London, June 13: The British government’s plan to introduce same-sex marriage is one of the most serious threats to the Church of England in its 500-year history, the clergy claim.
Anxiety among Church leaders is so acute that they raised the spectre of disestablishment, warning that any attempt to alter the definition of marriage could fatally undermine the Church’s privileged position, The Independent reported Tuesday.
Critics have dismissed the Church’s stance as overly dramatic and called on bishops to follow the lead of established religious bodies in Iceland, Sweden and Denmark who largely embraced gay marriage.
The clerics say that the plans for same-sex marriage “have not been thought-through properly and are not legally sound”.
Downing Street has insisted that its plans to bring in equal marriage laws will go ahead. In March the government launched a three-month consultation process calling on supporters and opponents to put forward their views with the deadline for submissions closing later this week.