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first_imgGay couples will be offered the chance to celebrate their relationships in commitment ceremonies at Oxford’s second annual Pride festival this Saturday. Same-sex couples may also have their relationships blessed in a special ritual performed by Father John Hyde of the Open Episcopal Church. Christians remain divided over the issue of homosexuality. The Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, supports moves to grant gay couples the same legal rights as married heterosexuals. His appointment of a celibate homosexual, Jeffrey John, as Bishop of Reading in 2003 provoked a backlash from evangelical Christians. The President of Oxford’s Christian Union, John Aldis, refused to comment directly on the blessing ceremonies, but declared that evangelicals opposed sex outside “monogamous, opposite sex, marriage relationships.” The May Day event, which will include live music and entertainment, runs at Oxpens Park from noon until 7pm. The festival chairman, Karl Andrews, told Cherwell that he hoped the occasion would not only be fun, but also “bring Oxford’s communities together.” Organisers are hoping to repeat the success of last year’s event, which was attended by two thousand people. Oxford Pride is the first of the ‘Fun in the Parks’ events run by Oxford City Council, which is flying the rainbow Gay Pride flag over the Town Hall all week as part of the celebrations.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more

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