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Church of England Backs Down on Same-Sex Marriage

  • Religion Today Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Jun 06

The Church of England is ending its battle against a government bill to legalize same-sex marriage, according to a statement released Wednesday, Christianity Today reports. Although the Church of England does not support the proposed legislation, the church's bishops in the U.K. Parliament's House of Lords will now turn their attention to improving the bill rather than opposing it outright. According to The Telegraph, the statement from Rt. Rev. Tim Stevens, the lead bishop of the 26 who hold seats in the House of Lords, "represents a dramatic change of tack in the year since the Church insisted that gay marriage posed one of the biggest threats of disestablishment of the Church of England since the reign of Henry VIII." The reversal of tactics came a day after the House of Lords voted down an amendment that would have killed the bill. The resounding 390-148 vote indicated widespread support for the bill, which had already passed in the House of Commons. Interestingly, though, the Church's change in approach follows Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's warning that "the reform 'weakened' the concept of the 'normal' family as the basis for a strong community and replaced traditional marriage with something 'less good.'" The Church will now focus its efforts on improving the bill, including "its approach to the question of fidelity in marriage and the rights of children."