Archbishop of Canterbury to call for amendments to equal marriage bill

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In the upcoming vote on equal marriage legislation in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury will call for concessions to be made for teachers and faith schools, as the Church of England has reportedly “resigned” itself to same-sex marriage becoming law.

The Sunday Times reports that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, plans to use his stand in the House of Lords to call for the bill to explicitly protect faith schools and teachers from prosecution, if they do not wish to promote marriage equality.

Lambeth Palace sources say he will call for the bill to be amended to prevent the prosecution of people whose faith conflicts with equal marriage, particularly teachers who do not wish to deal with the subject in school.

Sources in the Church of England have said that the institution is resigned to the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Archbishop Welby is expected to push for concessions to make this more palatable to religious groups.

In a conciliatory gesture towards the government, the Archbishop is expected to acknowledge that, thanks to the efforts of politicians to ensure the quadruple lock legal protections are in place, Church of England ministers cannot be forced to perform same-sex marriages.

Archbishop Welby is one of 86 peers who have requested to speak during the debate, which starts on Monday.

Supporters of marriage equality were concerned that a drawn-out debate could damage the bill – leading to the decision that the vote will take place Tuesday daytime after a break.

Peers are said to be set to stage a final attempt to thwart the bill from passing.