Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Church of England to offer gay marriage prayers but gay clergy banned from marrying

  • Thomas

    “We believe that Christian understandings of sexuality have a vital contribution to make in our society’s conversation about human flourishing.” Really? What in the same way as Herr Goebels saying in 1930s Germany: “We believe that National Socialist Party views on the Jewish race have a vital contribution to make in society’s conversation about human flourishing”. There is no difference banning gay clergy from marrying their loved one, and marrying gay couples in church, and banning interracial marriage. The CofE is so out of step with modern society it just looks more and more irrelevant and just plain nasty.

  • Mumbo Jumbo

    So, according to what the Archbishop of Canterbury himself said only the other day, the CoE are now akin to racists.

    • Rumbelow

      They know it and they are running with it, I just visited Anglican Mainstream’s website, still linking to ex-gay groups and featuring links to deeply hateful propaganda from US Family Research Council, not to mention the vile anti-gay African bishops in Uganda and Nigeria. When will Welby distance himself from the fanatical extremists and cut them loose?
      Till Welby shows some true moral fibre and loses the extremist hate mongers allied with the Anglican church it’s all just empty words and shop dressing.
      The Anglican church needs to be disestablished.

    • Peter Narrett

      How sad that you feel that way. God loves us all, no matter what. However, the church believes marriage is a union between one man and a woman. It is the bedrock of family life,. No one is being discriminated against and should you choose a civil marriage to another man, then the church can offer prayers for that union; whilst not a blessing, Gods love is prayed for.

      • Mumbo Jumbo

        I say again, I’m simply quoting Welby. I suggest you take it up with him.

      • liquafruta

        I am a lay person very actively involved in the Church of England in the Diocese of London.Of course they are being discriminated against. There are sincere practising Christians in same sex relationships who want to get married in church. How do you think they feel about being made to feel less valuable than other members of the Church. How can you be so sanctimonious?

    • Peter Narrett

      Absolutely, well put and informed response. Of course the church cares and loves everyone, but this being a victim from people who wanted the church to change its fundamental belief is selfish. There are many other segments of society to consider, not least young children who are heterosexual. Having to spell this out isn’t what an adult should have to do. Surely, gay people can accept how challenging and divisive such an issue is to the church; it cannot be expected to change scriptures and it’s core belief to fit in with what some gay people would like. That is unfair and selfish. We should give and ask for Gods love and understanding. If we don’t believe, why would we want the church to recognise a union, if it has already been sanctioned by the state?

    • Peter Narrett

      Are you heterophobic?

      • Mumbo Jumbo

        No. Simply quoting Welby.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Fine, so continue to haemorrhage membership and lose the next up and coming younger generation who are so turned off already. Long may it rot into extinction.

    • liquafruta

      It is very sad for gay members like me of the Church of England (which I dearly love) that you wish it to rot. We have very many gay priests and a large number of gay worshippers and in most congregations we are accepted celebrated and loved – and love in return. You only hear about the dreadful people in Anglican Mainstream and the appalling so called Christian Institute – but they are in no way representative of us – just a parody of themselves on the lunatic fringe. Sadly, though, they get all the headlines. In our church building we run a homeless shelter and feed several hundred hungry people each week with dignity and without patronising them. We do not proselytize we just love them. Do you want that to rot away because of some loonies?

      • Harry

        There are plenty of more gay friendly churches (if you must worship your imaginary friend somewhere). Your continued membership of the C of E is simply adhering to the enemies of the gay community (or, to give it another name, treason).

        if you want to feed the hungry – as indeed we all should – there are plenty of secular charities who do it for love not because they believe in the antiquated doctrines of a first century Palestinian.

