General Synod rejects Church of England's report on gay marriage

(Reuters/Hannah McKay)A member of the continuing praying presence walks past a vigil against Anglican Homophobia, outside the General Synod of the Church of England in London, Britain, February 15, 2017.

The Church of England's ruling body has rejected a report that upholds the teaching that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

The report, released by the House of Bishops last week, stated that there was "little support" for changing the traditional view of marriage.

The majority of the General Synod voted in favor of taking note of the report gaining 106 votes from the laity, 43 from bishops and 93 from clergy. The motion, which needed majority support in each of the three sectors, failed to pass as 100 members of the clergy voted against it. Eighty-three members of the laity and one bishop also rejected the motion.

While the votes were not a formal rejection of the proposals, the views aired will be used by the House of Bishops to inform their future work, Daily Mail reported.

Although the report recommended that the Church uphold its stance on traditional marriage, it called for the promotion of "maximum freedom" within its current laws and doctrines, without changing them.

It suggested that guidelines could be created to encourage clergy to guide and pray with same-sex couples, without blessing such marriages.

LGBT campaigners stood outside the main entrance to the Church House in London in an effort to convince members to vote against the report.

Lucy Gorman of York told the synod that the Church is perceived by the wider society as "lacking in love." She asserted that fewer young people are coming to church because of its stance on homosexuality. "Why would people become part of a church that is seemingly homophobic?" she asked.

Some conservative members of the church also voiced their criticisms and voted against the report.

Andrea Williams, from the group Christian Concern, voted against the report over concerns that it would lead to blessings for gay couples. She said that the results should not be taken as a victory for LGBT activists.

"What was clear from the debate was that the report tries to straddle positions that cannot be reconciled," said Williams. "Now what we need is clarity. We request the Church make clear the teaching on true marriage that is good for all and in line with the Church's apostolic teaching," she added.

Synod member Susie Leafe, who leads the conservative group Reform, also rejected the report due to concerns that it allowed for "maximum freedom" for gay couples.

"We didn't get the clarification from the bishops that we asked for so therefore we voted against," she told Christian Today.

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