Parliament under pressure over Anglican Church’s actions on homophobia

Oct 11, 2017 by

by Harry Farley, Christian Today:

Ministers are coming under pressure over the Anglican church’s attitude towards gay people after sanctions were imposed on the Scottish Episcopal Church for permitting clergy to marry same-sex couples.

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter who is gay and a Christian, tabled a series of written questions to Dame Caroline Spelman, the Church’s representative in Parliament.

The senior Labour backbencher asked Spelman, in her role as Second Church Estates Commissioner, for concrete steps the Church of England was taking on ‘homophobic prejudice and violence and the rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people’. He also asked what the CofE was doing ‘to prevent the imposition of (a) the death penalty and (b) other criminal sanctions on LGBT people on account of their sexuality’.

It comes after leaders from different Anglican provinces around the world issued a comminique last year that ‘condemned homophobic prejudice and violence and resolved to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation’. The statement, which was reaffirmed by the primates at their meeting last week in Canterbury, also called for the ‘rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people’.

But several governments, particularly in the typically more conservative global south, still hold homosexual acts to be a criminal offence and Bradshaw pressed for what actions were being taken to combat these laws.

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