Despite church stances and God's law itself, several gay members of the Church of England clergy are set to openly defy traditional marriage stances.
"Our marriages are legal, celebrated and widely accepted in society," Canon Andrew Foreshaw-Cain told The Guardian. "Yet the Church of England behaves as if they are somehow dirty and imposes penalties on clergy and refuses to acknowledge the marriages of those who wish to make lifelong faithful commitments."
Foreshaw-Cain married his partner last year, yet was not removed from his position, despite the official church stance:
The Church of England cannot support the proposal to enable all couples, regardless of their gender, to have a civil marriage ceremony. Such a move would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history. Marriage benefits society in many ways, not only by promoting mutuality and fidelity, but also by acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity which, for many, includes the possibility of procreation. We have supported various legal changes in recent years to remove unjustified discrimination and create greater legal rights for same sex couples and we welcome that fact that previous legal and material inequities between heterosexual and same-sex partnerships have now been satisfactorily addressed. To change the nature of marriage for everyone will be divisive and deliver no obvious legal gains given the rights already conferred by civil partnerships. We also believe that imposing for essentially ideological reasons a new meaning on a term as familiar and fundamental as marriage would be deeply unwise.
The Guardian now reports several clergy members will soon come out as they announce they have married their same-sex partners. They are asking for an official church blessing in a letter yet to be signed.
The move comes months after Archbishop Justin Welby apologized to the LGBT community for the "hurt" and "pain" the church caused them.
Practicing homosexuality remains a deeply debated issue within the Church of England, however.
The Anglican Church formerly suspended their Episcopalian U.S. counterparts over the issue earlier this year.
"Given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies ... ," a statement issued by the Anglican Communion reads. "They will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity."
"The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union," the statement continues. "The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching."
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