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HomeU.K.Church of England bishops reportedly refuse to back change to allow same-sex...

Church of England bishops reportedly refuse to back change to allow same-sex marriages

'Quick read' news summary

The Church of England's bishops have reportedly refused to back a change that would allow priests to marry same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage has been legal in England and Wales since 2013, but the Church did not change its teaching when the law changed. The decision not to back the change ahead of the Synod puts the Church at odds with the Church of Scotland, which voted in May at its General Assembly to allow parish ministers and deacons to marry same-sex couples if they wish.

The Church of England’s bishops have reportedly refused to back a change that would allow priests to marry same-sex couples.

The bishops met on Tuesday to finalise recommendations after five years of consultation and debate on the Church’s position on sexuality, according to the BBC.

The broadcaster said it spoke with several bishops present at the meeting who said the Church teaching that Holy Matrimony exists only between one man and one woman would not change nor be put to a vote at the General Synod next month.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in England and Wales since 2013, but the Church did not change its teaching when the law changed.

The Church of England website states that while ministers cannot carry out or bless same-sex marriages “your local church is still there for you” with people being welcomed there to pray “or ask us to pray for you”.

The decision not to back the change ahead of the Synod puts the Church at odds with the Church of Scotland, which voted in May at its General Assembly to allow parish ministers and deacons to marry same-sex couples if they wish.

In August, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, acknowledged that there are “deep differences” within the Church, as he faced criticism for reaffirming a 1998 Anglican declaration rejecting same-sex marriage.

Comedian and television presenter Sandi Toksvig, who is gay, said the lives of LGBTQ+ people were “at stake” following the religious leader’s “horrible mistake” in reaffirming a resolution which stated that marriage is “between a man and a woman”, and that same-sex relationships are “incompatible with scripture”.

Mr Welby responded by saying that the Anglican Communion, of which the Church of England is part, is a “complicated

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