The Church of England, it’s birth and the ‘Sanctity’ of Same-Sex Marriage

This will be brief. I hope. Also, I’m of no faith in particular. I’m one of those annoying on the fence people. Ah well.

By 1535, England was no longer linked to the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformation was in full swing. Henry himself was now known as ‘of the Church of England in Earth, under Jesus Christ, Supreme Head…’ In other words, Henry VIII laid the foundations for every successive monarch, including our current Diamond Queen, to be head of the Church of England.

Borne out of a want, a desire, an overwhelming urge to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon and in the face of complete objection from Rome, Henry created his own church. One that exists today. Based on divorce.

I’m not as naive to suggest any other denomination of Christianity (or indeed any other religion) was not created or changed or evolved from conflict or means not wholly holy, but the birth of the Church of England comes to my mind as today it tries to take a stand on same-sex marriage. I want to do more research into their views and reasonings behind their thought processes but my heart says I must write my thoughts down now.

Here (link below) is an excerpt from the official Church of England statement:

“Such a change would alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history. Marriage benefits society in many ways, not only by promoting mutuality and fidelity, but also by acknowledging an underlying biological complementarity which includes, for many, the possibility of procreation. The law should not seek to define away the underlying, objective, distinctiveness of men and women.”

A few things.

By implication alone, they suggest that gay marriage might not promote ‘mutuality and fidelity’. I know many gay couples who have enjoyed many years of a happy, trusting, monogamous civil partnership with each other. All they ask is to be recognised in law as next of kin (at the very least) and for some a feeling that God supports their union in his house.

Secondly, the Church seeks to identify the ‘distinctiveness of men and women’ through the fact that, together, they can have children. Marriage is not a prerequisite when planning a family and I know some wonderful people who have never married but have been model parents. I can’t hide my feelings that I myself want to be married before I have children. For me this is a case of wanting to commit fully to my fiancée and our live together before we try to create another. But. This is my choice. And just because I am heterosexual I can do this without fear of prejudice.

I MUST make a distinction here. Marriage does not work for everyone. It may fail more than once for a multitude of reasons. A lot of marriages happen in a non religious context, but are nevertheless marriages in the eyes of the law. These fail. These succeed. They don’t dilute the sanctity of marriage. My argument is a religious one.

There are some celebrities that make easy targets of themselves for this argument and I have jumped on the bandwagon accusing Katie Price of ruining the sanctity of marriage more than the gay couple down the road from me would.

But that is flippant. And a bit true.

I am angry that an institution that is protecting the sanctity of marriage from the horror of the LGBT society (how very dare you all) also supports multiple divorces as long as you are straight.

Enough of this hypocrisy. The Church of England is going to find itself increasingly out of date and isolated in an already increasingly sectarian society. Grow some balls, Church. This is NOT America. Many of my friends are decent, hard-working, loving, trusting, monogamous people WHO ARE GAY. And what?!

The very fact that I just had to write that is sickening enough.

The institution of marriage IS a state affair. You’ll sign the same papers in a church as in a registry office. What I am arguing is that a religious gay couple shouldn’t be kept from their right in this country to their faith and to celebrate their union under that faith and in in the eyes of the law. It seems, in this country at least, State and Religion cannot stop being bedfellows with this one.

I love Amy with all my heart. Deeply, openly and with the expectation and desire to grow old with her as my wife, my next of kin, my best friend. I want this to happen for my brother. I want this for my gay friends. I want this for my straight friends. Its our right. It’s your right.

But Church of England, you’re wrong.

Sign this NOW Home Office Surveys

Church of England Official Release

http://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2012/06/a-response-to-the-government-equalities-office-consultation-“equal-civil-marriage”-.aspx

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