Christian conservative Franklin Graham has cheered the Church of England's reiteration that it is opposed to marriage equality.

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 human beings.”

“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,” the 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 partnership.”

Graham, son of the late televangelist Billy Graham and a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, applauded the church's position.

“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 Facebook post.

“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.