Archbishop Of Wales Embraces Marriage Equality: Church Should Welcome ‘All Life-Long Committed Relationships’

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"Archbishop Of Wales Embraces Marriage Equality: Church Should Welcome ‘All Life-Long Committed Relationships’"

Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan

The Archbishop of Wales threw his support behind the British effort to advance marriage equality today and called on the Church to support loving gay and lesbian couples. “All life-long committed relationships deserved the welcome, pastoral care and support of the Church,” Dr. Barry Morgan told members of the Church in his presidential address. He called to ask itself whether it would “protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognize the need in Christian people for some public religious support for these”:

He said he was concerned about the welfare of gay people whom he feared could feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in churches over the coming months as Government proposals for same-sex marriage are debated nationally. […]

“My concern at the moment is that in any discussion which might ensue on this, gay people may once more gain the impression that the church is uncaring and unsympathetic….Gays and lesbians claim they are still treated as second-class citizens, tolerated at best and vilified at worst. Very often homosexuality is talked about as if real people were not involved and gays and lesbians complain of being talked about rather than talked to in Church.”

Morgan argued that the Church must prepare itself for a law recognizing marriage equality. “If the legislation to allow civil marriage is passed, I cannot see how we as a church, will be able to ignore the legality of the status of such partnerships and we ought not to want to do so,” he said. “The question then, as now, is: will the church protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognize the need in Christian people for some public religious support for these?”

The UK Coalition Government unveiled a proposal in March that would “allow same-sex couples to marry in a register office or other civil ceremony; allow couples already in a civil partnership to convert it into a marriage; and allow married people to legally change gender. But the plans would not alter the law for religious marriage.”

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