The Church in Wales has voted to allow same-sex marriage blessings in its churches.
The Governing Body voted overwhelmingly to pass the Bill which allows same-sex couples who are already legally married or in a civil partnership to be able to receive a blessing from a willing Church in Wales minister.
The Bill is to be implemented for five years, with a view to redefining marriage in the future.
The denomination said approving the Bill would mean “the loving and faithful commitment of two persons of the same sex” would be “worthy of acceptance by the church by asking God’s blessing upon their commitment”.
But the Evangelical Fellowship in the Church in Wales rejected the Bill as undermining the “standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman”.
It added: “We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family.
“We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.”
‘Ignores Bible’s teaching’
An amendment to push the Bill back until the Church allowed same-sex marriages was rejected.
The Institute’s Wales Officer, Gareth Edwards, said: “The Church in Wales may argue that this vote does not redefine marriage.
“Yet tragically it still ignores the Bible’s clear teaching that marriage is, and can only ever be, between one man and one woman.”
Earlier this year, the Methodist Church in Great Britain voted to redefine marriage, conduct same-sex weddings and affirm cohabitation.
Speaking to the Institute’s Ciarán Kelly, chair of Methodist Evangelicals Together Revd Dr David Hull said that he was “greatly saddened” by the decision to “abandon the teaching of the Christian Church held throughout history and still held by the majority of Christians around the world today”.