Church must change its position on same-sex marriage

The Guardian
The Guardian
‘A great injustice against the LGBTQI+ community,’ says the Rev Dr Stephen J O’Connor.

Thank you for your editorial (12 January) which highlighted the nonsensical state of the Church of England’s position on church weddings for LGBTQI+ individuals. As a gay, civilly partnered cleric, I would also like to thank you for drawing attention to the fact that I am prohibited by law from marrying my partner of 22 years – even in a civil ceremony – if I wish to continue ministering in the church I love, and had to give assurances that our relationship was wholly celibate before I was first ordained, three short years ago.

Most people I have spoken to about this had no idea that anyone could be subject to such arcane rules in this day and age which, as you point out, provides ample grist to those with a prurient or malevolent interest in the lives of others to intimidate or threaten those placed in this unacceptable and extremely vulnerable position. The current practice of the church could not be further removed from the glorious liberty of the Christian gospel, which is that God is love, and those who love live in God.

May I commend Equal: The Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England to your readers, and any who share such values and yearn for the church to remove this great injustice against the LGBTQI+ community, uniquely now within this island in England.

No matter the outcome of the Living in Love and Faith process this year, we will not rest until there is full and total equality for all in the provision of the church’s sacramental ministry, which is God’s gift to all and should be extended to any couples wishing to solemnise their relationship in the sight of God and God’s church.

Rev Dr Stephen J O’Connor

Deal, Kent

Current confusions and conflicts over the “real” meanings of, and differences between, words such as sex, gender, male and female, make debates about so-called same-sex marriage ever more problematic. Perhaps the simplest solution would be for the Church of England to adopt a definition of marriage as a union between two persons, regardless of any other supposedly innate – or unchanging – characteristics.

Fr Alec Mitchell

Holyhead, Anglesey

Comments / 393


The Church of England can change anything they want.. but I tell you what: GOD’S WORD REMAINS THE SAME!! THE WORD OF GOD SHALL STAND! Ppl can do whatever they like, at the end of their life they will stand before The King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!! IF THE BIBLE CALLS IT SIN, ITS SIN!!! (PERIOD!)


this is the problem with the world view it skews the true word of God you want the things of God while excluding His word marriage is defined in the Holy Bible as a union between a man and a woman. As the creator of life this is what God ordained no matter how culture or society has changed it does not change the unchangeable word of God. They God to bless a union that's against His will and ways and it's crazy to think He is going to accept just anything because they say God is Love but God is also Holy and just you cannot accept one characteristic of God and reject the others. Same sex marriage is living in sin which God strongly condemns so much He calls it an abomination

April Bartlett

If you take a vow of celibacy because you want to be a minister, then that's on you. You knew the rules before you signed on. You don't get to change the rules because you don't like them. If you disagree, then leave the church. It's that simple. Stop expecting everyone else to bow down and change the rules for you. I don't have a problem with anyone getting married. There's plenty of other venues you can choose or start your own church but stop forcing people to change their rules to suit you. Life doesn't work that way.


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