UK: First same-sex wedding deepens Anglican divide

The first gay Anglican wedding in Britain took place last week, just a day after the archbishop of Canterbury said the continuing row in the Anglican Communion over same-sex relationships was an “intractable problem”. 

The couple, known as “Mark and Rick”, got married on Tuesday at a Eucharist service where the Rev Markus Dunzkofer, of the Scottish Episcopal church, officiated. Dunzkofer, rector of St John’s, in Princes Street, Edinburgh, said “history was made” at the wedding, held in the chapel of a Dalhousie hotel.

Mark and Rick’s marriage is the first in the Scottish Episcopal church, which is part of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal church announced in June that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend canon law on marriage. It agreed that the doctrine stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed.

The vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists, with the conservative Anglican group Gafcon announcing that it was appointing a missionary bishop, committed to keeping marriage heterosexual, to work in Scotland.

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has struggled to keep the worldwide Anglican Communion together over the issue of same-sex relationships, with many African bishops voicing opposition to gay weddings and to clergy being involved in gay relationships themselves.

Simon Sarmiento, of the website Thinking Anglicans, said: “The Scottish Episcopal church is small in numbers but this will undoubtedly have an impact. It brings this issue that much closer. Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church of England.” The Scottish church, which has around 100,000 members, voted for gay marriage after years of debate at diocesan and church level. Read more via the Guardian