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Church of England bishops in House of Lords become focal point of pressure in debate on same-sex marriage

June 03, 2013

Bishops of the Church of England are being urged not to use their positions in the House of Lords to block legislation that would recognize same-sex marriages.

Although Anglican leaders have spoken of their opposition to the legislation-- which has the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron and his government—they are being warned that they might create a government crisis if the House of Lords rejects the bill, which has been approved by the House of Commons.

Proponents of the legislation argue that if the House of Lords rejects the bill, the result could jeopardize the future of that institution. But conservative Anglicans have encouraged their bishops to use their votes to block a radical change in the definition of marriage.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Justin Welby, has announced that he opposes the legislation, but emphasized that he does not see the issue as a religious question.


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