Sexual Orientation Equality and Religious Exceptionalism in the Law of the United Kingdom: The Role of the Church of England

36 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2017 Last revised: 6 May 2017

Paul Johnson

University of York

Robert M. Vanderbeck

University of Leeds

Date Written: April 25, 2017

Abstract

There is a growing literature that addresses the appropriateness and merits of including exceptions in law to accommodate faith-based objections to homosexuality. However, what has rarely been considered and, as a consequence, what is generally not understood, is how such religious exceptions come to exist in law. This article provides a detailed analysis of the contribution of the Church of England to ensuring the inclusion of religious exceptions in United Kingdom legislation designed to promote equality on the grounds of sexual orientation. The article adopts a case study approach that, following the life of one piece of anti-discrimination legislation, shows the approach of the Church of England in seeking to insert and shape religious exceptions in law. The analysis contributes to broader debates about the role of the Church of England in Parliament and the extent to which the United Kingdom, as a liberal democracy, should continue to accommodate the Church’s doctrine on homosexuality in statute law.

Keywords: Church of England, Discrimination, Equality, Lords Spiritual, Parliament, Sexuality

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Paul and Vanderbeck, Robert M., Sexual Orientation Equality and Religious Exceptionalism in the Law of the United Kingdom: The Role of the Church of England (April 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2958151 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2958151

Paul Johnson (Contact Author)

University of York ( email )

Heslington
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.york.ac.uk/sociology/our-staff/academic/paul-johnson/

Robert M. Vanderbeck

University of Leeds ( email )

Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Paper statistics

Downloads
250
Rank
101,199
Abstract Views
666