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Priests ask for choice over gay ceremonies

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  1. Great to see a large number of CofE ministers taking a vocal and public stand to support LGBT people in their congregations and local areas who may wish to celebrrate their CP in a church …

    I think the comparison between the decision over whether to marry a divorcee and whether to celebrate the relationship of a gay couple could be seen as, in some ways, reasonable ….

    That said, it would be better if the service offered was marriage rather than a diluted form of recognition …

    It also is unfortunate that some could see a link (which I don’t believe is intentional) that comparing LGBT people to divorcees might suggest a level of blame in either form of celebration … that might be true in some divorces, but not in a same sex relationship (necessarily) …

    All in all, I welcome the letter and the public stance and I hope this adds to the pressure on the CofE to act appropriately and with humanity.

    1. Equal marriage rights will come in time, and along with that the right for civil marriages to be held in religious institutions. In light of this news, it would seem quite clear that these clergy members would also support holding such marriages as well. All we’ll have to do is wait.

      As for the bit about comparing same sex marriages to divorcees, they are not trying to imply such connotations; it just happens to be the most convenient way to describe what they are actually after. A clergy member can allow or deny marriage at their own discretion, depending on whether or not they think it’s the right thing to do. The same principle would obviously follow for same sex marriages too, because we have no right to force a priest to perform a ceremony that they personally believe is morally wrong.

      The true colours of the Church are starting to shine through though, and hopefully the General Synod will take this letter into consideration.

      1. @Mark

        I agree equal marriage will come in time, and most likely in time with religious involvement for those who wish that to be the case for them in their celebration …

        I disagree about sitting tight … I think maintaining vocal commentary on achieving equality is crucial to ensure we achieve equal marriage …

        I understand the comparison that was being made to marrying divorcees (and as I said in my commentary there are aspects of that comparison which have value in progressing the debate). I agree they are not suggesting the connotations I raise concern about, I merely raise the concern that those connections can be inferred and perhaps they need to consider this when this matter gains momentum.

        I also agree that clergy can refuse to marry any couple if they feel there is either a legal or moral reason for doing so. I agree this should be extended to same sex couples when they occur.

        I hope the General Synod does take this letter into thoughtful and wise consideration.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 2 Feb 2012, 1:53pm

    I doubt if Rowan Williams will concede anything in deference to the African branch of the Anglican community.

    I admire the 100 clergy or more voicing their support, maybe if more were on board, Williams might not have any choice. Personally, I would rather them support civil marriage equality (full equality).

    1. It’s certainly a step in the right direction though, and it’s showing that it’s only really the members of the Church that are higher up in the rankings that are really against it and, to be honest, most of them are from a generation gone by.

      Hopefully some of the people reading this article will start to have a more sympathetic view of the Church!

  3. Father Ted 2 Feb 2012, 1:59pm

    Good for them! It’s time they all stood up to the inappropriately named Anglican “Mainstream”, which disingenuously seeks to make itself look more popular than it is. Rather like the “Christian Institute” .

  4. Are they allowed to also make the same choices based on the colour of the persons skin? No, because it’s against the law. What’s different with this? It’s all discrimination.

    Give these priests some rope and the c**ts will bungee jump.

    1. These priests are asking for the ability to support LGBT people, Darren …

      Are you saying that is a bad thing?

  5. Christine 2 Feb 2012, 5:22pm

    1 Tim 4.

    1. And the relevance of this emotive Pauline drivel is…?

      1. I think she is trying to mention a Biblical passage that some believe is supportive of same sex marriage.

        I found this article in the Huffington Post which (whilst not believing in the Bible) is interesting in its approach:

        “Unfortunately, many Christians use the Bible to support their own prejudices and bigotry. They talk about “biblical family values” as if the Bible had a clear message on marriage and sexuality. Let’s be clear: There’s no such thing as “biblical family values” because the Bible does not speak to the topic clearly and consistently.

        It’s high time people came clean about how we use the Bible. When Christians try to resolve difficult ethical and theological matters, they typically appeal to the Gospels and Paul’s letters as keys to the question. But what about marriage? Not only did Jesus choose not to marry, he encouraged his disciples to abandon household and domestic concerns in order to follow him (Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 9:57-62). He even refers ….

        1. … to those “who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:10-13). Whatever that means, it’s certainly not an endorsement of marriage. Paul likewise encourages male believers: “Do not seek a wife” (1 Corinthians 7:27, my translation) — advice Paul took for himself. If neither Jesus nor Paul preferred marriage for their followers, why do some Christians maintain that the Bible enshrines 19th-century Victorian family values?

          Let’s not even go into some of the Bible’s most chilling teachings regarding marriage, such as a man’s obligation to keep a new wife who displeases him on the wedding night (Deuteronomy 22:13-21), his obligation to marry a woman he has raped (Deuteronomy 22:28-30) or the unquestioned right of heroes like Abraham to exploit their slaves sexually. I wonder: Have the “biblical family values advocates” actually read their Bibles?

  6. It has been a VERY long time since I felt proud or even comfortable being a CoE Christian, but I do now having read about this letter.
    (For the avoidance: of doubt no booze was consumed prior to this comment)

  7. Thats very welcome and in some cases depending on circumstances, can’t have been easy.

  8. GulliverUK 2 Feb 2012, 8:31pm

    It’s great news for sure, but clergy have been asking for other important things for many years and not got them. Just read yesterday about 160 clergy in the Catholic church who in the 1960s requested the Pope to allow them the freedom to marry. He said no, and they’ve been asking every so often for decades, each time told no.

    I don’t know if the way the Catholic Pope responds is similar to the way Rowan Williams will respond – I hope he’s a little bit more thoughtful. I suspect as he’s going shortly he’ll just fudge it – agree to set up some committee to look in to it, some time in the future. Wait and see if I’m not right :-P

    Really exciting news that they’re speaking up tho.

