A senior bishop in the Church of England has recorded a video endorsing marriage equality as part of the Out4Marriage campaign.
“It all comes down to how we see gay people and how we see God,” Bishop of Buckingham Alan Wilson, a straight father of five, says in the video. “We don’t actually believe gay people are sick or stunted or criminal. We don’t believe God is an angry old man out to get us. Let us stop behaving as though we did. Recognizing gay people are equal means they won’t dilute or spoil marriage but potentially enrich it.”
The United Kingdom currently offers civil partnerships to gay couples, but the government is considering legislation to establish marriage rights, something backed by Prime Minister David Cameron. Wilson joins London mayor Boris Johnson, several members of Parliament, and other clergy members in supporting marriage equality.
Some conservative activists objected to the bishop’s stance. “Scripture, the Church of England’s doctrinal foundation, makes clear that homosexual desire and practice are sinful,” Duncan Boyd, chairman of Keep Marriage Special, told London’s Telegraph. “The government should not change the law and the bishop should teach what the Bible says or resign.”
A spokesman for the Church of England reiterated the official stance that marriage should be limited to male-female couples. He added, “Opening marriage to same-sex couples would add nothing to the rights and responsibilities that already exist within a civil partnership.”
Watch Bishop Wilson’s video below.