The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Rev Justin Welby has been confirmed into his role in a ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral. Shortly before being confirmed he said the Church's opposition to gay marriage was not a controversial issue for the majority global community of Anglicans. He said:
"The Government wants it, we think there are issues around the way it is going forward, it is not a collision course, no, it is just part of the normal discussions that one has. We have made our views clear, and they have made their views clear."
Prime Minister David Cameron is giving his MPs a free vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on Tuesday, which will also allow civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage and enable married people to change their legal gender without having to end their union.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Rev Justin Welby, in a ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral today, will say that "marriage is between a man and a woman, and always has been", according to a Daily Telegraph source.
Lambeth Palace was keen to stress the view was standard Church of England policy and insisted the Archbishop was not planning to wade into the row by making any formal statements, but was simply ready to respond to any questions he was asked on the issue.
Tory activists claimed today they felt "a sense of betrayal" over the Prime Minister's "bulldozed-through" reforms and handed in a letter to No 10 urging Mr Cameron to rethink the plans.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury is ready to reveal he believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, it has emerged.
Ahead of the first parliamentary vote on the reforms, the Rt Rev Justin Welby is prepared to face questions about the highly divisive issue.
Tories have been plunged into deep unrest by the proposals, which David Cameron has personally championed.
The Prime Minister is facing the prospect of some 180 members of his party, including a significant number of senior figures, opposing or abstaining in a vote on the changes on Tuesday. He is expected to attempt to talk to his MPs today in the hope of winning their support, according to The Times.
Bishop Welby is being formally confirmed in his new role at a ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral today.
For more on reports that around 180 Conservative Cabinet members, junior ministers and party enforcers are poised to oppose or abstain in a vote on gay marriage, click here.