        • liquafruta

          You are very hard on me. I am genuinely sorry that you feel this way and that some people in our church have caused you enough anger to see me – another gay man – as your enemy. At every opportunity I try to fight for gay equality on all fronts – not only in church matters. As to choosing alternative secular charitable activities – on Saturday afternoon I helped serve a hot meal to a large number of homeless people in Central London. It is something practical that I can do and it happens to be under the aegis of the church. That is the most convenient vehicle that I can use to do something for those less fortunate than myself. I doubt whether the clients for the meals care if we are gay or straight, believer or atheist. They are just hungry. We sent the proceeds of our Christmas Carol Service to help care for HIV orphans in Rwanda. I could go on – but this work is done freely and does not expect acknowledgement but does not deserve scorn imo. This is the side of the church which gets no publicity.

          • Harry

            I’m not full of anger, more of intellectual exasperation. You have plenty of places to go if you really must have faith (presumably something forced into you by your parents). You choose a homophobic one. And I did not say you were the enemy – I said by adhering to a homophobic organisation you were a traitor to the LGBT cause, which you are, however much you speak up for it within the church of England because you are helping the homophobic majority by your membership.

            Repeat: what if you must waste your time in belief related activities don’t you join a gay-friendly church. There are plenty of them.

          • liquafruta

            To quote a well known anthem ” I am what I am and what I am needs no excuses.”

          • Harry

            That is fine for, inter alia, gay-ness and skin colour but not to the lifestyle choice that is religious belief. You have chosen to belong to an inherently homophobic institution and must take the flak that that choice directs towards you.

          • liquafruta

            Then I am guilty on all counts and must feel castigated that I don’t measure up to your own perfection.

          • Harry

            I genuinely hope that the stick you get from your fellow gays, who despise the institution you are fool enough to belong to, truly hurts.

          • liquafruta

            You are a very sad individual.

          • Harry

            Usual patronising drivel from a god-botherer.

  • Truth

    ” … but went on to say that its concept of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman remains unchanged.”
    Excellent. Another nail in the coffin of this divisive, bigoted, irrelevant, homophobic outfit.

    • Mihangel apYrs

      ” … but went on to say that its concept of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman remains unchanged.”

      Except they were h6ppy to bless the “union” of BigEars and Camilla

      • Peter Narrett

        Yes, the church blessed their marriage following absolution for repenting of the upset they had caused, the Church will be able ti bless any marriage. A marriage is, in the Christian faith between a nan and a woman. Camilla’s husband was still alive.

        • Jean – Paul

          what a croc. do you actually hear yourself?

        • Rehan

          A marriage is, in the Christian faith between a nan and a woman.

          And why not? No reason why grandmothers shouldn’t marry, after all …

  • Ra

    No healthy of mind person would participate in the mass delusion of religion. Any person believing in evil apples, a virgin giving birth, a man walking on water, a burning bush instructing on the laws all humans must live by, turning wine and bread into the blood and body to eat, sacred cows, 40 female virgins as a gift when entering heaven … needs therapy to undo their brainwashing, not support to continue their delusions.

    • Truth

      But those who ‘believe’ find it very difficult, if not impossible, to undo that conditioning. That’s why I believe religious education should be outlawed until the age of consent is reached. We eventually tell children Santa Claus and the tooth fairy don’t exist but we leave religious belief there, in the mind, to fester. And look at the damage that does – particularly in the Islamic faith. Just think how much more advanced and loving the world would be had it not been for the divisiveness and hatreds of religion …..

      • Lord Haw Haw

        Some us haven’t been conditioned, you know !

    • Peter Narrett

      Feeling like this, why is a church marriage so important to you? It isn’t , is it. You are guilt of offending people who hold a Religious Fairh and that is as bad as the way you ‘feel’ that you are being treated.

      • Jean – Paul

        blow it our your ear.

      • Harry

        There is no right not to be offended.

  • David Greensmith

    There is no change here. CoE churches have already been offering “blessings” to couples who re marry and in civil partnerships. The message is consistent – our god loves gay people, just not as much as straight people. If that works for gay Christians in the CoE, then I suppose that’s down to them. I don’t understand why people go back to abusive partners either.

    • dtnorth

      And which “god” will that be then?

      If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today. It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books. You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in.

      Quite childish really.

