Peter Ould quickly gets to the core of the significance of the reported 'gay marriage' at St Bartholomews, London (see What is not to like? below) with an (as usual) clear and concise critique entitled 'Gay Wedding - The Theology'.
I think he is right. The service used is so close to a wedding service for a man and a woman, yet so subversive of the analogy between Christ's relationship to the church and a husband's relationship to a wife (Ephesians 5:23-33) that it puts a doctrinal stake in the ground. Either the Church of England objectively distances itself as far as possible from this service and its intrinsic understanding that a same sex partnership may be understood to be a Scripturally-validated form of marriage, or it will be complicit in affirming this understanding is accommodated within its theological diversity. Silence would mean consent. We await the voice of Chartres, Williams, Sentamu, and co.
I feel strongly about this matter (if you cannot tell)! Marriage is marriage. Whatever a same sex partnership is, no matter how many common elements it has with marriage, it is not a marriage, for it lacks the prerequisite of two opposite sexes. This is not a head in the sand position, pretending the world is other than it is. Clearly there are an increasing number of publicly declared if not publicly registered if not publicly blessed same sex relationships. Whatever the Anglican church 'does' about this situation - whether it offers moral approbation (which I disagree with) or pastoral support (which I do not think we can escape) or creative ways of acknowledging (as we often find ourselves doing with those heterosexual couples who 'live together') - it should not deceive itself that it is dealing with a new form of marriage. Marriage is marriage!