A very very dear friend of mine wants to get married to her long term partner. Her partner is great and has become a good friend of mine. All is great, yes? Well, no.
There is a huge and insurmountable problem is that they are both women. I know, shocking isn’t it. The fact of the matter is that they both love each other (very much), they have been together for 5 years (happily), they live together (equally happily) and they want to take that next step to confirm their commitment in the eyes of the world and their God. I should also point out that both women are long term, committed Christians and have never had a problem from the Church of England because of their relationship.
Now for the fun stuff. My friends have many other friends who are ordained vicars in the Church of England. The Church of England does not perform or, it seems, condone same sex marriages or even partnerships. So far, fair enough. The United Reformed Church, however, does. The URC is where the blessing will take place. These ordained vicars have been told by their Bishops that they are absolutely forbidden from attending the service. Let’s repeat that: absolutely forbidden from attending the service. It seems that the Church believes that if they attend, they are doing so as vicars, even if they dress in “civvies” and do not introduce themselves by their full titles.
Equally, my friends are getting resistance from some of their other gay friends. The mind boggles. This is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives in which they stand before God and man and affirm and confirm their lifelong commitment to each other. They need to be supported in this and are, instead, meeting with resistance and red tape and other crap that they don’t need.
As far as I am aware (and please correct me if I’m wrong), there is nothing in the Bible which explicitly forbids lesbianism – male-male partnerships, yes, but female-female, no. Now, if God is omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (everywhere and, by extension, everywhen), then surely when dictating the words, He would have mentioned that he was against this sort of thing. Yes? Would that not then mean that God either doesn’t mind or simply didn’t know? Obviously, if it’s the latter then there are a few issues with claims against Him (or should that just be “him”)?
Anyway, that takes me a little way away from what I wanted to say. I am extremely angry at the Church of England, especially since this short sightedness tends to speak against their usual “all inclusiveness” and alienates the people they should be encouraging – Christians.
I, for one, will be attending the service and I wish my friends all the very best and happiness for their lives together.
Maybe I should start my own church.