Dozens of clergy, including Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, have signed a letter to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, coordinated by Changing Attitude, protesting the proposed ban on any Church of England solemnisation of same-sex marriages.
The invisibility and silence on the trans aspect of the government's equal marriage proposals highlights the reductionist arguments of some of the pressure groups and the way that the debate is more complex than they wish to acknowledge, says Sally Rush. This silence is symptomatic of the everyday marginalisation, invisibility and misunderstanding trans people face within the media and wider society. It needs to be broken, just as the discrimination currently enshrined in law needs to be removed.
On the matter of marriage equality, the recent UK government announcement focused less on the loving hope of those who will gain, and more on others’ fears, in response to the negativity of some church leaders who oppose change, notes Savitri Hensman. The public image this projects is strongly discriminatory, and the churches are missing a huge opportunity to witness to the all-embracing love of God.
The government’s commitment to allow most religious organisations to conduct same-sex marriages - but not the Church of England and the Church in Wales - is a disappointing fudge that perpetuates inequality.