The Church of England has issued a pastoral guidance due to the introduction of heterosexual civil partnerships stating:
For Christians, marriage – that is the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.
The Church affirmed that sex outside of heterosexual marriage is seen as “falling short of God’s purposes for human beings.”
When the Civil Partnerships Act went into effect in December 2005, it gave same-sex couples rights involving property, inheritance, and tax entitlement. It wasn’t until eight years later that same-sex marriage became legal in England. But not so fast … same-sex marriage is not allowed in the Church of England. Another church going against the state. Clergy in the Church of England can be in same-sex civil partnerships as long they remain celibate.
In 2018, England’s Supreme Court decreed heterosexual couples also had a right to civil partnerships with the first of those registered in December 2019.
What sayeth the Church of England about this? The CoE’s director of mission and public affairs, Rev Dr Malcolm Brown explained:
Civil partnership is not the same as marriage, which is founded on the taking of solemn public vows and is recognised in the church’s teaching as the only proper context for sexual relationships.
The Church has experienced discord for decades concerning LGBT issues. Many LGBT in the church felt excluded and activists have petitioned the church to permit same-sex nuptials. Many claim the church’s decrease in the younger generation is associated with the church’s views on LGBT issues.