Local churches should defy Anglican leaders over gay ban

Total ban on civil partnerships is “autocratic and homophobic”

Some Anglicans want to host civil partnerships, the church says no



“I urge individual priests and their congregations to defy this harsh, intolerant ruling. They should go ahead with same-sex civil partnerships, if they want to. This autocratic decision should be defied. It doesn’t deserve respect or compliance,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, coordinator of the Equal Love campaign and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

He was commenting on a warning by the Church of England hierarchy that same-sex civil partnerships will be banned in Anglican churches – even after the new regulation comes into effect today, Monday 5 December, allowing religious organisations to conduct civil partnership ceremonies on their premises if they wish to do so.

“Many grassroots Anglicans reject this homophobic ruling by the church leadership. They support hosting same-sex civil partnerships in religious premises. The Church of England top brass is out of touch,” added.

“The Anglican leadership has said the ban will apply unless permission is granted by the General Synod. Given that permission is inconceivable for the foreseeable future, this is an effective total ban.

“There are some local parishes that want to conduct civil partnerships. They’d be happy to host the civil partnership ceremonies of their gay and lesbian congregants. That’s why senior church officials are making this ruling, to pre-empt willing local churches from going ahead with civil partnerships ceremonies.

“The Anglican leadership is acting in a way that is dictatorial and homophobic. It makes the church look mean, nasty and homophobic.

“While no one is suggesting that churches should be forced to conduct civil partnerships against their wishes, local parishes that want to host civil partnerships should be free to do so. If senior Anglicans say they can’t, the individual churches should go ahead anyway,” said Mr Tatchell.

The Equal Love campaign is working to overturn the UK’s twin legal bans against same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships. It currently has a legal case in the European Court of Human Rights. See here:

You can also read the Equal Love critique of the government’s proposals on same-sex marriage, which fall short of equality and will maintain discrimination against both gay and straight couples:

For more information on the Equal Love campaign, and to sign the Equal Love petition to overturn the twin ban on same-sex civil marriage and straight-sex civil partnerships, see here: