Thinking Anglicans

The tainted case against gay marriage

Updated 10 August

Andrew Brown writes for The Guardian today about The tainted case against gay marriage. Here are a few quotes:

It’s possible to make a case against gay marriage that does not rely on fear or loathing of gay people.

Yet the argument for civil partnerships, as against gay marriage, seems now to be lost. It hasn’t been won by the supporters of gay marriage. It has been lost by the nastiness of the opponents.

When Chris Sugden and Philip Giddings of Anglican Mainstream released their letter to the prime minister last week they cannot have understood just how foul-spirited and pharisaical it makes them appear.

But do read it all.


Jonathan Chaplin has written a follow-up article The churches’ stance on gay marriage is not homophobic.

…Public reactions to the churches’ views on gay marriage currently range from weary indifference to head-scratching bewilderment to angry consternation and all the way to incandescent outrage. Andrew Brown’s blogpost attacking two recent church interventions on the question tends towards the third of those responses. It is certainly the case that some such interventions needlessly place the churches in the line of fire.

One of the things attracting Brown’s ire was a letter to David Cameron from Anglican Mainstream, an association of conservative Anglicans, responding to the PM’s remarks at a reception for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups at 10 Downing Street. The letter was within its rights to challenge Cameron’s ill-informed misrepresentation of the churches’ attitudes towards gay people. But it included the unsustainable claim that people of homosexual orientation “have always been fully welcomed” in the churches. Whatever the official teaching of the churches may have been, their practice has all too frequently fallen lamentably and hurtfully short of the goal of “welcome”. Many homosexual Christians – including some I have known, and including many who would call themselves theologically conservative – will readily confirm this, at least if asked by someone who by their practice and tone of voice has earned their trust….

Again, do read it all.