Gay MP says straight couples face discrimination over hymn Jerusalem

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The hymn Jerusalem risks becoming “reserved for homosexual couples”, a gay MP has claimed.

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda, claimed that church policy means straight couples are increasingly being banned from using William Blake’s famous hymn at their weddings because clergy deem it is “not addressed to God”.

Straight couples who are marrying in civil services may not use Jerusalem because of its religious references, he said.

However, law changes to allow civil partnerships with a religious element mean that gay couples will be permitted to use the hymn, Mr Bryant claimed.

He told the Daily Mail: “I am fighting for the rights of straight couples.

“The government is now changing the rules to allow religious symbols at civil ceremonies for same sex couples.

“But in the interests of equality, the same should apply to heterosexual couples getting married in civil venues.

“It seems odd to say you can’t have Jerusalem for a straight wedding yet you can have it at the same place for a gay wedding.”

In the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Bryant asked Commons leader Sir George Young. “Can we just make sure that Jerusalem is not just reserved for homosexuals?”

Sir George replied: “I think that Jerusalem should be sung on every possible occasion.”

The patriotic hymn was included at the Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding last month.