  • PaulHalsall

    There is a pattern of gradual toleration, acceptance, and eventually celebration. This is a good news story.

    • Truth

      But I don’t want to be ‘tolerated’ by anybody. I want equal acceptance and I don’t need some self-serving, irrelevant organisation telling me how it wants me how to live my life. Let them believe what the hell they want but I do wish they would stop trying to impose their will on everyone else. Those days of deference for organised religion are over.

    • Harry

      What utter rubbish. It’s actually quite sad that someone who cringes to the Church of Rome in the vain hope that one day he may achieve some slight form of tolerance there has the impertinence to comment on the affairs of the Church of England.

      • PaulHalsall

        The real impertinence is somebody who hides behind a screen name who criticises anybody who has the guts to say what he or she thinks using their own name.

        • Jean – Paul

          I do not insist that people of faith approve of homosexuality, but I do expect them to not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.

        • Jean – Paul

          Using a screen name is not impertinence, and neither is critical thinking.

  • Rehan

    I almost – almost – begin to feel sorry for the CoE, tying itself into knots trying to reconcile the irreconcilable in its usual wishy-washy way.

  • D

    Thanks for your highly relevant opinion, church that was founded so a guy could get divorced.

    • liquafruta

      Such an ignorant comment. The Church under Henry VIII was doctrinally 100% Catholic. The Protestant doctrines only came forward during the short reign of his son Edward VI inspired by his guardians and were completely reversed by Mary I. The Church of England as we know it emerged from the compromise -or Middle Way – of Queen Elizabeth I and would see its roots in Celtic Christianity in these islands.
      Apart from that, Archbishop Welby is proving to be taking things as far as he dares in our favour, without bringing the house down because of the likes of Anglican Mainstream and some African Bishops.
      From my considerable involvement, as a gay member of the Church of England, a majority of those in the pews are in favour of Gay Marriage in church, and I feel sure that it will come in the long term – just as women Bishops are about to happen after all the furore
      I realise that the doings of the Church are fairly irrelevant to the majority of the population, but to those of us who are gay members of it, these things are important steps forward.

      • GulliverUK

        It’s a problem, because you are gay and Church of England, and seem to be saying you can live with – will live with this – situation. The rest of us, I think, can simply not accept a “State” religion be allowed to treat gay couples and people with this level of disdain. It is the very fact they are the ‘State’ religion which is the problem here, we just can’t have an arm of the government being allowed to discriminate in this way. I don’t care how egregious the Catholic church ethics on us are – if I were LGBT Catholic I would leave and join another religion – after all, there are hundreds of other churches – they all pray to the same supernatural God, don’t they? Why does it matter which brand you wear as long as your religious insignia? It doesn’t, it couldn’t possibly matter.

        But we’re talking about the ‘State’ religion, a part of the government in effect. No government agency, service provider or arm of the government can be allowed to discriminate, so really the CofE must stop being the ‘State’ religion and we have to accept that the government must be, entirely, 100%, secular – not a hint of religion anywhere.

        • Jean – Paul

          Hear, hear.

        • liquafruta

          I would remind you that it was the 100% secular state which arrested and imprisoned gay people when I was younger and made all our lives intolerable. We had no option but to stick it out and things eventually changed, thank goodness. No one could walk away from the state to find somewhere else to go – so we had to fight for equality and reform. It is a similar situation for those of us in the Church of England. There is a very strong Inclusive Church movement now, and the only way to change things for the better is from within – just as it was achieved in the secular state. If the Church is irrelevant to you then of course I understand, but I am not prepared to remain silent and let homophobia in the Church go unchallenged. That is where I am coming from.

          • Rehan

            it was the 100% secular state which arrested and imprisoned gay people when I was younger

            Which state was that? Not the UK obviously, with its 26 bishops in the House of Lords and the head of state being also the supreme governor of the state church.

          • liquafruta

            Of course it was the UK as all of we gay people who lived here at the time knew to our cost until the anti-gay laws were repealed.

