According to ‘The Telegraph’, MPs have written to the Queen asking if she will allow same-sex couples to marry in St Stephen’s Chapel, the main place of Christian worship in the Palace of Westminster.
Out Labour MP and former Anglican vicar Chris Bryant also suggested allowing leaders of other denominations to conduct same-sex marriages in the chapel.
St Stephen’s Chapel is a ‘royal peculiar’ – in other words it’s under direct authority of the Queen.
Bryant has reportedly asked Equalities Minister Helen Grant to write to Buckingham Palace with the request.
He also wrote to the Speaker, John Bercow, asking him to use his “good offices” to help list the restrictions on the chapel so same-sex weddings could be held there.
Bercow said he was “seeking advice and will respond in due course,” adding: “In principle, as you can imagine, I am very sympathetic to your position.”
Bryant has allegedly campaigned internally within parliament, by contacting Dean of Westminster John Hall, Commons chaplain Rose Hudson-Wilkin and clerk of the Commons Sir Robert Rogers.
If the Queen rubberstamps the request, and the royal chapel does indeed become a venue where same-sex weddings can take place, it will be seen as a major snub to leaders of the Church of England who have campaigned vigorously against gay marriages taking place in their venues.
Due to the C of E’s long-standing opposition to gay marriage, the same-sex marriage bill bans clergy from performing same-sex weddings.
By Chris McMurray