Welsh clerics to consider pensions for gay partners

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The Church in Wales is to consider giving pensions to the partners of gay clergy.

Currently, surviving partners of gay clergy can claim a pension calculated from 2005, when civil partnerships became legal.

Heterosexual widows or widowers can claim pensions based on their late spouse’s working life.

Next week, a two-day meeting of the church’s governing body will consider whether the benefit should be based on the whole of a gay clergy member’s working life.

A church spokeswoman told the Western Mail: “We believe the number of clergy who have entered into civil partnerships is very low. We don’t know exactly how many as clergy are not obliged to tell their Bishop or to notify the Church in Wales pension scheme when they enter a civil partnership.”

Retired cleric Rev Martin Reynolds, who is part of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said: “The church still has to catch up with wider society in its attitude to gay people, but I think it is doing rather well. I would give the church six marks out of ten.

“The particular change that will be proposed next week would bring the Church in Wales into line with what was agreed in England last year.”

The Church of England General Synod approved the change in 2010.