UK Anglican Church Leader Vows, No Gay Weddings in Churches

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has taken a stand on recent announcements from the British government that it is lifting the prohibition of civil partnership ceremonies in places of worship.

The Daily Mail: Williams

His intervention comes as the Coalition consults on plans to allow civil partnerships between gays and lesbians to take place in religious settings for the first time.

No church, mosque or synagogue will be forced to host the ceremonies – but some religious people are worried they could be open to discrimination suits if they do not open their doors to gay unions.

Some within the CofE have been calling on the Archbishop to move with the times and allow his churches to host gay weddings – pointing out that polls have shown that some two thirds of the British public would be in support.

But now Dr Williams, who was seen as a liberal when he took up his post, has indicated that on this issue he will ally himself with conservatives in the Church.


  1. Jay says

    It’s already happening in CoE churches, without Rowan’s permission.

    Nothing will mollify the conservatives in the Anglican communion…he should just realize that and move on, as the US Episcopal church has..

  2. TampaZeke says

    What’s most sickening is that he doesn’t want to just keep them from happening in HIS church (the Church of England), he wants to keep other churches (Quakers, MCC, etc.) and OTHER FAITHS (Jewish, Buddhist, etc.) from being able to decide for themselves if they want to have them or not.

    Someone needs to confront him over this. Does he believe that the Catholic Church or a Muslim leader should be allowed to determine what the CoA does in their churches?

  3. Tonez says

    He has every right to dictate what happens in his house of worship… And that’s why church numbers are dropping. let him do what he wants. Soon nobody will be there but the most bigoted :)

  4. Alex says

    Rather than leaping to the conclusion that he’s some awful person inside, I think Rowan Williams is ever as pragmatic as Barack Obama. Both have had very pro-gay stances before reaching their respective highest offices, before having to take more “conservative” views to maintain control within their increased sphere of influence.

    While I’m personally disappointed with this position, having read the Archbishop’s more detailed prior statements it remains clear that he personally is an ally of LGBT people. His main priority at the moment, though, is trying to keep the Anglican Communion together around the world, of which the Episcopal Church and the Church of England are only a part. The Anglican Communion churches in Africa and other parts of the world filled with bigotry are better off under long-term liberalizing influence from Dr. Williams and others, however moderate or conservative it is from our point of view, than to give them a ready excuse to break off.

    While I would love to see the Church of England immediately jump to the present, I, for one, would not do it in exchange for throwing our far more oppressed LGBT brothers and sisters of countries like Uganda under the bus to the complete religious control of the local extremist bishops. Bishops, I might add, that conservative priests in the US Episcopal church are trying to leave to align with. These are people who are only held in check by a few threads of European liberal influence.

  5. BobN says

    I sort of feel sorry for the guy. He’s desperately trying to hold the international communion together, but this “firm stand” won’t change them and their opposition to him. Of course, not taking the stand would have sent them through the roof, but the schism is unstoppable and, in the end, those leaving will be stuck in an anti-gay, anti-woman religion. They’ll no doubt do well for a decade or so, then they’ll just fade away or glomb onto the RCC.

  6. Bill Perdue says

    I like the floating head effect. Very scary.

    The CofE cult should be disestablished and all cults taxed until they drop, then taxed some more.

  7. wimsy says

    To think that this treacly twit holds the seat once occupied by Thomas a Becket is nauseating.

  8. Jerry6 says

    Of course the good Archbishop does not want Gays to get married in his churches. Married same sex couples do not PRODUCE children. And without producing children, they are not adding to the next generation of “Dues Paying” members of the church.

    After all, the comments by Leviticus were all concerned with condemning non “New Member” producers. I.E. 1, Men who “slept” with women not their wives; 2. Men who “slept” with prostitutes; 3. Men who “Spilt” their “seed” on the ground; and 4. Men who “Slept” with Men.

    God had nothing to do with it; It all was aimed at lost income. And nothing has changed. It is still only about MONEY!