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Row over baptism of same-sex couple's child
A ROW has erupted between a same-sex couple and a retired vicar over their son's baptism.
Aimi Leggett, 25, and civil partner Victoria Leggett, 22, claimed that the Rev George Gebauer refused to list both of them as son Alfie's mums and wanted one of them to be put down as a godmother.
They left the meeting and feared one-year-old Alfie would not be baptised as planned at St Mary's Church, Warsash.
However, the couple have now been told they can both be listed as mothers.
Mr Gebauer, who was due to perform the ceremony and is helping to fill in a vacancy at the church, said he had not refused to do the baptism and the couple's sexuality had no bearing on the issue.
He said the church baptism record did not allow for such a situation and that if they agreed to put one name he would perform the ceremony.
However, Archdeacon of the Meon, the Venerable Gavin Collins, who oversees that part of the Portsmouth diocese, said having spoken to Aimi the baptism of Alfie would go ahead as planned at St Mary's with area dean the Rev Susan Allman.
He said the legal issue had been addressed and as Victoria has full co-parental responsibility for Alfie “we can therefore enter their details on to the baptism register as 'mother' and 'mother' as they would like”.
He said the baptism register was a legal document so must be accurate, but there was no reason why two mothers could not be registered.
“It's a perfectly valid situation, but it's an unusual one,” added Mr Collins.
“Unfortunately the conversation that Aimi and Victoria had with George is clearly one of those conversations that just went badly wrong on a personal level.
“George was always happy to baptise Alfie and was aware they were a same sex couple and had no problem with that.”
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