Church of England refuses to allow priests to perform same-sex marriages

The Church of England is officially the state church of England, but not the entire United Kingdom, and King Charles III is its supreme governor.

Updated: January 18, 2023 - 9:42pm

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The Church of England has rejected the blessing of same-sex marriages within the denomination following a six-year internal review of its policies on sexuality.

"Same-sex couples would still not be able to get married in a Church of England church," a statement from the church declared, according to Reuters.

The Church's General Synod will meet in February and review proposals that its bishops outlined on Wednesday. Said proposals would permit services to offer "prayers of dedication, thanksgiving or for God's blessing on the couple" in a church following a civil marriage, which is legal in the United Kingdom.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby indicated that the church expected the proposals to ruffle some feathers in both the church's conservative and progressive wings.

"I am under no illusions that what we are proposing today will appear to go too far for some and not nearly far enough for others, but it is my hope that what we have agreed will be received in a spirit of generosity, seeking the common good," he said, per the outlet.

The Church of England is officially the state church of England, but not the entire United Kingdom, and King Charles III is its supreme governor. Founded in 1534, it split off from the Roman Catholic Church in part due to the efforts of King Henry VIII to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The church's theology has traditionally been regarded as something of a middle ground between catholic orthodoxy and more reformed views.

It is further part of the wider Anglican Communion, which includes many churches in other nations worldwide. In the United States, the Episcopal Church represents the bloc. That church does permit its priests to perform same-sex marriages.