Same-sex couples will now be able to have their marriage or civil partnership blessed by the Church of Wales after new legislation was passed by the Church’s governing body on Tuesday.
But same-sex couples will still not be able to marry in a Church of Wales church, as the legislation only allows for blessing services.
It will also be up for individual members of the clergy to decide whether or not they wish to offer blessings to same-sex couples.
The bill was first introduced by the bishops, after the church’s governing body suggested it was “pastorally unsustainable” for the church not to make any formal provisions for people in same-sex relationships.
The church’s governing body is made up of three groups – the bishops, the clergy and the laity.
The bill was passed unanimously by the bishops, with 28 members of the clergy voting in favour, compared with 12 against and two abstentions.
The laity voted in favour of the bill by 49 votes to ten, with one abstention.
The discussion and vote was held on the first day of the governing body’s meeting at the International Convention Centre, near Newport.
After the bill was passed by the church, the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, said: “I come out of this debate with no sense of triumph but believing that the Church in Wales has done the right thing under God for the LGBTQIA+ community.
“The Church has spoken decisively today in favour of blessings. There is a journey still to be taken but I hope that we can do it together with all the wings of the Church.”
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