Many Anglicans, gay and straight, catholic, middle of the road and evangelical, support equal marriage. Changing Attitude England has joined the members of the LGB&T Anglican Coalition to offer prayerful support for the House of Lords as they prepare to debate the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Monday 3 June. This is a decisive moment for the Bill. A wrecking amendment has been tabled which could threaten its future progress.
The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, has said the bishops in the House of Lords will not support the Equal Marriage Bill “because it is contrary to the Church’s historic teaching on the nature of marriage.” However, Bishop Tim said that if it comes to a division, individual bishops would have to decide how to vote.
The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, has written to Lord Alli stressing his support for equal marriage. He believes that civil partnerships have been a natural precursor of gay marriage being recognised in law. He observes that the church has already adapted its approach to marriage in light of social change including the widespread availability of contraceptives; the acceptance of divorce and possibility of marriage in church after divorce, and the acceptance of couples living together before marriage. Bishop Nicholas says: “Christian morality comes from the mix of Bible, Christian tradition and our reasoned experience. Sometimes Christians have had to rethink the priorities of the Gospel in the light of experience.”
We ask you to pray in love. Prayer does not change the mind of God. Offered in love, prayer has the power to change the future and to change us. Prayer offered in openness and trust can channel the infinite, tender love of God which is shared with every person irrespective of their gender, sexuality, race, whether they are people of faith or not.
- For equal marriage rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- That the Church of England will welcome the blessing of same sex relationships in church following a civil marriage
- For the celebration of the faithful, covenanted love of lesbian and gay Christian couples in marriage
- For a change of heart in the House of Bishops, that they will offer an unconditional welcome to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
- For an end to prejudice and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
Open prayer is encouraged, but this written prayer may also be of help:
whose justice and compassion extends to all,
without distinction of gender or sexuality,
We rejoice in our diversity and offer you our lives and experience
as gay men and lesbian women
as bisexual and transgender people
as straight and intersex people
as friends, families, neighbours and colleagues.
We thank you for the gift of marriage, a blessing for all generations and all peoples.
Give us strength to carry your love into a world that may reject or ignore us.
We remember those who are stigmatised,
those who are oppressed by others’ suspicion and hatred,
those impoverished or imprisoned.
We pray that every marriage is enriched with your love and grace,
and that all couples will know the joy that comes from sharing and giving.
may we follow the Way of the Maker of love,
may your love be shown in our lives,
And your will be done throughout the world,
In the light of the resurrection of Jesus,
and our Guide.
Member groups of the LGB&T Anglican Coalition:
Changing Attitude England
General Synod Human Sexuality Group
The Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
Contact: Revd Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England: firstname.lastname@example.org