Church of England body approves proposals to allow gay clergy to marry

The General Synod of the Church of England has approved proposals that would allow gay members of the clergy to marry. 

Following approval of blessings for same-sex couples last year, the church’s legislative body has now voted to pass proposals that would permit same-sex civil marriage ceremonies between members of the clergy or one member of the clergy and a layperson – anyone not ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop.

The proposals passed by 22 votes to 12 in the House of Bishops, by 99 votes to 88 among clergy and by 95 to 91 among the laity. 

Church leaders will now discuss the proposals, which build on the permitting of same-sex couples in “standalone” services, in February. 

Conservative members hit out at the progressive proposals

Conservative members and groups within the Church have opposed the proposals, with Rev Will Pearson-Gee, a Buckinghamshire rector, telling The Telegraph: “I think it could be a watershed moment. They’ve woken a sleeping giant. Up until now we’ve just been disinterested, but people have been radicalised.”

John Dunnett, the national director of Church of England Evangelical Council, described the approval of the motion as deeply disappointing. 

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“The leaders of the Church of England seem intent on leading the Church away from the biblical teaching and doctrine passed down through the centuries and shared by millions of Christians in the Anglican Communion today,” he said. 

But other Church members shared their happiness, with Giles Fraser, vicar of St Anne’s in Kew, London, calling it “wonderful news”. 

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