Bishop of Oxford: I want to be able to affirm gay relationships

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Bishop of Oxford has said he wants to be able to affirm gay relationships – but is “unconvinced” by same-sex marriage.

The Church of England bishop, John Lawrence Pritchard, made the comments to the Oxford Mail.

He said: “I want to affirm covenanted, faithful, lifelong relationships, either gay or straight.

“But I am unconvinced about same-sex marriage – it seems to me that that is a category confusion.

“The Church has to avoid any whiff of homophobia and affirm good, strong, loving relationships, but not confuse the gift of a heterosexual marriage with the gift of a same-sex relationship.”

A poll recently found that 4 in 10 clergy in the Church now support same-sex marriage.

The research, conducted this summer by YouGov for the the Westminster Faith Debates, polled 1500 members of the clergy.

It found that despite the Church’s official opposition to equal marriage, support is steadily growing among the ranks – with 39 percent agreeing that same-sex marriage is right.

51 percent believe it is wrong, however, while 10 percent are still undecided on the issue.