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End Church-State Link

Comment 2nd July 2010

Repeal all laws and sub-sections of laws which create a formal tie between the established Church of England and the mechanisms of the State.

End the practice of Prime Ministers exercising the Royal Prerogative to appoint senior church officials

Remove the right of Bishops to sit in the House of Lords

End the state recognition of marriage and strike out all reference to marriage in any act of parliament.

Why does this matter?

The formal connection between church and state is anachronistic, discriminatory to those of other religious faith and wastes the time of state officials assigned to the consideration of church-related matters. Most modern democracies began with the separation of church and state. Now it is time for the UK to catch up.

Removal of the Bishops from the upper chamber should form part of impending reform to the House of Lords. And the use of PM powers in the Royal Prerogative should be overhauled soon anyway.

On marriage, the point is not to devalue the notion of matrimony, but to separate the state's legitimate interest in encouraging strong family units through stable partnerships, and a religious community's private interest in blessing that partnership through certain rites and rituals. The anachronistic use of the term 'marriage' in legal language is preventing same-sex partnerships from being recognised on equal terms and it is time this was addressed

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