Bishops Protest Over Anglican Church’s Gay Marriage Stance


Two high-profiled bishops have publicly denounced the Anglican Church’s overt hostility toward the British Government’s plans to legalize marriage equality, saying that the Church’s opposition is not the “true mind” of its followers.

Reports the Telegraph:

The Rt Rev Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, said: “The statement is narrow and legalistic … Jesus didn’t say anything about being gay, but he said a certain amount about loving your neighbour as yourself.”

The Rt Rev Tim Ellis, the Bishop of Grantham, said the official position did not reflect the true “mind” of the Church.


But Bishop Wilson said: “The statement doesn’t speak for me at all, frankly. There is a groundswell of opinion that says, ‘This does not speak for us.’

“That’s just a matter of fact. It corresponds with the feedback I’m getting, and other colleagues are having the same experience. There is a sea change going on.”

He added: “What’s guiding me is Evangelical stuff. There is a disconnect between the statement and the Sermon on the Mount. We are saying to people, ‘You are thrice cursed because of something you are.’
“It is fair enough to expect bishops to have asked, ‘What would Jesus do?’ I don’t think they did.”

The Church’s position statement submitted to the Government during its marriage equality consultation called the plans a direct attack on the Church’s link to the state. It also said that marriage equality risked destabalizing marriage as an institution, would radically alter the country’s laws, and that it risked forcing church leaders into accepting same-sex marriage, whether directly or indirectly through a European Court of Human Rights suit, despite the Government’s assurances that it cannot and would not do so.

A secular legal analysis demonstrated that the Church’s claim was most likely false. While a human rights case could force the Church to allow liberty for individual church leaders to preside over same-sex marriages if they so wished, the ECHR has always given explicit deference to religious autonomy and so would be almost entirely unlikely, under the current legal framework, to intervene and force the Church into blessing same-sex marriages.

Around 3,000 concerned members of the Church have now signed a petition against the position statement. This petition will be presented by Ellis and associates to the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, both of whom have come out against plans to legalize marriage equality.


Related Reading:

Cardinal Defends ‘Gay Marriage is Like Slavery’ Comparison

British Cardinal Compares Gay Marriage to Legalizing Slavery

Lord Carey’s Fact-Free Case Against Gay Marriage Examined


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to danny.hammontree.

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Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley3 years ago

Kudos to you, Bishops Wilson and Ellis!!
At last, at least two of the Clergy are following the teachings of Christ! God curses no one for being as they are--but plenty of (bigoted) humans do!
I love the quote,"Jesus didn't say anything about being gay, but he said a certain amount about loving your neighbor as yourself". Beautiful!!

Sue Fowler
Sue Fowler3 years ago

Think Rowan Williams brilliant, is not afraid to say what he thinks. He will be a difficult act to follow. Im not a christian & believe each to their own. There are so many problems in the world so is gay marriage really that important ?

Roger M.
Past Member 3 years ago

Astonishing how the church has managed to get its knickers in such a twist about something the rest of us seem to have no problem with at all.

What with this and all the fuss about women's role in the church, it's the next best thing to pushing the self-destruct button.

Poor Rowan Williams. Clearly a good man, he surely can't wait to get out. But who in their right mind would want to take the job on now?

Ivy Taylor
Yvonne Taylor3 years ago

Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, said- Romans 1- this passage was intended to warn Christians to not be self-righteous when they see others fall into sin. "Many current ways of reading miss the actual direction of the passage. Paul is making a primary point not about homosexuality but about the delusions of the supposedly law-abiding. [These lines are] for the majority of modern readers the most important single text in Scripture on the subject of homosexuality." However, right after that passage, Paul warns readers not to condemn others:Romans 2:1: "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." (King James Version)
Or as Williams rendered the passage: "At whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself."
Williams said that Romans 1 favors neither side in the debate over equal treatment of gays and lesbians in the Anglican Communion: It would not help liberals because it states that homosexual behavior was "as obviously immoral as idol worship or disobedience to parents." It would not help conservatives, who have been "up to this point happily identifying with Paul's castigation of someone else," and challenge them to ask whether they were right to judge others.

Kristen H.
Kristen H.3 years ago

The Rt Rev Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, said: “The statement is narrow and legalistic … Jesus didn’t say anything about being gay, but he said a certain amount about loving your neighbour as yourself.”

Rock on, Rt. Rev Alan Wilson!

Charli S.
Charlotte S.3 years ago

What smart men...too bad the Church isn't that smart.

Mary Mattarelli
Mary Mattarelli3 years ago

Thank you

Alan G.
Alan G.3 years ago

It is none of the churche's business who the state allows to marry. My religious beliefs require that gays be allowed to marry, so preventing them would be an assault on freedom of religion.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal3 years ago

Send in the nuns for back up....