Tarry for the Nonce

June 1, 2005

A Sly Move

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 10:34 am

Does this make sense to anyone outside the Church of England?

According to the Times, the proposal suggested that homosexual clergy in the Church of England would be allowed to “marry” their partners, provided that they have given an assurance to their diocesan bishop that they will abstain from sex. A breach of the rules is expected to result in disciplinary action or the possible suspension of clergy.

This seemed so bizarre to me that I had to confirm it:

Lesbian and gay clergy who decide to register their relationships under the new law will not lose their licenses to be priests, providing they give their diocesan bishop an assurance that they will refrain from sex.

And again:

The senior bishops of the Church of England, led by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, have said that clergy can “marry” their boyfriends and of course, the female clergy, can “marry” their girlfriends if they promise to refrain from sexual activities with their “spouse.”

Well, I guess it’s true . . . and truly strange, to boot. Call me old-fashioned, but I thought relationship consummation was part of the point of being married.

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2 Comments

  1. I just skimmed the articles, but I think that the Church’s policy makes perfect sense.

    The Anglican Church is not actually marrying the gay clergy. They are merely allowed to enter into civil unions as permitted under British law. And what’s wrong with that? I strongly doubt that the Bible has anything to say about civil unions or homosexual love (leaving out the sex part).

    This is how I think it should be: civil unions should exist for legal purposes (inheritance, taxes, etc.) and should be open to partnerships of all sorts (man-woman, man-man, man-dog-corporation), but marriage should be a concept outside of the law, created only by churches.

    Comment by Troy — June 1, 2005 @ 4:12 pm

  2. The Anglican Church is not actually marrying the gay clergy. They are merely allowed to enter into civil unions as permitted under British law.

    I missed the distinction about British civil unions somewhere along the line. I suppose I attach importance to sexual union in a marriage and am surprised that the term would be used with an implicit denial that isn’t natural to the state of matrimony. Why would anyone marry but refuse the actual gift of self?

    Comment by laura — June 2, 2005 @ 12:34 am


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