I’m a minister and a gay couple have asked me to bless their relationship, what do I do?

Well, we really hope you’ll say, “Yes.” The minister who blessed/married us said, “First I need to know some things I need to know from everyone I marry. Let’s start with why you want to get married…”

We were overjoyed, because this followed numerous conversations with ministers who had – immediately or after discussion, politely or cuttingly – said, “No.”

Ministers who contributed to Living It Out told us that this is a big question.

And it raises more questions than answers. What’s the best way to give pastoral care to the couple? Will your job be on the line if you say yes?  How do you work out your own beliefs about what’s right before God?

In Living It Out, Tony describes what happened when he was asked this question many years ago: “Once, as a vicar, I was asked to bless the rings of a gay couple who had made a life-long, (but, at that time, unofficial) commitment to each other in love. I declined. I repent of that now.

“I cannot (yet?) affirm the absolute equality of gay and straight sexualities but I will, as a matter of Christian commitment, uphold the right of same-sex relationships to be accorded equal value and significance in the eyes of the church. If I was asked now, I would regard it as a privilege.”

What do you do? Let us know by filling in the comments box below.

Rachel Hagger-Holt & Sarah Hagger-Holt

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