Church launches consultation on same sex marriage and civil partnerships

The Methodist Church has launched a consultation on the implications of same sex marriagelegislation for the Methodist Church.

The Methodist Conference asked a working group to look at theimplications of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act for theMethodist Church back in July. The group's task is to report onwhether the Conference should embark on a process of reviewing theChurch's position on marriage and on civil partnerships. Theconsultation is open to Methodists and will run until earlyFebruary.

Susan Howdle, chair of the same sex marriage and civil partnershipworking party, said: "The working party has begun its consultationsby meeting a few pilot groups as well as having very livelyconversations at 3Generate 2013 Children's and Youth Assembly. Fromthis, we have begun to identify some of the key implications whichthe legislation poses for our Church.  We are now embarking onwider consultation, trying to fulfill our brief to be as open andinclusive as possible."

Following agreement by the House of Lords and the House ofCommons, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill received Royal Assenton 17 July. The Act makes provision for the marriage of same-sexcouples in England and Wales.

Susan Howdle continued: "We do urge as many Methodists as possibleto respond, thoughtfully and prayerfully, to the consultation inorder to help us to gauge the mind of the Church. We hope the timescale will allow at least some of the responses to be from groupswho have met for discussion, but individual responses are equallywelcome."  

The Methodist Church's position is that marriage is a gift of Godand that it is God's intention that a marriage should be alife-long union in body, mind and spirit of one man and onewoman.

1. Methodists without internet access can contact the Help Desk atMethodist Church House on 020 7486 5502 to ask for a copy ofthe consultation to be sent to them in the post  
2. The consultation can be downloaded from  /ssmcpworkinggroup.
For more information on the same-sex marriage and civilpartnership working group, see here:  /ssmcpworkinggroup