Over Objections of New Arch. of Cant., UK Okays Marriage Equality

When Justin Welby formally began his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday, he managed to pique the ire of lesbian and gay Anglicans and their allies in the UK by highlighting his opposition to marriage equality on the grounds that the matter is off-putting to the balance of the Anglican Communion outside of the UK, who remain forcefully committed to the notion that marriage is “between one man and one woman.” On Sunday, Conservative Anglicans around the UK encouraged parishioners to pray for the defeat of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.

Like those of so many American football fans, such prayers have proved futile. Today, British legislators voted, by a 225 majority (400 for, 175 opposed) to pass marriage equality legislation. The legislation allows churches to opt out of offering marriage ceremonies, which means that Welby will be able to continue to act out of a theological protectionism for conservative Anglicans, resisting what many Anglicans, including the Anglican Church in Canada and the Episcopal Church in the US, see as the prophetic calling of an engaged Christianity.

Elizabeth Drescher [@edrescherphd] is the author, with Keith Anderson, of Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible (Morehouse, 2012). She teaches religion and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University. She is currently at work on Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of Religious Nones, a project funded in part through a grant from the Social Science Research Council’s “New Directions in the Study of Prayer” project through the Templeton Foundation. Her website is www.elizabethdrescher.com