Irish agency retracts threat against churches to force them to perform gay weddings

The General Registration Office for Northern Ireland (GRO) withdrew the threat it had made against churches in the province following the intervention of an influential Christian group.

“Marriage is a union between a man and a woman,” says one of the group’s workers who filed the complaint against the threat.

The GRO recently wrote to places of worship, issuing statements that were considered a “threat”.

According to the Registrar’s Office, if churches did not indicate whether or not they would hold same-sex weddings by Aug. 17, they would be prohibited from holding any ceremonies related to the issue.

Their change of heart came when the Christian Institute, a British group that defends the Bible, claimed them.

In a letter they reminded the body of what the law in this country says about this. They then demanded an apology and the withdrawal of the ultimatum.

An apology

Recently, the Christian Institute reported through its website that it received a letter from the GRO.

According to the information provided by the Bible Advocacy Group, the Registration Office formally apologized.

“It was not and is not the intention to cancel registration of officiants and we are currently writing to all churches to highlight the mistake.”

“We are currently writing to all churches to highlight the mistake and apologise unreservedly for this error.”

The Doctrine of Biblical Marriage

Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of Public Affairs at The Christian Institute, appreciated GRO’s quick response.

“This is important as the GRO sets about reassuring places of worship that they can continue to carry out weddings – the union of one man and one woman – and do not need to re-register in order to ‘opt out’ of conducting same-sex weddings.”

“It was a crass way to handle an issue that is highly controversial amongst the churches, the vast majority of which believe as a matter of deep doctrinal conviction that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

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