Christian conservative Franklin Graham
has cheered the Church of England's reiteration that it is opposed to
In a statement responding to the
introduction of heterosexual civil partnerships in England, the
church stated that marriage was reserved for heterosexual couples and
that sex outside of marriage “falls short of God's purpose for
“For Christians, marriage – that
is, the lifelong union between a man and a woman, contracted with the
making of vows – remains the proper context for sexual activity,”
church said in a pastoral statement.
“Sexual relationships outside
heterosexual marriage are regarded as falling short of God's purpose
for human beings,” it added.
The church added that clergy “should
not provide services of blessing for those who register a civil
Graham, son of the late televangelist
Billy Graham and a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, applauded the
“The Church of England has publicly
reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman – and that
sex belongs only within heterosexual marriage,” Graham wrote in a
“I appreciate the church taking this
strong stand with the Word of God, which is truth,” he added.
England created civil partnerships in
2005 for gay and lesbian couples. In 2013, marriage was legalized for
gay couples. The law was amended to allow opposite-sex couples to
enter a civil partnership following a 2018 ruling.