On Wednesday, the Church of England announced that, while it would begin to permit blessings for same-sex civil unions, it would not allow such couples to get married inside their churches.
ABC News reports that the Church’s announcement came after five years of internal debate on how the Church should handle the rise of sexual deviancy, which has become increasingly mainstream despite most major religions holding firm in their opposition to it. The Church’s new policies will be further explained in a report to the General Synod, the Church of England’s national assembly, at its next meeting in London, which will take place from February 6th to February 9th.
Although the Church will still only grant the sacrament of matrimony to marriages between one man and one woman, same-sex couples will now be allowed to have a church service with prayers of dedication and thanksgiving.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, leader of the Anglican Church, said that the new policy “will appear to go too far for some and not nearly far enough for others.”
“This response reflects the diversity of views in the Church of England on questions of sexuality, relationships and marriage,” said Welby in a statement. “I rejoice in that diversity and I welcome this way of reflecting it in the life of our church. I hope it can offer a way for the Church of England, publicly and unequivocally, to say to all Christians and especially LGBTQI+ people, that you are welcome and a valued and precious part of the body of Christ.”
As Welby predicted, far-left activists ultimately voiced their disapproval of the new policy. LGBTQ activist Jayne Ozanne called the announcement “utterly despicable.”
“I cannot believe that five years of pain and trauma has got us here,” she angrily tweeted. “We have had countless apologies over the years but no action to stop the harmful discrimination.”
Same-sex marriage was first legalized in England and Wales in 2013, with the Church of England being one of few institutions that did not change its own policies in response to the new law.