Anglicans urged to end same-sex marriage ban
London, UK – 8 February 2023
Supporters of same-sex marriage rallied outside the Church of England’s General Synod at Church House in London today, Wednesday 8 February, as Synod members arrived to debate and vote on the issue.
The rally was in protest at the Anglican church’s homophobic discrimination against same-sex marriage.
The protesters carried placards reading:
“Stop Anglican discrimination! Marriage equality now!”
“Established church = Established homophobia”
“Apology not accepted Archbishop”
“Discrimination is not a Christian value”
The protest was jointly organised by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and Adam Chinery-North, a lay minister & Anglican LGBT+ campaigner.
Mr Tatchell said:
“The bishop’s apology to LGBT+ people is offensive and hypocritical, given that the church continues to discriminate against same-sex couples by banning them from church marriages. The offer of blessings is an insult. Blessings are what the church gives to pets like dogs and guinea pigs.
“The church’s stance is in defiance of the spirit of the Equality Act. It is against the wishes of most Anglicans, 55% of whom support marriage equality. We are not saying that churches must be forced to conduct same-sex marriages; only that those who wish to should no longer be barred by the Anglican leadership.”
Wednesday’s protest was supported by a coalition of Anglicans, other Christians and non-religious LGBT+ human rights defenders – including both LGBTs and straight allies – all united in opposition to Anglican discrimination.
“This is a human rights issue. Even though some of us are not Anglican, we are outraged by church discrimination against LGBT+ people,” added Mr Tatchell.
“We support same-sex couples who wish to marry in their parish churches. This is a right extended to every heterosexual man and woman in England, regardless of their religion – but not to LGBTs. That’s discrimination and discrimination is not a Christian value,” he said.
Protest co-organiser, Anglican Lay Minister, Adam Chinery-North from Birmingham, added:
“We are here today as Anglicans, Christians and humanists – a whole range of LGBTQI+ people of different beliefs – telling the Bishops and Synod that enough is enough. We have listened to them talk about us, talk at us and marginalise us for long enough. We’ve been alienated, discriminated and abused for decades.
“The bishops’ apology has been too long coming and it is frankly not good enough. The prayers they are offering are not sufficient. We are saying no to discrimination. We are saying no to being talked about as a problem to be solved. Now is the time for same-sex marriage in the Church of England,” he concluded.