Sex is for straight married couples only says Church of England as it calls on in gay or straight civil partnerships to be abstinent
- Statement issued by the House of Bishops gave response on civil partnerships
- It was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby
- Pastoral Statement upheld the value of marriage between a man and woman
The Church of England has today declared civil partnerships between men and women are not as good as marriage.
A statement issued by the House of Bishops today, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, addressed the changes in marriage law for the first time.
The pastoral statement added that marriage, ‘continues to provide the best context for the raising of children.’
A statement issued by the House of Bishops today, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, addressed the changes in marriage law
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan became one of the first same sex couples to register for a civil partnership at the end of last year
What’s the difference between marriage and a civil partnership?
On June 27 2018 a heterosexual couple won the right to have a civil partnership.
- A civil partnership involves one part of the couple signing the relevant document to make their union official in the eyes of the law
- A marriage is formed when a couple exchange spoken words or vows to one another
- A civil partnership does not require a ceremony
- The union gives you the same pension rights as if you are married
- If one person in the union dies, the other is entitled to some of their pension pot
- You have to have been in the partnership for a year before you can become civil partners
- Dissolving either partnership has to be done by a court
- Procedure for dissolution of civil partnership is two stage
- Instead of decree nisi and decree absolute as in a divorce, there is first a conditional order and a final order
- In a civil partnership couples would be unable to rely on using adultery as a ground for the relationship being dissolved
The bishops defined marriage as ‘a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman making a public commitment to each other,’ and ‘central to the stability and health of human society.’
In December, heterosexual couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan became one of the first couples to tie the knot in a ceremony after winning a Supreme Court case to change the law.
The couple, who had campaigned for mixed-sex civil partnerships, registered their ‘more modern’ partnership at Kensington and Chelsea Register.
The change in the law allows couples up and down the country to enter into civil partnerships rather than a marriage following a Supreme Court legal victory in 2018.
The couple, who met in 2010 and have two children, said marriage ‘treated women as property’.
Rules were changed to extend civil partnerships – available to same-sex couples since 2005 – to everyone.
The statement published by the House of Bishops, which includes all 42 of the most senior diocesan bishops, added: ‘It would not be right to produce an authorised public liturgy in connection with the registering of civil partnerships.
‘With opposite sex civil partnerships, and with those for same sex couples, the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics remains unchanged. For Christians, marriage – that is the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.’
Charles Keidan holds his civil partnership certificate outside Kensington and Chelsea Register Office in King’s Road
They added: ‘Because of the ambiguity about the place of sexual activity within civil partnerships of both sorts, and the church’s teaching that marriage between a man and a woman is the proper context for sexual intercourse, we do not believe that it is possible for the church unconditionally to accept civil partnerships as unequivocally reflecting the teaching of the church.’
But the leaders of the Church said churchgoers with civil partnerships should be treated ‘sensitively and pastorally’.