THE Church of England is in danger of repeating the mistake,
made by the Conservative Party, of "locking out" people by opposing
same-sex marriage, the Prime Minister has said.
Addressing a reception for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
trans-sexual community at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday evening, Mr
Cameron said that he was "absolutely determined" that the
Government would legislate for gay marriage "in this
He compared the Church to his own Party, "which for many many
years got itself on the wrong side of this argument. . . it locked
people out who were naturally Conservative from supporting it, and
so I think I can make that point to the Church, gently."
Present at the reception was the Dean of St Albans, the Very
Revd Dr Jeffrey John, who on Monday released a video message for
the Out4Marriage campaign, in which he said that God supported
same-sex marriage, and that the Church of England did not "deserve
to be listened to" on the subject, because it did not speak with
Dr John asked gay people not to "judge God by the Church. . .
God made you as you are, loves you as you are, and if you invite
him into your relationship then of course he will bless you, and
sustain your love, just as much as he blesses any other marriage."
Dr John, who is in a civil partnership with the Revd Grant Holmes,
said he knew this from his own experience.
He welcomed the Government's proposals to legalise same-sex
marriage, but said that he was "sad because the Church that I love
and serve is opposing it when it should be rejoicing at it". A gay
couple could not have a child together, but this consideration did
not stop the Church marrying heterosexual couples who were
infertile, or past childbearing age.
A total of 125 videos have been created for the Out4Marriage
campaign, with contributions from 34 MPs from all three main
parties, including the Home Secretary, Theresa May, and the Deputy
Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. A consultation on the proposed
legislation closed on 14 June.
On Wednesday, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola
Stur-geon, confirmed that same-sex marriage would become legal in
Scotland. The legislation, she said, would protect freedom of
speech and religion.
For a transcript of David Cameron's speech, see http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/lgbt-reception/