          • Rehan

            The UK was not (and is not yet) a 100% secular state; as long as some bishops can sit in the upper house by virtue of their job and nothing else, it can’t be. I’m sure you will also recall the sometimes-successful attempts of the state religion to impede legalisation of homosexuality and subsequent equality.

          • liquafruta

            North Korea is a 100% secular state. Plus ca change etc etc

          • Rehan

            North Korea is a 100% secular state

            So is South Korea. So is Sweden. So is Spain. (I could go on…) The UK is not.

          • liquafruta

            My point was that the presence of the Bishops in the House of Lords was neither here nor there in the anti-gay legislation that we lived under until the 1970s ( the prejudice against us at that time was almost universal in all walks of life) just as it was of little influence in the House of Lords on the vote for the Equal Marriage Bill which was carried overwhelmingly by the secular members. The fact that a legislature is Bishop free ,like in North Korea, will not guarantee sanity. For the record I think that the presence of the Bishops in the House of Lords in an anachronism and eventually they will be replaced – probably by UKippers who will make even more of a bigoted bluster.

      • Harry

        If Welby had true courage he would place what is right – LGBT acceptance – above keeping that remnant of the British empire the Anglican communion together. He would remember that above all else he is the Primate of all ENGLAND and do what is right in England, just as the episcopal church in the USA did. He won’t do that, because he wants to be primus inter pares of the worldwide communion rather than do what is right by LGBT people in his own country.

        • liquafruta

          I think that whether he wants to be or not, he is de facto the primus inter pares of the Communion and with that comes the mess of pottage. I am a great admirer of the Episcopal Church of the USA and especially of its presiding Bishop Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori who has done so much for the establishment of gay equality in TEC. As you are well informed on these matters, you will know at what cost this has been achieved – schism, protracted litigation, personal abuse etc
          I would not like to be in Abp Welby’s shoes in terms of these matters. He is from the evangelical wing of the church but his recent statements have shown a glimmer of the changes which will have to be introduced gently because of the prejudices which exist – and not only in the church – but in secular societies – some worse than others (Russia being a prime example).

          • Harry

            So he prefers false unity to the truth. What a shining example of Christian honesty.

            Mind you speaks in tongues so he is a bit of an idiot anyway.

  • Dale

    I am fed up being discriminated against in my church. I go there to praise our the creator and learn from the bible, which incidentally says nothing about gay marriage or partnerships but does say how to treat people with respect.
    The Lord put us on the earth for the purpose of enjoyment, which includes sex in any orifice we wish and any partner/s we wish. My motto is have a good time all the time. I
    I hurt nobody and have a place set for me in heaven if I stay that way. Think I will find a more tolerant church.

    • Truth

      If I were you, I’d find a more fulfilling way to spend my spare time.

    • Harry

      Then don’t be such a fool as to believe in creators, heaven and “the Lord”.

      • Dale

        I don’t care for bigotted haters such as yourself. Have I criticized your beliefs?

        • Harry

          Are all beliefs immune from criticism or just yours? As said below, find a more sensible way of spending your Sunday mornings other than consorting with the enemy

          • Dale

            To call people fools for believing in a creator, is indeed bigotted. Would you not feel slighted if I called you a fool for believing things popped into existence uncaused? I politely suggest you show some manners rather than insult.

          • Harry

            I am immensely relaxed about what you call me,

          • Rumbelow

            Never calling you a fool Dale but but here you show faulty logic, by claiming there is a creator aren’t you saying that the creator also somehow popped into existence?
            Seems to me a creator isn’t an answer to anything but it is rather a further complication because one then has to ask, who created the creator?

          • Jean – Paul

            You are not a fool for believing in a creator ; you are a fool for believing unquestionably in a creator without a shred of evidence that a creator exists. Any scientific theory is falsifiable, and if you have evidence that counters scientific research, let’s hear it. Some ideas are better than others, buddy, and are to be challenged, not tolerated.

    • Rumbelow

      I hope at least that you will successfully find an accepting and welcoming church Dale … rather than just a more tolerant one.

