First priest to defy Church ban on gay marriage for clergy

By John Bingham, Telegraph


Church of England facing stand-off with its own clergy as first priest openly defies ban on gay clerics marrying


The Church of England is facing a rebellion within its own ranks over same-sex marriage after a vicar became the first priest to publicly defy its ban on gay clergy marrying.


Father Andrew Cain, vicar of two large parishes in north-west London, said he would not be “frightened” into cancelling his wedding to his long-term partner, Stephen Foreshew, by the prohibition.


An acrimonious row broke out within the Church of England two weeks ago after the House of Bishops decided, during a meeting behind closed doors, to ban gay clergy from marrying when same-sex marriage becomes legal later this month.


The decision was applauded by traditionalists and several primates overseas but infuriated liberals in the Church.


Although the Church of England officially objected to the legalisation of gay marriage and has opted out of performing the weddings, there have been growing signs of a more relaxed stance on homosexuality.


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