In ruling on same-sex marriage, the European Court of Human Rights warns that churches could lose some of their religious freedom.
Same-sex marriages are not a human right, European judges have ruled.
Their decision shreds the claim by ministers that gay marriage is a universal human right and that same-sex couples have a right to marry because their mutual commitment is just as strong as that of husbands and wives.
But it goes on.
The ruling also says that if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.
It means that if MPs legislate for same-sex marriage, the Coalition’s promise that churches will not be compelled to conduct the weddings will be worthless.
It always has been worthless, possibly naïve, if not disingenuous. If, today (actually 4 years ago), a photographer can be sued for turning down business from a same-sex wedding and lose, it’s no small step for government to compel churches to do what goes against the church’s beliefs. And the EU court has let us all know this in advance.
Keep that in mind when you hear promises to the contrary.