The Coalition has issued this comment on the official Church of England response to the Government consultation on Equal Civil Marriage:
The official Church of England response to the Government misses the key point. For many same-sex couples, equal marriage is not about legal rights, but a recognition that marriage offers something more – that marriage embraces something deeply spiritual which strengthens both the couple and society. In failing to recognise this, the Church of England has impoverished its own teaching on marriage.
As the recent letter to The Times by senior Church of England clergy noted, “The Church calls marriage holy or sacramental because the covenant relationship of faithful committed love between the couple reflects the covenanted love and commitment between God and his Church… So the fact that there are same-sex couples who want to embrace marriage should be a cause for rejoicing in the Christian Church.”
The widespread criticism of the statement from within the Church of England that has followed its publication reflects the scandalous lack of consultation in its preparation. There has been no discussion in the General Synod, or in the dioceses, and needless to say LGB&T members of the Church as represented by our Coalition partners, were also excluded from those discussions.