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Religious marriage of same-sex couples in England and Wales

Silvia Falcetta

Wednesday 21 February 2018, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Dr Silvia Falcetta, Department of Sociology

LGBT History Month

This talk presents the findings of a research on religious marriage of same-sex couples in England and Wales, conducted by Prof Paul Johnson (the University of York), Prof Robert Vanderbeck (University of Leeds) and Dr Silvia Falcetta (the University of York). The change in law in 2013 to allow same-sex couples to marry in England and Wales was a major milestone on the road to legal equality for gay men and lesbians in the United Kingdom. Same-sex couples in England and Wales now have the same opportunities as different-sex couples to marry by way of a civil ceremony. However, same-sex couples who wish to marry by way of a religious ceremony in England and Wales are at a significant disadvantage to different-sex couples. Only a small number of religious organizations, and the tiniest number of places of worship, permit same-sex marriage. As a consequence, same-sex couples have very little opportunity to marry in a place of worship or by way of a religious ceremony. Religious faith and homosexuality are not antithetical: many same-sex couples who want to get married wish to do so according to the rites of their faith. This fact is recognized by those religious organizations that have taken the significant step of offering same-sex couples the opportunity to have a religious marriage ceremony. This research constitutes the first piece of empirical research on religious marriage of same-sex couples in England and Wales. It draws on a unique dataset - generated from a survey carried out with churches - that provides an insight into why places of worship take the decision to permit same-sex marriage, their experiences of offering same-sex couples a religious marriage ceremony, and the consequences of doing so.

Other lectures in this series include: 

Location: Room P/L/006, Physics

Admission: is by free ticket only. Please book below.

Email: equality@york.ac.uk

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