The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtham has suggested in a letter to UK daily newspaper, The Telegraph that it was time for the church to “rethink” attitudes about same-sex marriage, as Christians had done with slavery and apartheid.
“No one now supports either slavery or apartheid. The Biblical texts have not changed; our interpretation has.” The religious leader argued that same sex marriage did not “detract from heterosexual marriage” and that the “development of marriage for same sex couples is a very strong endorsement of the institution of marriage”.
The same-sex marriage bill that would allow same-sex couples, who can currently hold civil partnership ceremonies, to marry is currently being debated in the UK parliament. There are religious safeguards already written into the bill in which religious organisations would have to “opt in” to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned in law from doing so.
The bill has been backed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, his Lib Dem deputy PM Nick Clegg as well as the opposition leader Ed Miliband and the majority of their party members. Although many Tory backbenchers oppose the bill and voted against equality, showing that for all Cameron’s talk of being a progressive party and worthy of leading the country for the next decade is just talk and empty promises.