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.

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Home Office: CoE will not be forced to conduct gay marriages

A Home Office spokesman said: "The purpose of the equal civil marriage consultation is to enable us to listen to all views, including those of all religions.

The Church of England has criticised the Government's plans on gay marriage.

"Marriage is one of the most important institutions we have. It binds us together, it brings stability, and it makes this country stronger. We have been clear that no religious organisation will be forced to conduct same-sex marriages as a result of our proposals.

"We welcome the Church of England's response and we will be carefully considering all points of view before publishing the outcome of the consultation later in the year."

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