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Church of England Rejects Calls to Back Same-Sex Marriage

© AP Photo / Frank AugsteinThe church of Westminster Abbey in London
The church of Westminster Abbey in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Church of England on Wednesday rejected demands to allow clergy to conduct same-sex marriages, but suggested that couples who were married in a civil ceremony could bless their union in church.
On Monday, UK House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt called on the Church of England to perform same-sex marriages, saying the Church's current stance causes "pain and trauma" to LGBTQ+ people. Following the appeal, the Church outlined its new proposals, which it called "historical plans" to reform its posture on same-sex couples.
"Under the proposals, same-sex couples would still not be able to get married in a Church of England church, but could have a service in which there would be prayers of dedication, thanksgiving or for God’s blessing on the couple in church following a civil marriage or partnership," the Church said in a statement.
Prayers will be voluntary for clergy and can be used in different combinations reflecting the theological diversity of the Church, the statement read.

"This is not the end of that journey but we have reached a milestone and I hope that these prayers of love and faith can provide a way for us all to celebrate and affirm same-sex relationships," the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell stated.

Church of England bishops will later this week issue an apology to LGBTQ+ people for the "rejection, exclusion and hostility" they have faced in churches and the impact it has had on their lives, the statement added.
Under canon law, no priest in the Church of England can bless or marry same-sex couples. According to the British media, Mordaunt's call was the first time that a sitting cabinet minister had asked the Church to carry out reforms on same-sex marriage.
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