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Church of England approves same-sex marriage proposals for clergy

Church of England approves same-sex marriage proposals for clergy

The Church of England’s General Synod has approved proposals that would allow same-sex clergy to marry.

After approving the blessing of same-sex couples last year, the church’s legislative body has now voted to advance proposals that would allow same-sex civil marriages between clergy or one clergyman and a layperson — someone who has not been ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop.

The proposals were adopted by a vote of 22 to 12 in the House of Bishops, 99 to 88 among the clergy and 95 to 91 among the laity.

Church leaders will now discuss proposals that would allow same-sex couples to attend “stand-alone” worship services in February.

Conservative members criticize progressive proposals

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

John Dunnett, national director of the Evangelical Council of the Church of England, called approval of the application deeply disappointing.

“The leaders of the Church of England appear intent on leading the church away from the biblical teaching and doctrine handed down through the ages and shared by millions of Christians in the modern Anglican Communion,” he said.

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