Thinking Anglicans

Petition: allow CofE clergy to bless civil partnerships in church

This petition has been organised by Changing Attitude:

House of Bishops and General Synod: Allow priests in the CofE to choose to bless civil partnerships in church

We support the growing number of Church of England clergy who wish to bless civil partnerships in their churches.

Many lesbian and gay Christians wish to have their civil partnerships registered in their parish church by their parish priest in the presence of their community. They wish to affirm their love and commitment in the presence of God in their spiritual home.

Since December it has been legally possible to bless civil partnerships on religious premises. It is time for the Church of England to openly affirm the love, ministry and fidelity of all LGBT people, supporting them in their journey in faith.

We ask the General Synod of the Church of England to allow churches wishing to register civil partnerships the freedom to do so under the new legislation.

We ask the House of Bishops to give clergy the freedom to register civil partnerships in church followed by a service of prayer and dedication.

For more background on this, see Changing Attitude launches petition to allow priests to bless civil partnerships in church and also this earlier article: London clergy challenge Civil Partnership ban.

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Erika BakerMartin ReynoldsLaurence C.Father Ron SmithScot Peterson Recent comment authors
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Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

This has had a positive impact, that will concern some! I think there are some creative ways to take this forward. 1. Those clergy who are keen to see Civil Partnerships signed up following a religious service might consider asking their local authority to designate them as civil partner registrars. While guidance (from the Registrar General) on this is at an early stage there is some and it follows in a separate post. 2. There are lots of private chapels in institutions, hospitals, large houses etc etc. Perhaps an organisation like Inclusive Church could begin to coordinate a drive encouraging… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Designation of Civil Partnership Registrars 5.17 A civil partnership registrar is a person who is designated by a registration authority as a civil partnership registrar for its area. Under the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages Regulations 1968 a minister of religion or authorised person is precluded from also acting as a registrar of marriages. There is no such restriction under civil partnership legislation although the designation of such persons will be for the purely secular role of civil partnership registrar. 5.18 The designation of civil partnership registrars is entirely a matter for individual authorities. Any minister of religion or… Read more »

Robert Ellis
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Robert Ellis

Please remember to sign the Changing Attitude petition about Civil Partnerships in church. It is on the Changing Attitude website. This is something we can change if there is a big enough body of opinion in favour.

Father Ron Smith
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This petition – on top of the letter from the clergy of the London Diocese – ought to help the members gathered for General Synod to understand the need for something to be done about faithful, monogamous, same sex Blessings in the Church. Either this, or realise that same-sex couples may access the real possibility of opting for Marriage, under the new proposed government legislation.

Simon Sarmiento
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Robert, this IS the Changing Attitude petition…

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Am I the only one who doesn’t understand the timing of this?
It looks like the Government will abolish Civil Partnerships in the near future and call all marriages marriage.
Why are we suddenly fighting to bless something that’s about to cease to exist?

Scot Peterson
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Scot Peterson

What Martin said, but with the addition of Oxbridge college chapels to #2

Erika, there’s to be a consultation, but same-sex civil marriage is probably a ways away, and same-sex religious marriage even further.

Father Ron Smith
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Erika. At least on this way, faithful, monogamous, same-sex couple could be offered the Blessing of the Church, whereas Civil Marriage would not necessarily provide that.

The question for the Bishops might be: Do we acknowledge Gay Marriage, or would we prefer Same-Sex Blessings. it’s as simple as that!

Laurence C.
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Laurence C.

“Why are we suddenly fighting to bless something that’s about to cease to exist?” Erika Baker

There has been talk of retaining Civil Partnerships and making them open to opposite-sex couples too. Or perhaps this has been overtaken by events.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/24/straight-civil-partnerships

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Dr Scot Peterson has some better ideas!

My hope is that someone will seek this registration for the chapel in the House of Commons.

Does anyone know of any lawful impediment to this?

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Scot, it all depends on how far away same sex marriage is and on whether civil partnerships will be retained for some other purpose. But in the church everything moves exceedingly slowly so we must expect Government to be faster however long it might take… The big problem the church will have is that Civil Partnerships have been written in such a way that registering them does not imply that they are sexual relationships. That’s why the church accepted them – because it is quite possible that celibate couples enter into them purely to protect each other financially and legally.… Read more »