No Gay 'Weddings' in My Churches! Archbishop Vetoes Use of Anglican Buildings

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Byline: Daniel Martin Political Correspondent

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has vowed he will never allow Church of England buildings to be used for gay weddings.

Dr Rowan Williams told MPs he would not bow to pressure to enable his churches to be used for same-sex unions.

His intervention comes as the Coalition consults on plans to allow civil partnerships between gays and lesbians to take place in religious settings for the first time.

No church, mosque or synagogue will be forced to host the ceremonies but some religious leaders are worried they could face discrimination suits if they do not open their doors to gay unions.

Some within the CofE have been calling on the archbishop to 'move with the times' and allow his churches to host gay weddings - pointing out that polls have shown two thirds of the public would be in support.

But now Dr Williams, who was seen as a liberal when he took up his post, has indicated that on this issue he will ally himself with conservatives in the Church.

He told MPs the CofE believed marriage could only be a union between a man and a woman and that he would not be changing course.

The meeting was set up by Tony Baldry, Tory MP for North Oxfordshire, in order to build relations between Church and politicians.

Challenged by Simon Kirby, Tory MP for Brighton Kemptown, to explain what he would say to a same-sex couple wanting a church union, Dr Williams said he would not countenance weakening its teaching on marriage and would not be dictated to by the Government. …