Church of England still won’t conduct same-sex nuptials

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on email

Church of England Synod votes to offer blessings to same-sex couples – but ban on marriage remains.

The Church of England has voted to bless same-sex marriages for the first time in its history – but its ban on conducting ceremonies will remain.

It was approved after a six year consultation period, with approval passing on Thursday (9 February), at a meeting of the General Synod, the church’s governing body.

All three houses – bishops, clergy and house of laity – of the Synod voted in favour of the blessings.

Same-sex couples wishing to have their marriage blessed by the church will need to conduct a legal ceremony elsewhere, and then conduct a second which would include prayers of dedication, thanksgiving and God’s blessing.

The vote was celebrated by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, who told the Synod same-sex couples “could now come to church and have that relationship acknowledged, celebrated and the couple receive a blessing”.

The blessings will remain optional for priests, however, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, Justin Welby previously saying he will not conduct them himself.

Jayne Ozanne, former LGBTQ+ adviser to the Tory government and a Christian activist, compared the motion to “breadcrumbs”.

“I’m deeply disappointed by the way the conservatives have consistently sought to undermine those of us who sought to move towards a church that could embrace a plurality of views on sexuality,” she said. 

“By continuing to tell LGB people that they cannot hope to get married any time soon in their church or that their desire for sexual intimacy is sinful, we send a message to the nation that few will understand. 

“More importantly, it is a message that will continue to cause great harm to the LGBTQ+ community and put young LGBTQ+ lives at risk. The apology that the Synod insisted on keeping is totally meaningless. 

“For both these reasons I chose to abstain in the final vote as I did not want to block a tiny step forward that some will welcome. However, I personally will not be forced to eat breadcrumbs, on which I fear so many will choke.”

Join our
Mailing List

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )