This accusation always seems to win a deal of support, but it is, of course, at best a half truth and at worst a deliberate misrepresentation. In a world which continually bombards us (largely under the influence of commercial advertising) with explicit sexual images and references of a most unsubliminal kind, the Church, far from being obsessed with sex, is merely having to deal with society's rejection of traditional Christian restraints.
Here is the Church of England's response to the Home Office Consultation; below are the express concerns as to the legal status of a possible opt-out by the Church:
21. Even if they did, it must be very doubtful whether they could withstand a human rights law challenge. Whereas the European Court of Human Rights has upheld the right of states to retain marriage as the union between a man and a woman it seems extremely doubtful that it would uphold the right of a state to retain gender inequality in civil partnerships once the state had legislated for ‗equal marriage‘. We say more about this in the Annex to this paper and should be interested to see the Government‘s legal analysis of this issue.
22. Given that Parliament has already legislated to enable civil partnerships to be registered in religious premises where the relevant religious authority has so agreed (paras. 24 and 25), some rationale is needed for the current proposal to preclude same-sex marriages from being solemnised in religious premises on exactly the same terms. This appears to be a consequence of the fallacious assumption that ―religious‖ and ―civil‖ marriages are distinct. We do not believe that the current proposal would in fact prove tenable.