Comments: same-sex marriage: further reports and comment

Main problem is there is no Bill. We have no idea how it will be worded. The govt needs to produce an initial draft and get relevant Churches to work on that. If they don't cooperate then the govt will stay with its own more categorical approach (it's not for the govt to intimate these bodies will reverse their policy).

Posted by Craig Nelson at Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 9:07am GMT

It's time to end the talking shop. The Church House 'myth' that there is uniform antipathy to equal marriage has been blown out of the water. There is no consensus at all, that could justify a blanket ban and criminalisation of equal marriage in the Church of England.

What is needed now - as a matter of justice, courage, and religious conscience - is not nice twee Anglican talking but action and dissent.

The point is pertinently made that the Church will now enjoy married lesbian and gay vicars, married lesbian and gay parishioners, and in addition, there will be a good number of local Anglican churches who endorse all this.

They should network (to avoid punitive singling out) and they should publicly carry out all sorts of creative expressions of affirmation, of blessing (who can stop people asking God's blessing), and local liturgies that constitute marriage whatever canon law says.

What are the bishops going to do? Close down the church?

It's a time to switch from words to joyful affirmation (carefully orchestrated as a network), and an end of deference.

Equal marriage is coming, and not before time. The bishops and others will just have to learn to live with it.

As is often stated, if you don't believe in gay marriage then don't marry someone gay. That is you religious conscience. If you *do* believe in gay marriage - like the majority of people in this country - then you, too, have a decent religious conscience.

Christians deferred on slavery, on human rights abuses in communist states, on nazi outrages, on the marginalisation of women. Equal marriage is a justice issue, and a little courage (and joy) rather than words is needed at this juncture.

This whole debate is coming to a head. It's taken decades. Now we will learn what unity in diversity means. We are Anglican. We don't do papal authoritarianism. We do diversity. Opponents of diversity have already been rebuffed over the Covenant.

A dam is bursting.

God moves in mysterious, wonderful ways.

May God bless *all* loving couples who seek public recognition, blessing and sacrament for their fidelity, care and sacrifice. That is what this is all about, and it's worth it.

Posted by Susannah at Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 1:36pm GMT

What will the CofE do when deacons and priests want to marry their same sex partners? Since marriage requires consummation, will the CofE forbid its gay clergy to marry? Will gay clergy have to choose between marriage to the persons they love or service to the Church they love?

Will some persons in the leadership of the CofE try leading for a change? The CofE is paying too high a price to its credibility and relevance to the nation it is supposed to serve by continuing to cater to radical conservatives in the Church and the Anglican Communion. The Church may be about to lose some of its best clergy if it continues to cower before those who prize righteousness over love. What will the cost be to young clergy who will see colleagues who are their friends driven from the ministry?

For years, many of us have been blogging here and elsewhere about the need for leadership in the Church to face these issues honestly and to plan for the inevitable. No such leadership has emerged amongst the House of Bishops. To the contrary, the Church has just nominated an Archbishop-designate who has stood firmly against marriage equality. He promises to listen to the experiences of LGBTI persons and our families, although the commitment to listen was made at Lambeth in 1998, twelve years ago.

As the CofE shambles about trying to cover its pro-discrimination special pleadings the only thing it seems to prepare for is to reap the whirlwind.

Posted by karenmacqueen+ at Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 8:38pm GMT

A poll sponsored by the Daily Mail finds such an impressive majority in favour!
And they report it.
Wonders will ........

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 11:01pm GMT

Brava Susannah and Karen!

Here's the evil and insidious part from my perspective "They have also criticised other Anglican provinces for treating LGBT people equally, and sought to give greater power to anti-inclusive churches to hinder progress in other countries." The CoE has actively encouraged oppression. Jesus said you can tell the true prophets from the false ones by the fruits of their labor" (sorry, labour). The hateful anti-gay laws in Uganda are the fruits of the church's homophobia labor. As are high suicide rates amongst LGBT teens.

Diversity in CoE leadership is much needed. The old white guys are really muddled.

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 11:23pm GMT

Do what you like. Ultimately, after much forbearance, Canon B16 can be invoked. Laws work both ways.

Then try legislating against the diocesan bishop to force admission to the Lord's table.

Posted by David Shepherd at Monday, 17 December 2012 at 8:48am GMT

With great respect to "dozens of clergy, including Lord Harries", it's a good deal more complicated than that. I don't know what the Unitarians will do if approached by a same-sex Anglican couple wanting a wedding ceremony; but I hope that Friends would think very hard indeed (and at the very least hold a Meeting for Clearness) before acceding to such a request.

Quaker marriage is intended for Quakers, not as an alternative for people who, for whatever reason, have difficulties with their own denomination.

Posted by Frank Cranmer at Monday, 17 December 2012 at 9:07am GMT

What on earth is "Quaker marriage"? Has it got something to do with oatmeal?

Posted by William at Monday, 17 December 2012 at 4:17pm GMT

That's right 'William' - how did you know ? Any further gems for us !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 18 December 2012 at 11:53am GMT

John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, has commented on same sex marriage legislation.

He admits C of E has been 'churlish' about civil partnerships, but then falls into the 'Leicester' fallacy of asserting that marriage has always been of one woman and one man, apart from in the last few decades in the West.

He thinks that marriage for heterosexual couples and civil partnerships for homosexual couples are a suitable way to recognise the diversity of 'patterns of human belonging'.

As has already been pointed out, this line of argument leads inexorably to the question, 'so why isn't the C of E blessing and affirming civil partnerships?'

Posted by Samuel Denyer at Tuesday, 18 December 2012 at 8:45pm GMT

"Teaching in schools about relationships could be
bewildering for children." Bishop of Oxford.

Well we already have children with 2 Mums or 2 Dads in our class rooms....and indeed being presented to a bishop for confirmation.

Posted by Perry Butler at Wednesday, 19 December 2012 at 8:52am GMT

"Teaching in schools about relationships could be
bewildering for children." Bishop of Oxford.

Surely, it is the good bishop who is confused - or at least happy thus to confuse and contort reality.

The bishop needs to stop digging - now !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 19 December 2012 at 7:31pm GMT

I agree that teaching in school could be bewildering to some children. About as bewildering as when children coming from a creationist background first learn about evolution.
The answer is not to give in to this nonsense but to prepare them for the world they are actually living in.
Who knows, they might even be lgbt themselves and welcome the affirmation.
Or one of their classmates might live with same sex parents.

Let's not go down the road of assuming that some children's "bewilderment" is reason enough to discriminate against hundreds of thousands of people in this country.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 20 December 2012 at 7:42am GMT
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