The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan

The Archbishop of Wales has said that gay marriage should be welcomed by the Anglican Church and expressed his concern that gay people might not be treated with care and sympathy during debate on the issue, reported Wales Online.

In a presidential address to members of the Church in Wales’ Governing Body in Llandudno on Wednesday, Dr Barry Morgan said: “All life-long committed relationships deserved the welcome, pastoral care and support of the Church.”

He urged the Church to “protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognise the need in Christian people for some public religious support for these.”

Morgan also said that he is concerned that in the current government consultation and debate on the legalisation of same-sex marriage in UK, gay people could be made to feel unwelcome in churches.

“My concern at the moment is that in any discussion which might ensue on this, gay people may once more gain the impression that the church is uncaring and unsympathetic. Things could be said in the coming months which I think could seriously damage people pastorally so it is that pastoral issue that I want to address.”

He went on to say: “If the moral aim of the gospel is to encourage love of neighbours, how can that happen when people are made to feel unwanted, unloved, and sinful? How is the gospel good news for homosexuals?”

The British government recently launched a long-awaited consultation process on how to give gay couples the right to civil marriage, although the plans do not allow for same-sex couples to marry in church, even if the church is willing.

A number of religious leaders have already voiced their opposition to the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Last month, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, slammed the plans, saying that, “it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.”

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