The Church of England has agreed to bless same-sex marriages after a narrow vote by the organization’s ruling body, the General Synod.
The plan will allow standalone services for same-sex couples to receive blessings for their marriages. However, the bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, claims the services would be voluntary and no member of the clergy would be forced to perform such services.
In just a few short weeks, queer Christians will be able to have a special service held on Saturdays to bless their unions. According to The Guardian “The proposal for standalone services on a trial basis came in an amendment to a motion that noted progress made by bishops on the divisive issues of sexuality, known within the C of E as Living in Love and Faith.”
In a joint statement, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, and Stephen Cottrell, the archbishop of York, who backed the amendment, said: “We have heard loud and clear, through an extensive debate over two days, the depth of feeling across the church on these hugely important questions. “While this motion was passed, narrowly, we do not underestimate the depth of feeling and will reflect on all that we have heard as we seek to move forward together.”