Damian Thompson, at the Daily Telegraph, thinks so:
The C of E is tiptoeing towards gay marriage
The Archbishop of Canterbury ran up the white flag on gay marriage this week and almost no one noticed. The Most Rev Justin Welby told the Evangelical Alliance – an umbrella group for born-again Christians – that “we should be really, really repentant” for having supported homophobia in the past. That call for repentance made the headlines – but it wasn’t the real story.
Archbishop Welby also said that he’d voted against gay marriage in the Lords and would do so again: he doesn’t believe that marriage should be redefined by Parliament. That statement also featured prominently in news reports – but, again, it wasn’t the story.
Here’s what really mattered. In the course of his speech, the Archbishop conceded that young members of the Church of England – including many evangelicals – are in favour of gay marriage. It’s a generational thing, inside and outside the Church. As he put it, “the vast majority of people under 35 think not only that what we are saying is incomprehensible but also think that we are plain wrong and wicked and equate it to racism”.
He’s right: they do think that, and for that reason the C of E is, as he said, “deeply and profoundly divided over the way forward on it” – “it” being gay marriage, not just theological attitudes to homosexuality.