Portsmouth vicar refuses to baptise the son of a same-sex couple
A vicar in Portsmouth has refused to baptise the son of a lesbian couple after he insisted that both of them could not be listed as the child’s mother, saying “for all we know it they may have pinched the child.”
Aimi, 25, and Victoria Legget, said they hoped to have their son Alfie baptised at St Mary’s Church, Warsash, in two weeks time, reports The News, Portsmouth.
But Rev George Gebaurer, who was due to officiate at the ceremony, insisted that one of the parents be listed as the child’s godmother.
He said it was the church’s policy to list only one mother.
Aimi told the local Portsmouth news: “There was no way one of us was going to say yes and be the godparent.
“He sat there and told us no child could have parents of the same sex, no child could have two mothers.
“He did all this for about 10 or 15 minutes and was asking us why we want him brought into the church.
“I’m baptised Church of England, Victoria’s Catholic – we want him to be brought up the same as we were.”
The pair, who are in a civil partnership, said they now hope to have Alfie baptised at St Peter’s Church, Titchfield, but are upset they cannot perform the ceremony in St Mary’s, where both Aimi was baptised and her parents were married.
The pair had organised the baptism with the Rev Andy Norris but he has since left. Retired clergymen have been officiating at the church in the absence of a vicar.
Victoria added: “It’s so hard not to be put off by it.
“You get told yes you can do it and then it all changes and they completely disregard it.”
Mr Gebauer said he did not refuse the baptism and claims that sexuality did not come into it.
He said he would carry out the baptism if they agreed to record just one as a mother.
He said: “They insisted they both be registered as mum, they just won’t give way and that can’t happen.
“Their [sexuality] has no bearing. It was never discussed.
“The church baptism register makes no provision for it.
“We can only make sure the child is [theirs], for all we know it they may have pinched the child.
“We suggested time and again that the natural mum be registered as mum.”
He added: “Surely baptising the child is more important than being registered. They only think of themselves it seems.”
Barry Drewitt-Barlow told the Essex Chronicle: “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.
“As much as people are saying this is a good thing I am still not getting what I want.”
Bishop Egan said: “Mr Cameron said he is an enthusiastic supporter of marriage and he does not want gay people to be excluded from a great institution.
“Yet however well-intentioned, and despite huge opposition from Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, by attempting to change the natural meaning of marriage, he seems utterly determined to undermine one of the key foundations of our society.
“He is luring the people of England away from their common Christian values and forcing upon us a brave new world, artificially engineered.”
More: Anti-gay, Catholic, Church, Discrimination, England, Gay, Gay rights, Homophobia, lesbian, lesbian wedding, LGBT, LGBT rights, Portsmouth, Rev George Gebaurer, st mary's, St Peter’s Church, Titchfield, Warsash