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A dozen clergy to reveal defiance of church's marriage teaching

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A dozen Church of England clergy will reveal that they have defied the church's teaching by 'marrying' their same-sex partners. 
An open letter will be sent to the House of Bishops in September, which will also urge the Church of England to permit 'blessings' for same-sex 'weddings'. 
Half of the signatories have declared themselves to be already 'married'.

Official guidance prohibits same-sex 'marriage'

Under the church’s official guidance, clergy are not permitted to enter into same-sex 'marriages'. 
Despite this, several clergy over the past two years have defied this ban, including one of the signatories, Andrew Cain, who was elected to the Church of England’s General Synod last October. Some clergy faced no discipline for 'marrying' their partners. 
The letter proposes no change in church doctrine, but that priests should be allowed to decide whether they wish to give a blessing, using a new, official service.

'We are going to keep pushing'

Andrew Cain commented: "We’re simply asking for action to back up the rhetoric of the Bishops about welcome and acceptance for LGBTI people." 
"We accept not all are ready so we’re urging them to make a bold step, while accepting that it isn’t yet time to ask for the removal of the ‘quadruple lock’ blocking same-sex marriages in Church of England churches."
He added that this move is part of a larger agenda to eventually see same-sex 'marriage' accepted and endorsed by the church, telling the Sunday Times:
"We are now going to keep pushing for the next and the next and the next [step] until we get full equality in the church. We are not going away."

Undermining church’s authority

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, said that the signatories are "trying to undermine the authority of the teaching of the church."
"It is clear that the eventual aim of these activists is to erode completely the church’s teaching on marriage. Andrew Cain himself has admitted this. We therefore urge the House of Bishops to reject this proposal for an official 'blessing' service for same-sex unions, and resist ongoing attempts to move away from Scripture on this issue."
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