The time has come for Church of England clergy to show us what they are made of.
The government has decided that the Church of England (and, bizarrely the Church in Wales) is to be banned from opting into the legislation permitting same-sex couples to get married.
Those who are clergy who are supportive of the right of gay couples to marry really have only one option open to them. They should refuse to do any further legal marriages. No-one can force anyone to solemnise any marriage – a fact which has been much glossed over by the media. Some couples in some circumstances have the right to marry in particular places but not the right to be married by any one person.
If it is good enough for gay couples to be told to go get a Civil Partnership and then get a blessing from the Church then the same must be true for straight couples – they should go and get a Civil Wedding and have that blessed rather than getting legally married in church.
There are many clergy who think that the church should get out of the whole legal side of weddings in any case – this may be the start of that.
Clergy of the Church of England – it is time for you to put a ban on banns. The time is coming for you to stop doing weddings. Once the new legislation is passed, if your denomination cannot or will not opt in then the time has come for you to stand up for what’s right. If you support equality, do something about it and show us what you are made of.