Leading Anglican campaigners have warned that Government plans to exempt the Church from the new legislation will lead to hundreds of homosexual clergy and worshippers marrying in Quaker and Unitarian services and then returning to the Church.
In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, dozens of clergy, including Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, today urge homosexual Anglicans to follow this course of action.
Er, this is not what the letter says, and it may be that there is a rush to say the Metropolitan Community Church or even the United Reformed Church if it becomes the only mainstream denomination to offer same sex marriages (a big 'if' as it has only shown greater generosity to civil partnerships than some).
What is the scenario for Anglican clergy and laity coming along to Unitarian churches (that have voted in favour of holding same-sex marriages) with the registrar in attendance if the minister isn't registered? Are Unitarians to say off you go with your trinitarian rites and see you afterwards?
Many an Anglican liberal makes the sort of compromise with dogma that indicates a belief in public that the individual does not keep. In a Unitarian service, participants are asked what they actually believe, and what sort of content will go into making the marriage service their service. Trotting out the formal Anglican marriage service is highly unlikely, and would be a denial of Unitarian history.
Unitarians rarely have services where all members of a congregation can say, 'I agree with that.' Rather, understanding their differences, they agree to come together, and will enjoy discussion in openness afterwards. This is what being creedless involves.
The marriage service suits the individuals. The Church alters according to its individual constituents, and not the other way around. The people who want to come will be welcome; the duplicity of liberal Anglicanism will not be welcome.