A LESBIAN couple have been told that they can have their child
baptised at their chosen church, after an archdeacon stepped in to
resolve a dispute over the details that should appear in the
The dispute arose when a retired priest, the Revd George
Gebauer, who ministers at St Mary's, Warsash, near Southampton,
where there is an interregnum, told the couple that the register
could show only a mother and a father as the child's parents. The
couple, Aimi Leggett, who is 25, and her civil partner Victoria
Leggett, 22, are the parents of Alfie, aged one.
Mr Gebauer had suggested that Aimi Leggett should be listed as
the mother, as she is the child's biological mother, and that
Victoria Leggett should be listed as a godparent.
Speaking to the Portsmouth newspaper The News, Aimi
Leggett said: "There was no way one of us was going to say yes and
be the godparent. He sat there and told us no child could have
parents of the same sex; no child could have two mothers."
The couple, from Gosport, wanted Alfie baptised at St Mary's
because it is the church where Aimi Leggett's parents were married
and where she was baptised. After the difficulty arose, they made
plans to have him baptised at another church.
But now the ceremony will take place as originally planned at St
Mary's, with a different priest officiating, after the Archdeacon
of the Meon, the Ven. Gavin Collins, stepped in to clarify the
legal position. "Victoria has full legal co-parental responsibility
for Alfie," he said. "We can therefore enter their details on to
the baptism register as 'mother' and 'mother', as they would
"I'm pleased that this issue has been resolved, and we look
forward to welcoming Aimi, Victoria, Alfie and their friends and
family. . . It will be a great occasion as we welcome him into the
The Parochial Registers and Records Measure, 1978 sets out the
legal requirements of what should be included in a baptism
register. It includes the mother and father's Christian name,
surname, and occupation.