We will hold same-sex weddings say over 1,000 clergy

MORE than 1,100 licensed Church of England priests have indicated they are willing to perform same-sex marriages if they become legal.

The survey was carried out by the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England over the past month. In a statement announcing the results, the organisation’s president, the Reverend Nigel Pietroni, said: “It is clear from the comments after Living in Love and Faith that the majority want the current situation to change.”

The list of signatories is kept private, but the names have been cross-checked against clergy databases, and only those currently authorized have been counted.

According to the Campaign for Equal Marriage, each diocese was represented among the signatories, whose experience ranged from assistant vicars to bishops.

Mr. Pietroni continued: “There can be no more delay. We look to bishops to allow freedom of conscience for clergy who wish to bless same-sex couples, and for clergy married to their same-sex partners to serve in ministry. Bishops must give a clear message that marriage equality will follow.

The Campaign for Equal Marriage is one of the organizations that met with bishops from the LLF’s Next Steps group earlier this month (News, Oct. 5). After the meeting, Mr Pietroni said the Campaign for Equal Marriage was “looking for a roadmap to achieve equal marriage”, but acknowledged that providing blessings could be one step in that journey.

Conservative groups, however, have urged bishops not to introduce changes to the current ban on same-sex marriage in church (News, October 19). The director of strategy and operations for the Church of England Evangelical Council, Canon John Dunnett, told the Church hours“If the General Synod adopts a change in the doctrine and liturgical practice of the Church, we will have to fight against it, because we believe that it asks us to accept things that Scripture says we cannot accept .”

Barry F. Howard