Bishop of Salisbury: Church’s opposition to gay marriage is ‘disastrous’

The Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, has said the Church’s opposition to gay marriage is ‘disastrous’ and puts it at odds with society.Nicholas Holtam made the comments at a conference on homophobia in London organised by the Cutting Edge Consortium. The Bishop’s comments come on the same weekend in which senior Anglicans wrote an open letter to The Times newspaper arguing the Church has ‘nothing to fear’ from gay marriage. Officially the Church of England is in opposition to gay marriage but over recent weeks clear splits in the Church’s stance on the issue have appeared. The letter in The Times and the comments by the Bishop of Salisbury clearly demonstrate just how divided the Church is on gay marriage.

At the conference in London the Bishop argued that opposition to legalising gay marriage was like the opposition some Christians showed to the abolition of slavery. ‘Experience might lead us to be cautious about the certainty with which moral positions are built with Biblical support. Before Wilberforce, Christians in this country saw slavery as having Biblical support for what was the God-given in the ordering of creation. In South Africa, Apartheid was seen in the same way by the Dutch Reformed Church’
The Bishop went on to say ‘Most people now see the Church’s avoidance of equality legislation as immoral and it undermines us… It is a disaster that we have allowed the Church to be seen as the opposition to equal marriage…..Some Christians might like to say there are more important issues than gay marriage but we are not connecting with our society and for the churches this should be a mission priority’

The Church of England is not alone in its official opposition to gay marriage with the Catholic Church also opposing the plans. Figures within the Islamic and Sikh faiths have also stated their opposition to the government’s proposals. However, other religious groups are supportive of the plans such as Quakers, Pagans and Liberal Jews.
[Via Pink News]