Royal Successor Can’t Marry a Catholic But Can Marry a Man

The Act of Settlement 1700 section II prohibits the new royal baby boy (qua successor to the throne) from ever being a Catholic. Hasty efforts by way of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 are still not law.[fn] The Succession to the Crown Act must be accepted in each of the 15 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state. While three countries, Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, have approved the law, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Papua New Guinea, Barbados, Tuvalu, Grenada, Solomon Islands, St Lucia, and the Bahamas still have not.[/fn] At the same time, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013 has received the Royal Assent. The requirement of any constitutional consensus across the Commonwealth has been by-passed.

Accordingly, marriage equality law read in conjunction with its associated rationale implies that the royal successor still cannot marry a Catholic but can marry a man. Any effort to block this outcome whether by nimble statutory interpretation or cunning new legislation would itself be at odds with the logic of marriage equality law. The reasoning that governs the concept of marriage equality is predicated on the illegitimacy of efforts to entrench marriage as a bond between a man and a woman ordered to the procreation of children. This reasoning drove the current legislation and is likely to drive all future efforts to stamp out marriage ‘inequality’ whether royal, religious, conscientious or otherwise.

Here is Section II of the Act of Succession identifying ‘Papists’ as incapacitated from succeeding to the throne:

The Persons inheritable by this Act, holding Communion with the Church of Rome, incapacitated as by the former Act; to take the Oath at their Coronation, according to Stat. 1 W. & M. c. 6. 

Provided always and it is hereby enacted That all and every Person and Persons who shall or may take or inherit the said Crown by vertue of the Limitation of this present Act and is are or shall be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish Religion or shall marry a Papist shall be subject to such Incapacities as in such Case or Cases are by the said recited Act provided enacted and established And that every King and Queen of this Realm who shall come to and succeed in the Imperiall Crown of this Kingdom by vertue of this Act shall have the Coronation Oath administred to him her or them at their respective Coronations according to the Act of Parliament made in the First Year of the Reign of His Majesty and the said late Queen Mary intituled An Act for establishing the Coronation Oath and shall make subscribe and repeat the Declaration in the Act first above recited mentioned or referred to in the Manner and Form thereby prescribed.

Most ‘marriage equality’ proponents would favour President Blair in his here-today-gone-tomorrow capacity over a monarch in any case. After all, to those schooled in the recently constructed language of marriage equality, the monarchy reeks offensively of the significance of the biological and permanent, as distinct from the socially constructed and transient, family. We all now know, thanks to equality regulations and useful Away Days run by earnest Equality officers, that biology, sex, race, tribe and medical inheritance are socially constructed realities. We know this except, of course, when the fertility industry can construct our own biological child for us – when it becomes a biological imperative – or when equalities goals force us to recognise them (on equalities forms, for example). To challenge the rainbow, ephemeral family on the grounds that it is rationally counter-indicated would be ‘fascist’ – surely? We are all gender-neutral automata, alienated and individual now. 

Perhaps in the English mind, it always was better that any English king marry a human individual of the same sex using gestational mothers, egg donors, fertility industry technicians, embryo freezers, fraudulent birth certificates and finely honed contracts whose terms specify in advance the desired outcome in case of divorce, test-tube mix-up, change-of-mind (by bio/ gestational mothers), than it was to marry any Papist.  And that surely is the logic of English equality, old and new – both for future generations of children knowingly, deliberately and avoidably separated from their blood kin and for the ‘worshippers’ of the Pope (per BBC). These legally designated ‘human sub-strata’ have a habit of rejecting consensus, however overwhelming, when it is manifestly at odds with reason, public interest and the needs of future generations.