C of E asked to look at new forms of covenanted partnership
The Church of England has been asked to look into the possibility of legal recognition for covenanted partnerships in proposals before the General Synod, it emerged today.
The York diocesan synod has put forward a request for the Archbishopsí Council to ìinvestigate and exploreî the issues involved in ìcontractual partnershipsî other than marriage between two cohabiting adults.
Allowing for contractual partnerships in law, other than marriage, between two cohabiting adults was ìsocially desirableî, a motion from the diocese to the General Synod said.
Such relationships would continue to exist whether approved by the state or the Church, it said, and the absence of a legal contract was a ìpotential cause of injustice and miseryî.
The proposals were understood to have been drawn up before the Government published plans to allow same sex couples to enter into ìcivil partnershipsî through signing an official document at a register office.
The motion covers both gay and heterosexual cohabiting couples and is likely to anger traditionalists within the Church of England.
It comes after the row over gay priests in the Anglican Church which culminated last year in the consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire, in the US.
A spokesman for the Church of England said the General Synod was unlikely to have enough time to debate the motion when it meets next month in London.
He said: ìIt seems unlikely to be debated this time as there are so many other items ahead of it in the queue.
ìObviously, it stays in the queue and does not lose its place.î