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Page last updated at 06:46 GMT, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 07:46 UK

Can church be forced on gay marriage?

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Government proposals for gay marriage would dilute an institution "vastly" important to a healthy society, the Church of England has warned.

Human rights lawyer Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said the European court is unlikely to agree that any religious organisation can be forced to carry out same sex marriages.

Speaking to the Today programme, she said that the European court is usually "very tender towards religious sensibilities".

It is "inconceivable", she said, that the church or any particular individual would be forced to carry out a same sex marriage.


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