Church of England not consulted on gay marriage ban

The BBC reports that a spokesman for the Church of England was not properly consulted when a proposal to ban gay marriages in the Church of England and the Church of Wales came before parliament on Tuesday. The spokesman said that there should not be separate rules for conforming and non-conforming churches.

The Church of England has said it was not properly consulted on a plan to ban it from conducting gay marriages.

A CofE spokesman accused the government of making up the policy “on the hoof” which he said was “absurd”.

Government officials had not disclosed details of their plans when they met Church officials, the spokesman said.

The CofE spokesman said there was no wish for “protection or exemption for ourselves in ways that are any different from any other Church”, though it was accepted that its unique position as the established Church would require particular legislation.

“If, despite our opposition, the legislation goes through, we support the government intention of leaving the choice of conducting same-sex weddings with all churches and faiths.”

Earlier in the week, Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, told the BBC that he thought the ban was a “step too far”.

“I’m not saying that the Church in Wales is ready to conduct gay marriages, but it ought to be in a position to decide that for itself,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.

The government’s thinking was probably that it needed to protect the established Church with a law prohibiting gay marriages to avoid possible legal challenges, he said.

“But all that was done without any consultation at all – it came as a total shock to us.

Category : The Lead

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3 Comments
  1. Cynthia Katsarelis

    They so brought this on themselves. The blog Thinking Anglican has been posting blow by blows. When Cameron announced the proposal of marriage equality, including allowing for religious marriage, the CoE went nuts. They immediately issued a really poorly reasoned response (that could be used to undermine women bishops…) that only made clear their bigotry. So then the government comes out with the “quadruple lock” to ban CoE (and Wales) from performing these marriages (while other churches can opt-in) and they have a cow???!!!

    More likely, this “shock” is the result of the negative press they are getting.

    In all the articles and interviews the discourse is all about the political machinations. One never seems to read a theological stance, such as what it means if all people are created in the image of God.

  2. Bill Dilworth

    I agree, Cynthia. And the mixed messages and protestations of shock – SHOCK! – at being prevented from marrying same sex couples only further erodes the Church’s credibility.

  3. tgflux

    Is anyone else getting an whiff of Henry&Beckett here?

    CofE big-wigs: “Who will rid me of these meddlesomely marrying Gays?”

    Cameron&Co: “We will!”

    CofE big-wigs: “When did I ask you to rid me of marrying gays?!”

    Pathetic.

    JC Fisher

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