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Church of England objects to government plan to authorize gay marriages
LONDON (AP) ' The Church of England has objected to the government's proposal to permit gay marriages.
In a document released Tuesday, the church insisted that its historic understanding of marriage is that it is a union of a man and a woman.
The church argued that gay couples already can enjoy many of the legal benefits of marriage through civil partnerships, which were introduced in 2005.
About a fourth of weddings in England take place in Church of England churches, which are legally obligated to provide a marriage service for any resident of a local parish, regardless of church membership.
Prime Minister David Cameron is backing the proposal for gay marriages, despite the strong opposition of some lawmakers in his Conservative Party.