England – the gay issue
Posted by Fr Mark on August 14, 2009
England’s best-known Evangelical layman comes out in favour of same-sex marriage.
From Independent.ie, 05.09.08:
HIS hits may no longer fill the airwaves, but Cliff Richard proved yesterday he still has the capacity to captivate the public as he spoke for the first time about his “close friendship” with an Irish former priest.
Cliff (67), who has refused to answer questions about his sexuality for decades, reveals in his newly published autobiography that John McElynn, with whom he lives, is his “companion”.
Writing in ‘My Life, My Way’, the committed Christian, who has sold more than 250 million records, says he believes the Church should approve same sex marriages, although he has no plans to enter into one.
Cliff writes that he met Mr McElynn, a former missionary, seven years ago, while visiting New York.
“He hadn’t had any thought at the beginning of giving up the priesthood; but when it became clear he was thinking of the possibility, I suggested he might help me with some charitable projects,” he said.
“That was seven years ago and our arrangement has worked out really well. John now spends most of his time looking after my properties, which means I don’t have to.
“John and I have over time struck up a close friendship. He has also become a companion, which is great because I don’t like living alone.
“People often make the mistake of thinking that only marriage equals happiness. I may suddenly meet someone and feel differently, but right now I am not sure marriage would enhance my happiness.”
The pop star, whose published religious works include a collection of 50 Bible stories, insists that he does not think his Christian fans will be perturbed by his announcement.
He writes: “As for my sexuality, I am sick to death of the media’s speculation about it. What business is it of anyone else’s?
“I don’t think my fans would care either way.”
He adds that he believes that the legal recognition of civil partnerships between homosexuals reflects modernisation, and that the Church must embrace them.
“Same-sex marriages are perhaps a modern example of how things have changed,” he writes. “I think the Church must come round and see people as they are. Gone are the days when we assumed loving relationships would be solely between men and women.
“In the end, I believe, people are going to be judged for what they are. It seems to me that commitment is the issue, and if anyone comes to me and says, ‘This is my partner — we are committed to each other’, then I don’t care what their sexuality is. I’m not going to judge — I’ll leave that to God.”
Despite revealing that his current partner is male, Cliff writes in his book that he twice nearly married a woman.
“I seriously contemplated asking her to marry me,” he said. “But in the end I realised that I didn’t love her quite enough to commit the rest of my life to her.” (© The Times, London)