Gay Cleric: Could Take 10 Years For Church Of England To Bless Same-Sex Weddings

With Prime Minister David Cameron determined to legalize same-sex marriage in the UK,  Dean of St Albans, the Very Reverend Jeffrey John, says the church of England will eventually have to catch up, even if it takes 10 years.

“I believe that before long we’ll see some kind of official services within the Church to bless gay partnerships, but not same-sex marriages,” Dean John told the BBC, noting that Cameron wants to pass legislation by 2015.  “I think that will come but it could take another 10 years. That’s how the church works, we’re always two steps behind everyone else.”

The Very Reverend went on to compare the marriage situation in England to apartheid in South Africa, stating that “differentiating between heterosexual marriages and civil partnerships means that gay couples are being seen as inferior.”

The openly gay Dean John was passed up twice for appointment as bishop, with his sexuality being cited as a “difficulty” to the Church of England. In 2006, the cleric entered into a civil partnership with his partner of nearly 40 years, a Church of England hospital chaplain.

“I’ve been in a relationship for 37 years and I can testify that the covenant between two people of the same sex is exactly as it is for a marriage between a husband and wife – there is no difference,” he said. “However, as long as there is a difference in law between marriages and civil partnerships, it’s certain that partnerships will be viewed as being secondary.”


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  • fagburn

    It’s naive and credulous to say David Cameron is “determined” to introduce gay marriage.
    He mentioned it in his big conference speech last year, dropped it in this year’s, and (I think) has mentioned it twice in the last twelve months.

  • 2eo

    @fagburn: Agreed, his record shows that he is a flip flopper dropping and changing issues when shown the slightest pressure.

    Still shows how the right is dying in the country how a Conservative party leader can mention the issue and not be ousted immediately. That cannot be denied, the right is losing as their base is dying and the younger people are too stupid to pick up their mantles resorting to the BNP, NF and UKIP.

    This lack of focus is something we should be very proud of, it means us activists in the UK are winning.

  • alexoloughlin

    fagburn, Maria Miller his equalities minister actually raised the issue at the party conference last week, quit emphatically in fact. It wasn’t dropped at all just because Cameron never mentioned it in his speech. He’s already told his party that he is pressing on with getting it legalized and not backing down. He also chastised the church several weeks ago for resisting it. The Labor Party and Liberal Democrats will have a whipped vote which currently translates into 311 votes (326 to pass) and there are more than 15 Tories who are going to vote yes and that number will continue to grow as a vote approaches. Either way, it will pass with a minimum but probably with a larger majority overall. The ever so conservative Lord Ashcroft, a senior Tory official said only recently that if the party doesn’t support it, then it will face defeat in the 2015 election and alienate any gay voter support for their party, something they can’t afford to lose whether the bigots among them don’t like it one bit.

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