The Church of England has declared that sex is for married heterosexuals only, amidst recent legislations backing other sexual relationships.
The church made it’s stance known in guidance document drawn up by it’s house of bishops. The document advises clergy to deny couples blessings if they are in civil partnerships, in response to a law change allowing mixed-sex forms.
The document reads, “Sexual relationships outside heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God’s purpose for human beings.
“For Christians, marriage – that is, the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity.”
It adds that in response to new forms of civil partnerships, the church “seeks to uphold that standard” and “affirm the value of committed, sexually abstinent friendships” within them.
Civil partnerships were legalised in December 2005, affording same-sex couples legal status and property rights, but in 2018 the supreme court ruled that mixed-sex civil ties should have come under the act. The first mixed-sex couple was registered last month.
The CofE already bans same-sex marriage, which was legalised in 2013, but permits clergy to enter same-sex civil partnerships if they are sexually abstinent.
The traditional teachings on civil partnerships comes as the church carries out a major review of its stance on sexuality and marriage.
The pastoral guidance adds that Bishops “do not believe it is possible for the church to unconditionally to accept civil partnerships as unequivocally reflecting the teaching of the church” because of “ambiguity” over sex in these couples.
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