  9. carrie baker 2 Feb 2012, 11:38pm

    WELL, DONT YOU THINK IT IS ABOUT TIME SOME OF THE COFE MINISTERS STARTED TAKING A VOCAL AND PUBLIC STAND TO SUPPORT LGBT PEOPLE , THESE MINISTERS ARE APPRECIATED FOR DOING SO B;UT THEY SHOULD HAVE CAME OUT FROM THE START, YOU ARE TO NEVER EVER LET OTHER BAD MINISTERS OR HATE RELIGIONS PUT A CALOUSED REPUTATION ON YOUR ON CHARACTER AS MINISTERS OF LOVE AND FAIRNESS AND GOODWILL, THOSE ARE THE ONLY KINDS OF REAL MINISTERS THERE ARE, THE REST ARE OCCULTEST AND FALSE PROPHETS, MEN IN LONG ROBES PERPUTRATING, EVILS OF AND FROM THEIR OWN PERSONAL MALICE, AN WICKED DARK HEARTS, YOU GET A LAWYER AND GET THE OTHER PRIESTS AND SUE THE DIOCESES, FOR TRYING TO VIOLATE YOUR HUMAN AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AS WELL, YOU CLERGY WHO ARE STANDING FOR EQUAL RIGHT SHOULD NOT BE STAYING IN A DIOCESE NOR A HATE RELIGIONS THAT DOES NOT SPEAK AND REPRESNT LOVE AND KINDNESS ANYWAY, YOU NEED TO OPEN YOUR OWN DIOCESE OF GOODWILL AND MORE CLERGY WILL JOIN YOU FROM OTHER DIOCESE OF HATE AND PEOPLE WILL COME AS WELL

  10. carrie baker 2 Feb 2012, 11:45pm

    pEOPLE WILL LEAVE THE HATE FILLED DIOCESE LIKE SOME ARE DOING NOW , THEY ARE TIRED OF THE ABUSE AND MESS, IN THEM, ALMOST ALL OF THE DIOCESE ARE BIENG S;UIED AND ARRESTS MADE FOR THEM COMMITING SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN, ANOTHER IN TODAYS, NEWS, BEING SUIED, MICHIGAN OR ARIZONA , THESE WICKED ORGANIZATIONS WILL EITHER TURN YOU BAD AS WELL AN YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT TELLING ON THOSE OTHER BAD CLERGY AND SAVING LIVES OF THOSE CHILDREN FROM BEING RAPPED, AND PEOPLE EMOTIONALLY AB;USED, BY HATEMONGERS, STOP BEING COWARDS AN BE REAL MEN AND WOMEN CLERGY AN START REAL MINISTRIES OF LOVE AND CHARITY, AND HUMANITARIANISM, IF YOU ARE NOT LOVE AND WALKING IN LOVE AND KINDNESS, YOU WILL NEVER BE FAIR NOR TREAT ANYONE RIGHT, THAT DOESN MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN, IT MAKES YOU A DEMON AND EVIL AB;USIVE BAD SPIRIT, OF SATAN, GET OUT , AND GET BUSY, DOING RIGHT BY OTHERS, MAKE HISTORY LIKE GOVERNOR MCgREGORY , IN WASHINGTON, SHES TAKING UP THE HUMAN RIGHTS MARCH AND CALL, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE AS MEN

  11. carrie baker 2 Feb 2012, 11:51pm

    YOU REJOICE WHEN OTHERS FIND HAPPINESS AND REAL LIVES OF LOVE WITH SOMEONE THEIR OWN AGE THAT THEY LOVE EACH OTHER, YOU DONT GO OFF JEALOUS, AND INTIMIADATED AND VISCIOUS AND ENVIOUS, OF OTHERS, YOU BE HAPPY FOR THEM, HATE MONGERS ARE EVIL AND DANGEROUS, AND THEY HARM ALL OTHERS TRYING TO LIVE HAPPY PEACEFUL LIVES WITH PEOPLE THEY LOVE AND THEIR FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT A THREAT TO THEM, NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO VIOLATE OR HARRAS OTHERS, THEY SHOULD BE IN THEIR OWN FAMILIES AN BUS;NES TRYING TO BE DECENT HUMAN BEINGS IN THEIR OWN FAMILIES, IN HETERSEXUALS CASES THE BIGGOTS HAS THE WORST TRACK RECORD OF FAMILIY ANYTHING THE MONSTERS HAVE KILLED AND STILL KILLING THEIR WIVES AND KIDS , RAPING THEIR WIVES AND KIDS, KID PORN, TO STALKING OTHERS. TO EVERY OTHER EVIL WIFE BATTERS , A BIGOT, IS JUST ANOTHER PART OF THEIR EVIL CHARACTER STRAITS, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO EVEN TALK TO OR ABOUT GAY FAMILIES THEY ARE THE BEST FAMILIES IN THE NAITONS, THE SAFEST, THE CONGENUALIST, PEACEFUL PEOPLE , NOT THEM

  12. I spotted an interesting debate on a local town forum where somebody is debating with local “christians” on why their local church doesn’t allow her to do a CP in the local church.

    http://www.glastonburypeople.co.uk/Let-celebrate-committed-Lesbian-amp-Gay/story-15002507-detail/story.html

    I just thought this was a great way of putting pressure on local churches by local people..

    It’s where the change has to come from!!

  13. Galadriel1010 4 Feb 2012, 7:37pm

    Read through the list and was delighted to see a former curate from my home church on the list of signatories. It’s a small world, though, as she’s now in the church nearest to my brother’s godfather.

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