First female bishop won’t say if she wants to marry gay couples

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Church of England’s first female Bishop, Libby Lane, has refused to say whether she would be willing to marry same-sex couples.

Libby Lane was consecrated as the first woman bishop in the Church’s history in January, after the General Synod voted last year to allow female bishops.

However, the new Bishop of Stockport – who was previously a vicar in Cheshire – declined to talk about same-sex marriage during an interview with the Guardian.

When asked whether she would be willing to marry gay couples if the Church opts to lift its ban, she said: “I want to play my part in the church continuing to struggle with what we do.”

When pushed on the answer she “politely refused” to say more, adding: “When I was ordained, and at every time I am licensed to a new role, I under oath say that I will be obedient to the disciplines of the church and I will only use the orders and rites of the church that are permitted by law.

“I serve under obedience and you are not going to get me to say anything else.”

However, she added: “I unequivocally want to be understood as saying that whatever my or the church’s limitations are, I don’t want them to be read by people who are gay to understand that that means that Christ is not for them.

“I repent of the times that my church has made those people feel less than others, and to feel they don’t belong within the church.”