Poll: Brits want gay church weddings

Dec. 26, 2012 at 1:45 AM

LONDON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A majority of the British public say Church of England priests should be able to unite gay couples, a poll released Wednesday indicated.

The survey by ComRes for The Independent found 62 percent favor allowing religious ceremonies if priests are willing to conduct them, 31 percent oppose it and 7 percent are unsure.

Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for allowing same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies. He has promised no religious groups would be required to recognize gay marriage.

High Court Judge Paul Coleridge, who started a group fighting family breakdown, told The Times of London that gay marriage is the "wrong policy." He also suggested a lot of energy is being put into an issue that affects a tiny minority of the British population while there is a "crisis of family breakdown."

Vincent Nichols, who heads the Catholic Church in England and Wales as archbishop of Westminster, attacked Cameron's proposal in his sermon at the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, The Daily Telegraph reported. In the sermon and in an earlier interview with the BBC, Nichols suggested the public opposes gay marriage and that Cameron introduced his plan in Parliament with little advance notice.

Church of England leaders also oppose gay marriage and many members of Parliament from Cameron's Conservative Party plan to vote against it.

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