The Daily Telegraph

Church leader says gay marriage is like ‘Nazi intrusion on religion’

- By Max Stephens and Gabriella Swerling

ALLOWING gay clergy to marry would amount to state interferen­ce in religion reminiscen­t of Nazi Germany, a leading Church of England figure has said.

At an Oxford Union debate on Thursday, Rev Dr Ian Paul, a member of the Archbishop­s’ Council, argued those supporting same-sex unions within the Church were allowing the views of the state to ride roughshod over the Church’s teachings.

His comments were challenged by three bishops, as well as Matt Hancock, who made an unexpected appearance during the two-hour-long debate .

Rev Paul, a General Synod member, told students that allowing same-sex marriage would be a “clear contravent­ion of God’s word”.

In a debate on the motion “This House supports same-sex marriage in the Church”, he said that supporting the proposal is “voting for a church which detaches itself from the clear and consistent teachings of Jesus”.

He added: “If you vote for this motion you are, as a non-religious group, assuming secular authority can determine religious belief. You wouldn’t be alone in that, it was true in Nazi Germany, it was true in the Soviet Union. And true today in China and Iran and North Korea.”

Calvin Robinson, an evangelica­l Anglican deacon and TV presenter for GB News, echoed his comments, saying: “Two thousand years of Christian doctrine cannot be altered on the whim of a few bishops. What is God-ordained cannot be adjusted to suit our new liberal progressiv­e views. Marriage is heterosexu­al, monogamous and should be open to the possibilit­y of children.”

However, Rev Martin Gorick, the Bishop of Dudley, said: “We need to look deeper into the Scripture. It’s not good for man to be alone; it says that right at the beginning of Genesis.

“Homosexual men and women have been told too long by the church they have no choice. We need to think very seriously before denying life, we need to think seriously before denying the reality of love.” Mr Hancock, who had given an earlier union address to students about his political career and appearance on I’m A Celebrity, joined the bishop in condemning Rev Paul’s comments.

He said: “I was moved to speak because having heard the debate today it is clear that on the grounds of leadership that is needed in our society today and on ethical moral grounds, this house must support this motion.

“I am probably unusual in this room because I have been to a same-sex marriage in an Anglican Church. We had to pretend it wasn’t an actual marriage.

“I’ve never heard a motion that is worth supporting where the opposition cites Nazi Germany.”

Their comments come after Church of England bishops last month rejected calls to allow same-sex marriages in churches, following six years of debate and consultati­on. Instead, they agreed to offer blessings after a civil partnershi­p or marriage.

The decision prompted a backlash from equality campaigner­s, some of whom accused the church of discrimina­tion. The proposals about same-sex marriage will be debated at General Synod, the Church’s legislativ­e body, next week.

 ?? ?? Ian Paul told an Oxford Union debate that to support same-sex unions is to assume secular authority which is ‘non-religious’
Ian Paul told an Oxford Union debate that to support same-sex unions is to assume secular authority which is ‘non-religious’

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