C of E must welcome gay people or face questions in parliament, says MP

Oct 6, 2022 by

by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian:

Labour’s Ben Bradshaw says church is ‘actively pursuing a campaign of discrimination’ against lesbian and gay people.

The Church of England must move swiftly to welcome lesbian and gay people and embrace same-sex marriage or face mounting questions in parliament about its role as the established church of the country, a senior MP has said.

The church was “actively pursuing a campaign of discrimination” against lesbian and gay people that was incompatible with its role as a church for England, said Ben Bradshaw, the Labour MP for Exeter and a former secretary of state for culture, media and sport.

He was prompted to speak out after the C of E barred the late archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter, an ordained Anglican priest, from officiating at her godfather’s funeral last month because she is in a same-sex marriage.

Mpho Tutu van Furth was forced to hold the funeral service in a marquee next to St Michael and All Angels church in Wentnor, Shropshire.

“This was a particularly high-profile, egregious example. But cruelty like that is practised on lesbian and gay people in the church all the time, every day – people you never hear about in the headlines, people whose lives are destroyed – and it can’t go on,” said Bradshaw.

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