Anglican university backs down on gay weddings
Canterbury Christ Church University has decided not to ban gay weddings on its grounds.
The university is a teacher training college for the Church of England, and its Chancellor is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
It has a licence for marriages and civil partnerships to take place at its Tunbridge Wells and Canterbury premises.
Lecturers and students both strongly opposed any moves to prohibit gay marriages there, and there have been calls for top officials to resign.
The row began with the university’s decision last year to consider banning same-sex couples from using two if its venues for civil partnership ceremonies, despite continuing to allow heterosexual couples to use the venues for weddings.
Staff at the university were only made aware of the governing body’s secret ruling late last year, with some even suggesting that the original decision to ban partnership ceremonies was not taken with the entire governing body’s approval.
However, a meeting of the university’s governing body to consider the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which become law on 30th April, has decided to allow civil partnerships to take place.
The regulations make it illegal to discriminate against gay, lesbian or bisexual people on the grounds of sexual orientation when providing goods or services.