I am not a practising Christian and only visit churches for weddings and funerals. I have never had a desire to be married in one and I have left instructions that religion play no part in my final farewell, even if the pope himself was to offer his services at a reduced rate.
I therefore do not understand why gay people would want to marry within an institution that fails to recognise the validity of their right to a relationship within a Christian marriage. Christians ram that message down our gay throats at every opportunity, so are we so needy that we still desire to embrace their symbols and ceremonies? Why would anyone want to be a member of an organisation that fails to recognise the diversity and value of all human life? But so be it, it is their belief.
When Adrian Smith, read a report about gay marriages in church he wrote on his Facebook private page that it was "An equality too far". It was the view of a Christian man, written without rancour or homophobic rants, even if it suggests that we are not all equal in the eyes of God. A bit like the slaves who worked those nice Christian-owned plantations.
In response to a colleague Mr Smith went on to explain his view: ".....I don't understand why people who have no faith and don't believe in Christ would want to get hitched in Church. The bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women. If the State wants to offer civil marriages to the same sex then that is up to the State; but the State shouldn't impose its rules on places of faith and conscience".
Now, I know a number of gays who believe in Christ, but I agree with the rest of his statement and the truth is same sex marriage is not high on the list of priorities for most gay people, happy with the current system of civil partnerships.
Following a complaint from a gay colleague who hadn't actually read the comments on the private Facebook page, Mr Smith's employers downgraded him, reducing his salary in the process. He went to court and basically a judge upheld his right to express his views. Mr Smith himself said he had no issues with civil partnerships. Frankly I agree he should be allowed to express his views, just as I can express mine about religion.
But isn't it sad that in this day and age, some doors remain closed to us?