LGBT Christians have been protesting against the Church of England, outside their General Synod, as the Bishops discuss reforms.
The body have been discussing the idea of getting rid of the rule that requires gay clergy to pledge their celibacy. This rule hasn’t been well received by LGBT groups in particular, causing mayhem, frustration and a need to voice an opinion on the matter to make changes.
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has said that they plan to openly defy Church rules if no reforms are made. As of yet, the Church of England has banned blessings for gay unions. The Church has exempted itself from the UK’s anti-discrimination laws to be able to punish gay clergy members who challenge a ban on same-sex marriage.
People from the Movement has said that the current rules betray the trust at present, in the Church. They also feel that there is no consideration for LGBT individuals, despite years of conversation.
They warned: “We will use the levers of power available to us and will oppose and challenge your stance where it is intransigent at every opportunity.
“We will work to help it move to a more diverse and inclusive future, bringing the message of Christ alive in the present day.”
The Bishops report is said to side with heterosexuality as a superior while opposing same-sex blessings and marriages. This attitude is one that the LGCM wish to abolish. They also believe that LGBTI clergy and laity are treated as second-class, second-best, both within the Church and in society as a whole.
A spokesperson from the group also said: “We are appalled by the Church’s mistreatment of LGBTI people and the bishops failure to remedy it. LGBTI people want full inclusion and equality both inside and outside the Church.
“LGBTI Christians are denied equality by the Anglican leadership. They are victims of religious homophobia and this homophobia must be opposed.”
However, the Church of England clergy are still angry over the Bishops’ report which said that only a man and woman could marry in Church. The Bishops report recommended that the bar on same-sex marriage should continue but they are open and welcoming towards showing a respectable attitude towards homosexuals via congregations.
Campaigners for gay marriage have taken well to the decision made by the LGBTI group to protest and say that it is a “victory for love and equality”.
Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, said in response: “Our ongoing discussions will be informed by what members of Synod and the wider Church have said as a result of this report.”
He insists that lesbian and gay people already have an “honoured place” in the Church.
This clash in interest is demoralising and frightening to the future of our Church rules. As Christians and in the Bible, Leviticus 20:13, it expresses that, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own hands.”
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