Reverend Colin Coward’s lover Bobby Egbele today revealed he is ”excited” to be getting married and hopes his story can ”inspire” other people.
He said: ”I’m excited about the wedding and that people are interested in it.
”We want it to be a public thing to inspire other people, but a marriage is also private so that feels a bit strange.
”When I was growing up I didn’t have any black gay role models so I’m happy if my story can be an example to others.”
Bobby is currently Nigerian citizen in the UK on a holiday visa. The couple are awaiting permission from the UK Borders Agency, which has requested details of their relationship and residency.
This is expected to be a formality but the marriage cannot go ahead until permission is granted. Bobby will then become a UK citizen.
However, the announcement has been met with disgust by some sectors of the Christian community.
Stephen Green, director of lobbying group Christian Voice, branded Rev Coward and Bobby’s marriage ”an abomination before God”.
He said: ”Mr Coward is just an emotionally disturbed man trying to inflict his predilections on the rest of the church.
”I fail to recognise him as a Christian because he doesn’t keep the commandments of Lord Jesus. He states ”marriage is between a man and a woman”.
”So although this guy claims to be following Christ he actually isn’t. There are going to be people with an anti-christ attitude even within the church.
”We have to pray for them. This is a civil partnership and it is by no stretch of the imagination a marriage. This is an abomination before God, not a holy union.
”Marriage is making a man and a woman into one flesh. There is no way gays can become one flesh.”