Church highly critical of the Government's consultation on gay marriage

The Church of England added that introducing gay marriage could also lead to challenges to civil partnership law, as removing the concept of gender from marriage while leaving it in place for civil partnerships would be unlikely to be "legally sustainable".

In a highly critical response to the Government's consultation on gay marriage which closes on Thursday, the Church of England said several "major elements" of the proposals had not been thought through properly and were not legally "sound".

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Church warns over gay marriage

Gay marriage threatens the establishment of the Church of England, it claims, and could mean it is forced out of its role of conducting weddings on behalf of the state.