On the day a US court ordered the Church of England to make changes to its laws on gay marriage, there was silence in the Anglican Communion about the issue.
A few bishops from the UK, the United States and Australia did speak out, but the vast majority of Anglicans in the UK are silent.
In a country where gay marriage has been legal in more than a dozen states and is now legal in most, the UK has been in the dark.
It is a phenomenon that many have been trying to unravel for decades, but is one that has become increasingly difficult to pin down.
For more than 40 years, the Church in England has been arguing that the law on marriage is a matter for the UK.
However, as the court ruling made clear, the law does not apply to any church in the United Kingdom, and it is not clear whether the UK’s constitution, as well as laws and courts, will continue to apply.
Many churches are also not able to say what their position is.
The church is an institution that is based on faith, and its leaders must be able to reflect on the importance of our relationship with God and the church in its mission. “
It is important to recognise that there are people in the church who have been involved in the campaign for LGBT rights, and that this is a process that continues to unfold.
The church is an institution that is based on faith, and its leaders must be able to reflect on the importance of our relationship with God and the church in its mission.
This is not the case in every jurisdiction, and we need to take the opportunity now to reaffirm the church is a church within the UK.”
Some of the biggest Anglicans, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, are urging the UK to follow the lead of the US, Canada and other countries and allow gay marriage to be recognised across the United Kingdoms.
But it is unclear if the UK will follow suit.
What does it mean?
The court ruling has left the Church without a formal position on gay rights in the US.
While the UK Church still supports gay marriage rights, it has become much more reluctant to speak out.
There are concerns that if it does not comply, the court will have the final say on whether gay marriage is legal in the entire UK.
“We are not in a position to comment on what the church would do in a situation where it is in a state of disagreement with a court’s ruling,” said the Rev Ian Baxendale, the bishop of Canterbury.
We have never seen a legal issue like this before.
We cannot say with any certainty that we would be in a similar position in a future case.
“While Anglicans are still concerned about the impact of gay marriage on their communities, they are confident it will eventually be accepted by the UK church.”
“We don’t want the Church to be seen as being against same-sex marriage but we do not want to be in the position where it becomes the norm.” “
But the church has been very clear about the importance that marriage must be between one man and one woman.”
“We don’t want the Church to be seen as being against same-sex marriage but we do not want to be in the position where it becomes the norm.”
But many members of the Anglicans church are concerned that if they do not change their views, they will be left with no choice but to leave the church.
Rev Hainers said the church was considering its position on the matter.
He said: “There is some pressure on the church to change its position and that is understandable given the complexity of the situation.”
What happens next?
Some bishops have warned that the UK may not be able get to a legal position on same-gender marriage until 2020.
Some clergy are also concerned that the church may have to take on a legal role in a way that does not suit its own interests.
Another major issue is that the Church could be forced to pay for legal action that is brought against it by gay and lesbian couples.
Despite the court’s rulings, the church does not plan to appeal the ruling.
At a time when there is a debate over the meaning of marriage and same-day birth, some are concerned the church could lose its status as a legal institution.
And while the church says it is committed to the traditional definition of marriage, many in the Church are concerned about what that could mean for other groups that have to abide by its rules.
More: Church leaders to meet next week in London to discuss legal action over same- sex marriage ruling