The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) has issued a statement clarifying its policy on marking same-sex marriages following what it calls misleading reporting.
The statement makes clear, "No decision has been made that same-sex ceremonies can take place in BUGB churches. What has been reiterated, is that any such decision rests with the local church and not the Union as a whole."
However, in line with the Baptist Union's understanding of a Christian marriage, which remains between a man and a woman, homosexual church leaders still won't be permitted to marry their partners, which the Church perceives as "unbecoming of a minister."
The statement went on to explain, "This is not a 'radical move' as reported, because the update offered at this year's Baptist Assembly was neither a shift in policy nor a departure from its longstanding traditions and principles relating to freedom of conscience.
"As a Union, we believe that it is vital for our churches to be able to express an informed and Biblical view on these matters. We have recognized that some of our ministerial rules have been open to being interpreted as forbidding full and open discussion. In the light of this, BUGB Council did make some amendments to those rules at a meeting earlier in 2014. These do not change the Union's fundamental position on this matter, nor does it impose or remove any restraint on the actions of local churches."