Advocates of change will be quick to point out that a blessing is not a marriage but that will not stop a blurring of the ceremonies. In June 2008 The Telegraph reported that two male Anglican priests exchanged vows and rings in a ceremony that was conducted using one of the church's most traditional wedding rites. The report continued, “Although some liberal clergy have carried out "blessing ceremonies" for homosexual couples in the past, this is the first time a vicar has performed a "wedding ceremony", using a traditional marriage liturgy, with readings, hymns and a Eucharist.”
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Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Reports that Gay and Lesbian couples could soon be allowed to “marry” in church strike a wrong note. According to The Times, “senior bishops in the Lords have [said] that they will support an amendment to the Equality Bill next month that will lift the ban on civil partnership ceremonies in religious premises. The amendment would remove the legislative prohibition on blessings of homosexual couples and open the door to the registration of civil partnerships in churches, synagogues, mosques and all other religious premises.”
The introduction of civil partnerships righted a serious wrong but that is what they are. To blur the distinction between a civil partnership and a religious ceremony in which marriage is proclaimed in the Anglican Marriage Service Preface as “the foundation of family life in which children are born and nurtured” is nonsense. Civil partners “in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love” but they are not “married”.