Mid Wales

'Foolish' to bring forward gay marriage now, Archbishop says

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Media captionArchbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, speaks to BBC Wales

It would be "foolish" to bring forward a bill for same-sex marriages in church at the moment, the Archbishop of Wales has said.

He spoke after more than half of the Church In Wales' governing body members voted in favour of a law passed for such ceremonies in England and Wales last year.

The secret ballot took place at Lampeter, Ceredigion.

Those who voted in favour fell short of the two-thirds needed for change.

Sixty one of 120 members present voted for such ceremonies to be allowed, while 50 voted for no change and nine to allow blessings.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said: "It would be a very brave or perhaps a very foolish Bench of Bishops who were to bring the bill before the governing body at this stage.

"Because that might just rip the church apart and lead to the acrimony that has been absent from this debate."

The governing body is made up of the Bench of Bishops - the six diocesan bishops - plus 51 clergy and 86 non-clerical representatives.

Image caption The breakdown of the 120 members who voted

A majority vote of 66% within each of these groups is required to change church law, but this was not achieved.

The vote could still trigger a long process towards making changes, although any alteration to the constitution would require a new bill to be passed.

The Archbishop said earlier that it would be for the Bench of Bishops to decide how to take the issue forward after the result of Thursday's vote.

However, he said any alteration would require "quite a long convoluted complicated process".

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