Church of England ought to recognise same-sex weddings, says bishop | LGBT rights

A senior bishop said the Church of England should recognize marriage between people of the same sex and allow such ceremonies in the church, a move that would break centuries of Christian teaching.

Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool, called in a controversial and hard-hitting speech on Saturday for a “gender-neutral marriage canon”, which made him the highest-ranking representative of the C of E, who expressly supported a change in canon law and church doctrine.

The “world beyond the church” she found offensive, depressing and hypocritical, he said.

Questions of sexuality, gender, and same-sex marriage have led to deep and bitter divisions within the C of E over the past few decades. Conservatives have tried to uphold the traditional teaching that marriage is a bond between a man and a woman. Change activists say the Bible teaches inclusivity and equality.

At a conference hosted by Mosaic, a grassroots church that advocates inclusivity, Bayes said that some within the C of E see sexual discrimination as acceptable.

“The fact is that the arc of the moral universe in the area of ​​racial justice and disability justice and predominantly in this area of ​​sexuality and of course in the area of ​​secrecy and abuse is turning more and more to justice.

“Look at our soccer team kneeling at the boos of sleepwalkers to stand up for justice. The world beyond the church has set the moral agenda and those who kneel with our footballers or see no difference whether attending their gay or straight friends or work colleagues wedding find the denomination deficient and even increasingly offensive. Nowhere is that more true than in the realm of human sexuality, ”he said.

Bayes, who has become increasingly clear about LGBT + rights in recent years, said he did not choose “this agenda”. But, he added, “As I get older and the arch of my own ministry nears its end, I am delighted to speak with all my heart for a vision of a Christian community that does not stink of oppression or hypocrisy. ” of the world.”

He told the conference: “I want to see a church that is no longer institutionally racist. I want to see a church where people with physical or mental or emotional disabilities are honored and accepted and learned and loved by them and whose love is received as a gift …

“I want to see a gender-neutral marriage canon like the one in the [US] Episcopal Church or the Scottish Episcopal Church. And as a necessary but insufficient first step, I would like to see the conscientious freedom of Church officials and local leaders to honor, recognize, and bless same-sex communities …

“I want an end to LGBTQ + people who hide their identities for fear of being exposed to conversion therapy or being banned from serving in churches. I want to see an end to ordinands’ inquisition on their private lives. I want to see all of this before I die. “

Bayes’ remarks were made two weeks before the general synod of the C of E, which will again discuss issues of sexuality at an online meeting. Such debates, Bayes said, suggested that “people’s lives can be singled out remotely and intellectually without harm. You can not.”

Equality activists in the C of E say LGBT + Christians feel they are not welcome. Some have undergone conversion practices, including prayers, to “release” them from their sexuality, which in some cases has resulted in breakdowns or feelings of suicide.

The C of E does not recognize same-sex marriages and forbids clergymen from blessing same-sex marriages. Gay and lesbian clergymen are allowed to have relationships as long as they are celibate.

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