Education Secretary Justine Greening tells the Church to ‘keep up’ on same-sex marriage
Equalities Minister Justine Greening has urged the Church to “keep up” with modern society’s acceptance of same-sex marriage.
Last month, the Scottish Episcopal Church became the first mainstream branch of Christianity in the UK to allow same-sex weddings.
But the Church of England still does not have to perform same-sex weddings in the UK.
In an interview with Sky News this weekend, Greening said it was “quite important that we recognise that for many churches, including the Church of England, that was something they were not yet willing to have in their own churches.”
However, she added: “I think it is important that the Church in a way keeps up and is part of a modern country.
“I wouldn’t prescribe to them how they should deal with that.
“But I do think we are living in a country where people broadly recognise that attitudes are in different place now to where they were many, many years ago.”
Greening continued: “We have allowed same-sex marriage, that’s a massive step forward for the better.
“For me, I think people do want to see our major faiths keep up with modern attitudes in our country.”
The senior cabinet member last week told the PinkNews Parliamentary Summer Reception that there are “too many pockets in our country where LGBT rights are seen as something that are a mistake.
“They think things have gone too far, and should go back to where they were.
“We need to keep on pushing, and there are lots of steps I want to see us as a government take going forward.”
The Education Secretary also said: “Since 1967 we have taken many steps along that road that we can be proud of, whether it’s more recent steps like same-sex marriage or steps taken by governments before, like the repeal of Section 28.
“All of these were important milestones that set out the journey that our country was on, not just in Parliament but in public, and the fact that attitudes have changed.
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“Britain now is genuinely a much more inclusive country than we’ve ever been, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
Nick Gibb, the newly appointed Junior Minister for Equalities, wrote in the Mail on Sunday this week that he was determined to erase homophobia from schools.
“Bullying at school is cruel, particularly as LGBT pupils are coming to terms with their sexuality or gender.
“I am determined that we stamp out the use of the word gay as a pejorative term.
“Having felt the need to be silent for decades about my sexuality, I am determined to make a positive difference,” he added.