I drew your attention to John Sentamu’s piece on why he does not support same-sex marriage a few days ago. One thing I missed in that farrago is that His Grace was being economical with the truth. He stated that the bishops in the House of Lords supported civil partnerships when the bill was debated.
Strange that, if one checks Hansard, as Iain McLean has done, that is not what you will find:
The main Lords debate on the civil partnership bill took place in June 2004. Richard Harries, then bishop of Oxford, did indeed signal Church of England support for civil partnerships. But his efforts were contradicted by the five conservative bishops who spoke on the other side. Going by the bishops’ contributions to debate, the score is 5/3 against. Going by the bishops’ votes, it is 6/1 against. Six bishops voted for a successful wrecking amendment in the name of Lady O’Cathain, which made the bill unworkable. Only the Commons’ insistence on rejecting the O’Cathain amendment made it possible to enact civil partnerships.
His Grace tells porkies. What a surprise.
A tip of the hat to Eric McDonald for drawing my attention to this doubtless unintended failure of His Grace to recall facts correctly when it suits him to do so.