The Church of England officially opposes the coalition government’s proposals to introduce civil marriages gay and lesbian couples in England and Wales. Senior figures within the Church have openly criticised the proposals claiming such moves would undermine the institution of marriage, and the traditional family unit as well as claiming the government has no legal right to change marriage.
The Church’s stance on gay marriage has been criticised with its most recent attack on gay marriage denounced as “scare-mongering” by human rights campaigners. The Church has also faced criticism from within its own ranks and now two Bishops have added their voices to the growing chorus of discontent regarding the Church’s opposition to gay marriage.
Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, and Tim Ellis, the Bishop of Grantham, have separately voiced criticism at senior figures within the Church of England. The Bishops believe that the Church’s opposition – and the opposition of senior figures to gay marriage – is not representative of everyone’s view in the Church.
Alan Wilson told the Sunday Telegraph “There is a groundswell of opinion that says, ‘This does not speak for us.’ That’s just a matter of fact. It corresponds with the feedback I’m getting, and other colleagues are having the same experience. There is a sea change going on.” Meanwhile Tim Ellis wrote on his blog “In truth, the bishops in the media have not spoken for me or the way in which I understand this thorny matter. I suspect they do not speak for a sizeable minority or even majority within the life of the Church”
Opinion polls continue to place public support for marriage equality as being in the majority. However, there is some confusion with some sections of the public over the exact nature of the government proposals. The coalition government is proposing to introduce civil gay marriages only – not religious ceremonies as some members of the public believe.
The government’s public consultation on introducing gay marriage to England and Wales has now closed. While the Church of England and the Catholic Church both officially oppose any form of marriage equality other faith groups such as Quakers, Pagans and liberal branches of Judaism have voiced their support.
[Via Pink News]