press Release is reproduced below. Continue reading