Rev Dr David Ison, who was appointed by the Queen this week, has called on the Church of England to welcome gay people wanting to take on the virtues of marriage, such as faithfulness.
“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.
He went on to say 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.”