The leader of the House of Commons has written a letter to the Bishop of Portsmouth, urging him to support same-sex marriage within the Church of England ahead of the imminent General Synod.
Penny Mordaunt is the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North, references other major churches within the United Kingdom that have recently changed their stance on same-sex marriage, including the Church of Scotland and plans from the Church in Wales.
In the letter, the MP describes “pain and trauma” caused to the LGBT+ community as a result of the CofE’s stance on the issue, saying they are left “feeling like second-class citizens”.
The politician urged Bishop Dr Jonathan Frost not to let the issue “fester” at the February General Synod.
She said: “I know you will have many things to consider in your deliberations, but I hope you will back reform, allowing parishes and clergy to conduct weddings for same-sex couples or, at a minimum, enable authorised blessings. I want all of my constituents and others to be able to have the right to have their relationships solemnised in their local parish in England. As you will know, there is huge strength of feeling on this in Portsmouth”.
The Church of England is currently in the “listening” phase of the Living in Love and Faith process. The bishops involved have been meeting with activist groups and are due to deliver their thoughts imminently.