Church of England Priest Resigns to Marry Gay Partner

A priest in the Church of England has resigned so he can marry his male partner.

The Rev Clive Larsen, 60, officially left his post as a parish priest in the diocese of Manchester on Friday. The clergyman would have faced disciplinary action if he had gone ahead with the marriage to his partner John without quitting.

“The church does not permit it and if this is something you want to do, you have to pay the price and leave the church,” Larsen said. “I am aware of two other clergy who have had [same-sex] marriages and the church has made life very difficult for them”. 

Larsen said his intention was to avoid embarrassing the Bishop of Manchester David Walker, or the Church of England. His original plan had been to marry David whilst still a priest and quit afterwards, but he was issued a "dynamite" warning, Reverend Colin Coward said on Larsen's behalf.

Larsen married his partner in a ceremony on Monday, and celebrated their forthcoming marriage at his former church, St. Agnes Church in North Reddish. 

Larsen is previously married and has two daughters. He is now a trustee of the LGBT Anglican activist group Changing Attitude who say his life “took on a new direction at the dawn of the new millennium”.

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