Bans same-sex marriage but offers LGBTs blessings, like for pets
London, UK – 20 January 2023
The Church of England pastoral letter today apologised to the LGBT+ community for its “shameful” record but reconfirmed its ban on same-sex marriage:
LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell, who has been challenging “church homophobia” more than 50 years, criticised the letter:
“The apology and repentance are worthless, given that the church continues to discriminate by denying LGBTs the right to marry the person they love.
“That’s discrimination and discrimination is not a Christian value. It is putting ancient dogma before the emotional and spiritual welfare of Anglican same-sex couples.
“The church is guilty of institutional homophobia.
“The offer of a mere blessing is an insult. It is second best, crumbs from the table and no substitute for marriage equality.
“Bishops and priests bless pets and warships and now they have deigned to bless LGBT+ couples, assigning us to the same lowly status as dogs and guinea pigs.
“The Church of England has made it clear that LGBT+ people are not entitled to an equal place within the Anglican communion. Their stance is reminiscent of the churches in the southern states of the US that refused to marry inter-racial couples during the segregation era.
“Fifty-five percent of Anglicans support same-sex marriage, according to a YouGov poll last year. Church leaders are out of touch.
“The Church of England is the official state religion, yet it defies the state’s endorsement of equal marriage. You cannot have a state church that does not reflect the state’s commitment to equality. The homophobic church should be disestablished. The state, including the monarchy, should sever all ties,” said Mr Tatchell.