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Priests' civil
unions cause debate in U.K.

Priests' civil
unions cause debate in U.K.

More than 50 gay clergy in the Church of England have entered into civil unions, upsetting the church's conservatives, who vocally oppose such actions, The [London] Sunday Times reported.

A pro-gay organization within the Church of England reported that at least 51 priests are now in legally recognized same-sex partnerships. The director of the group, Colin Coward, told the Times that "civil partnerships have helped to increase the stability of same-sex relationships and reduced the social exclusion to which lesbian and gay people are often subjected."

According to the Times, evangelicals and traditionalists within the church have vowed to force open debate about the priests' civil unions in a meeting of the general synod in February. This comes after criticism of bishops' perceived neglect in allowing noncelibate priests to enter into civil partnerships. (The Advocate)

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