May: Church should reflect on stance on gay marriage
THERESA May has urged the Church of England to ‘reflect’ on its opposition to allowing vicars to bless gay marriages.
It came as the Prime Minister admitted her own views on whether homosexuals should be allowed to marry had changed over the years.
While same-sex couples have been able to have civil weddings since 2013, the law still bars them from doing so in Church buildings.
Mrs May said it was up to the Church to decide if it would row back on its previous opposition to allowing priests to carry out equal marriage ceremonies.
But she urged them to consider how attitudes had changed since they came to their decision.
Her intervention comes a day after Commons Speaker John Bercow said gay people should ‘bloody well’ be able to get married in church.
Speaking on LBC radio yesterday, the Prime Minister defended her party’s attitude towards gay marriage.
And she reaffirmed that the Conservative Party would not row back on its equalities agenda because of its deal with the DUP. The Northern Irish party opposes gay marriage, adoption by gay couples and gay men giving blood.
Mrs May, herself a vicar’s daughter, said allowing priests to bless gay marriages ‘has to be a matter for the Church’.
‘My attitude has changed over years’
But she added: ‘The Church of England has itself come a distance in terms of looking at these issues, and obviously they will want to reflect as attitudes will generally change as society changes.’
Commenting on her own party’s views on gay marriage, she said: ‘If you look at what has happened over the years, you will see a change that has taken place in the Conservative Party, and in individuals. I’ll be honest, my attitude on a number of these issues has changed over the years as well.’
Mrs May has pledged to review the law on allowing transgender people to legally change their gender. Writing for gay news site PinkNews, she said: ‘We must ... make sure that transgender rights are supported. That is exactly why we are reviewing the Gender recognition Act.’