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UK: Married vicar, who preached against same-sex marriage, resigns after having affair

Nick Duffy June 8, 2014

A married vicar who claimed that same-sex weddings would violate the sanctity of marriage has resigned, after it emerged he had an affair with a parishioner.

Reverend Martin Howard, who is married with children, resigned from the church after confessing to an affair with a married member of his congregation.

Last year he had preached about the ‘sanctity of marriage’, with posters outside his church declaring: “Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman”.

He had said at the time: “The Government has no mandate to change the definition of marriage, and civil partnerships already give equal rights to same-sex couples.

“Changing the law would leave clergy like me open to charges of discrimination if I refused on principle to take a same sex wedding. Is that really the tolerant society we want to create?

“Society is much stronger when marriage is promoted, honoured and protected.

“In displaying our poster, we hope marriage as we have received it will be maintained.”

According to the Daily Mail last month, he has since been banned from the Diocese of Salisbury for five years for adultery.

A statement issued by the Diocese says: “The Reverend Martin Howard has resigned his post as Team Rector of the Hampreston Benefice with immediate effect.

“A complaint of adultery had been made under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure.

“A penalty has been imposed with Martin Howard’s consent that he be prohibited from ministry for five years.

“The Diocese is providing pastoral support to Martin, his wife Liz and their children at a difficult time.”

More: affair, Bournemouth, Church, Civil partnerships, England, equal marriage, Ferndown, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, married, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, St Mary's church, vicar, wedding

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