1. The coming into effect of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 may have changed English law but it has not changed Anglican Mainstream’s commitment to promote, teach and maintain the commonly agreed Scriptural truths of the Christian faith. For Anglicans these truths are expressed by the historic Creeds, the 39 Articles, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. They provide the source of true unity and fellowship, and the basis of our mission and service to a needy world. Those truths remain and, as the Church of England’s house of bishops’ statement has explicitly confirmed, the church’s doctrine of marriage remains unchanged.
2. We recognise that the passage of the 2013 Act marks a further step away from biblical values in our national life and demonstrates the extent of the decline in the influence of the Christian churches in Parliament and public debate. In spite of much effort from the churches individually and collectively, the Parliamentary vote was substantially in favour of the measure, as was public opinion.
3. Nevertheless, the failure to win the debate about the legislation does not indicate that we were wrong; rather, that the arguments offered and the strategy adopted failed to overcome the intellectual and emotional appeals of the forces of self-centred secularism which dominates our culture. There was in fact little debate and those urging care and caution were disregarded.
4. Powerful as those forces are, we place our faith in a stronger power, that of God Himself. Our task, therefore, continues to be to fulfil our commitment, as best we can, to promote, teach and maintain the truths about marriage and family life which God has revealed to us in the Bible. Far from seeking to find ways of explaining away what the Bible says, the challenge is, rather, to obey it – and to draw on the grace and power of God’s Holy Spirit to enable us to remain faithful to it.
5. We are committed to continuing to champion the truth and wholesomeness of man/woman marriage and thus offer a choice in the public sphere for real marriage or ‘so-called marriage’. We shall therefore maintain and defend the right to state a biblically-orthodox view on marriage and sex in the public sphere.
6. We well understand that an appeal to the Bible will not in itself carry the day in our contemporary secular society. We will therefore continue to deploy four additional arguments which demonstrate why the 2013 Act is a serious mistake in public policy which needs to be reversed.