Provided in the comments to my previous post, “Born This Way” and the Sanctity of (all) Marriage was a link to the following petition:
In December 2011, it became legally possible for civil partnerships to be blessed in houses of worship. Currently, Anglican clergy are not allowed to do this, but a growing number seek to do so openly and without threat to their careers. A letter to this effect was printed in The Times, and signed by over 120 clergy from across the Diocese of London.
For me, this is only an interim step – I want to see gay marriage within the Church of England, during my lifetime. That is, gay couples being married to each other using a recognisably Christian marriage service, inside Anglican churches, by current Anglican priests, then signing marriage certificates and having the option to use marital titles (e.g. husband/wife) if they so choose, with the same religious, social and legal standing as heterosexual couples, without
a) it making the blindest bit of difference whether either or both parties are ordained ministers, priests, or Rowan Williams himself,
b) anyone feeling entitled or obliged to question whether the couple are in a sexual relationship, because it is neither a problem nor anyone else‘s business, or
c) the celebrant, assistant, or clergy in the congregation having to worry about the ramifications for their present and future careers.
This is a long way from what the Diocese of London is asking today. However, I truly believe that the success of this petition would be the first step to achieving everything I’ve described. So, if you sympathise, please sign here.
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.