  • Douglas Clark

    “Separate but equal” has worked well elsewhere, why not in this application?

    • Mike

      Sarcasm right?

  • Hedonists plagues

    Good on Uganda.
    Immoral godless deviants have no place in civilized society

    • JohnMyroro

      So what are you doing here then?

    • Truth

      Hahaha. And somebody supposedly straight has no place on a gay news website … unless of course you’re one of those self hating closet cases…?

      • hedonists plagues

        I am not straight. I am a deviant like you. Difference is I know that my deviance is immoral.

        • Rumbelow

          So self-hating, why are you doing this to yourself you poor misguided dupe?

        • Rehan

          Poor fellow. What a waste of a life.

        • Jean – Paul

          you need to learn about the science of sexuality, the sooner, the better, honey.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    It’s going to be interesting to see how Welby reacts when some Anglican clergy defy the ban and participate in marrying gay couples outside of the church confines. Will the state recognise such marriages in view of the opt-in and quadruple loc? One told me it can only admonish them but I’m hoping it will provoke confrontation with the hierarchy.

  • Mike

    They almost manage to sound magnanimous. Not that anyone in their right mind would take them up on having their, according to them, conterfeit marriage “prayed for”

    All they need to do is decide to stop calling people’s love a “sin.” Only then can they ever have any moral authority or a voice anyone except bigots will listen to. Gestures like this are meaningless.

  • JackAlison

    In these pathetic attempts to shore up a perceived divison they have tip toed around the 1 true commandment…”love one another as I have loved you.” Thats the REAL and ONLY “church instruction” which theyve failed to address. And really, who would be racing from the registry office, sneaking in the religious back door to have the high point of their day blessed by folks who refuse to marry or condone ur union in the first place. The arrogance and pomposity defies belief and shows how out of touch they really are. Because if they did marry gays the seminal point is THEY WOULD HAVE TO CHANGE.

  • Rumbelow

    An unbiased and honest interpretation of scripture does not support the Anglican church’s intrinsic homophobia.
    Homosexuality per se is not described anywhere in scripture, what is described and condemned in scripture is ritual same sex acts as part of pagan worship performed by otherwise married heterosexual persons as well as commercial and abusive same sex acts involving procuring, prostitution and pederasty.
    Nowhere in scripture is consenting and loving committed gay relationships described nor condemned.

  • Jones

    You can look at the cake but you can’t eat it.

  • Colin

    Is this damage limitation as it’s clear society in the UK is moving on from religion. Nothing has really changed. Prayers not equality in mind nor spirit.

    • PaulHalsall

      It is extremely self-centric to think that conditions in out time and country are typical. Throughout human history, virtually all cultures have had some sort of religion. People like Dawkins accept this, and now seem to think it is part of our evolutionary psychology.

      The idea of continual “progress” was a myth of the Enlightenment, and really is hardly provable.

      We each live in our slip of time and have to make the most of it. As it happens recent surveys have shown that although religioous practice is down slightly, belief in God remains the norm in the UK.

      As recent national complete surveys have shown, although Christian religious practice is down, except in areas like London, the vast majority of people continue to believe in God in some way.

      • Colin

        Education, science, and society have all moved on. Who completed the surveys. In my extended family of some 30 odd people the only believers are my Parents. Their siblings believed. That was the end of it. My family are typical. Why are churches being sold off. Even those who want to believe have moved on from the dribble churches speak.

        All we really need is good well organised community centers to take the place of church halls.

        Enjoy your belief but get it out of decent society.

  • GulliverUK

    It won’t be legal for the Church of England to refuse priests, bishops and deacons to marry – they already allow them to have a Civil Partnership, and that, in law, must be treated in the same way as a marriage. It’s only a matter of time before legal challenges to the ‘State’ religion are taken up. IF they want to be like the Catholic church, or some other non-‘State’ church, and have those rules fine, but as long as they are the ‘State’ religion they will have to abide by government rules and laws on equality.

