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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Church of England Clergy Hold Chaotic Vote in Gay Marriage Debate

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Feb 16
  • Comments

Church of England clergy were thrown into confusion after a number of clergy members reportedly misunderstood what they were voting on and ended up striking down a report against gay marriage.

The Bishops’ report affirmed the status quo on gay marriage; i.e., the Church’s affirmation of the orthodox view of marriage being between one man and one woman. In a rather chaotic vote in which a few clergy members later admitted they had been confused about what they were voting for or against, they ultimately voted not to confirm the report.

This vote has led some to believe the clergy members affirmed gay marriage, although that is not the whole truth, and the Church of England likely still has a long battle ahead in resolving the conflict associated with this controversial issue.

One lay synod member who voted on the report explained his confusion: “Other people around me were talking about their own misunderstandings. The voting wasn't clear. I have concerns, someone got shouted over, it was very confusing.”

Bishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth also accidentally voted against the report when he meant to vote in favor of it, according to Christian Today.

“I have apologised to my colleagues in the House of Bishops and to the Archbishops for my mistake,” he wrote in a blog post.

Gay marriage has been a controversial topic within the Church of England for some time, especially because Western Anglican churches tend to be more in favor of it, while more conservative Anglican churches in Africa or more underdeveloped places remain opposed.


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Publication date: February 16, 2017