New dean of St Paul’s Cathedral calls Church of England to embrace gay marriage

The Very Rev Dr David Ison, the new dean of St Paul’s Cathedral appointed by the Queen this week, said the church should welcome gay people wanting to take on the virtues of marriage, such as faithfulness.

David Batty’s article in The Guardian article quotes Ison:

“We need to take seriously people’s desire for partnership and make sure that the virtues that you see in married relationships are available to people who are gay.”

Ison told the Times that there was a problem of “word definition” about gay marriage because of the history and the tradition of the church. He added that it was more helpful to talk of “Christian marriage” than homosexual or heterosexual unions


“You can regard two Christian gay people as wanting to have the virtues of Christian marriage,” he said.

“For Christian gay people to model that kind of faithfulness, in a culture which, historically, has often been about promiscuity, is a very good thing to do.”

He added that gay couples should also be allowed to adopt children: “I think that … anyone who can provide a loving, stable, caring home should be able to adopt.”

Asked whether the government was right to change the law on gay marriage, Ison said a commitment to being together was “the best pattern for how to flourish if you’re going to be in a relationship … whether you’re gay or straight.”

He added: “Marriage doesn’t belong to the Church.”

The Guardian article contrasts this position with Archbishop Sentamu, and also points out that Ison conducted ceremonies affirming gay couples civil partnerships in his previous position as dean of Bradford Cathedral.

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