    From my perspective I wish they had not been so … frankly … stupid about this, but given that they have there is no other option but to push for disestablishment. Religion is largely irrelevant in the lives of most people in this country, and even those who claim to be Christian generally know almost nothing about Christianity, and only a tiny fraction of those actually go to church at least once a month. Let’s get religion out of public life and public law, then … they … and their followers.. can do what they want. Also, unrelated to this, tax breaks and charity status need to be reviewed – I do not want my tax money going to religions.

    • PaulHalsall

      This is simply not true. The CoE was not forced to remarry divorced people, even though divorce has been legal a long time. Furthermore it is not a “state” church, but an “established” church, and there is a difference.

      • GulliverUK

        The writing has been on the wall for a long time. They were told, in no uncertain terms (even by Frank Field), to stop discriminating against LGBT in admin jobs within the church, then they knew they had to offer clergy positions to those in a Civil Partnerships, and complied, pretending it was their idea. They started with priests, then bishops. They didn’t allow women priests, but were forced to re-think, now they’ll allow women bishops, because whatever they want, they have to comply, they don’t have a choice, and the government has made that clear.

        As far as the state is concerned couples who have previously been married and want to get married again, can, through a registry office, thus, they are not being prevented from getting married. Re-marriage in a church is a ceremonial religious practice, it has no validity in law, and the government isn’t in the practice of regulating religious ceremonies. Employment practice is somewhat different.

        “State” and “Established” are the same thing
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion
        “A state religion (also called an established religion, state church, established church, or official religion) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state.”
        How do you think those terms are different?

        • PaulHalsall

          Once upon a time, the only way to get married in England was to have it registered by the CoE, but that changed with the establishment of civil registries. Since then the state has made no attempt to force Anglicanism on people, has disestablished the Church in Wales, and has always has a given position for the Church of Scotland.

          The current lesgislation specifically precludes the CoE celebrating same sex marriages.

          I agree it is all a bit fuzzy, and I would love the CoE to petition for a change in the law.

          But, the CoE is not a dept of government (as for example the Russian Orthodox Church was under the Tsars), and religious freedom to its signed up members must be allowed.

          It might be a good thing for the CoE to be disestablished, although I hope that does not happen. In the US the completely free market in religions has encouraged extremism and fundamentalism. Here the official position of the CoE has precluded other groups, as in the US, claiming the still powerful role of “Christian”.

          Clergy, btw, are a very odd category of “employee” and the state should have no role in forcing equality legislation there. As it is, the CoE is in fact choc-a-bloc with openly gay clergy.

  • Riondo

    Classic. A state church owing fealty to the Crown created in an age when religious dissent and witchcraft were legally punishable is forced inevitably into these incoherent absurdities in a more democratic and pluralistic era. The fact is that a de facto department of the state now has to be seen ‘supporting’ the whole community. The attempt to square this with the narrow authoritarian dogmatism inseparable from being a church or a large part of it is one of the reasons why Establishment is a complete nonsense in a modern state.
    In a few years prayers from the local homofriendly Vicar in a pretty flower-decked hotel for a gay couple will be called ‘our wedding’ in lazy popular shorthand. In a few years more the popular perception will be that that is just what it is. Bishops will pretend it’s not going on; maybe a few will condemn it. Some time after that the absurd legal ban on gay weddings in CoE churches will be lifted or Disestablishment will render the ban effective dead letter.
    Any bets on which will happen first?

  • Jesus_Mohammed

    Talk about glaring incongruity! On the one hand, gay people are “loved by God” and worthy, bla, bla, bla, while on the other hand, they’re not to be permitted equal respect and dignity within the church.

    Bring down all religions, NOW! They’re all the most pathetic and laughable joke!

    • Jean – Paul

      my point, exactly.

  • MyGov

    VOTE on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and compare your vote to Parliament’s and each Political Party –> http://www.my-gov.com/2014/02/02/vote-marriage-sex-couples-act-2013/

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all