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Row erupts at CofE General Synod over LGBT rights in the church

Row erupts at CofE General Synod over LGBT rights in the church
For decades, the church has been divided over how to deal with LGBT issues and rights
Conservative and LGBT activists accuse the Church of England of 'kicking can down the road'

By Gabriella Swerling
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/
Feb. 11, 2010

A row over homosexuality erupted at General Synod after both conservative and LGBT activists accused the Church of England of "kicking [the] can down the road".

Leading bishops and decision-makers within the Church are currently debating issues about human identity, relationships, marriage and sex as part of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) project.

The project was set up in 2017 and on Tuesday the General Synod, the church's legislative body, was updated on its progress.

For decades, the church has been divided over how to deal with LGBT issues and rights, and the House of Bishops is set to approve the final LLF document in March.

However it emerged on Tuesday during a Synod debate that little progress has since been made. The admission sparked frustration from all corners of the Church who share diametrically opposed views on LGBT rights.

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent LGBT campaigner and former member of the Archbishops Council, accused Church and its pastoral advisory group of "kicking the can down the road" when it comes to LGBT rights in the church.

She told the assembly room in Westminster, London: "Yet again the LGBT community who are the pawn and putting themselves in a place of unsafety where their hopes are dashed."

In response, Sir Tony Baldry, the former Conservative MP and Second Church Estates Commissioner and spokesman for the Church in the House of Commons, criticised the lack of unity over the issue and said that different factions would never agree.

"Is it going to be possible to find a piece of carpet on which we can all stand?" he said.

"Does there not come a point where we have to allow different churches to have their own standpoint?

"There needs to be an acknowledgement that we may never be able to persuade each other to a common view."

The Bishop of Coventry said that the LLF process has involved "eruptions of anger, sometimes with tears of frustration and confusion, sometimes with moments of epiphany".

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, spoke during a debate on Windrush as he apologised for the institutional racism of the Church and drew comparisons with racism towards the Windrush generation, and racism towards Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

He said: "I have often wondered how the German church in the 1930s managed to ignore what happened to the Jews.

"I think they didn't really notice, they just took it as normal, and perhaps that's what we have done in the way we have behaved since Windrush, with so many of our fellow British citizens who were treated as something less than important. We are still deeply institutionally racist, let's just be clear about that."

The Synod voted unanimously on a motion regarding Windrush to apologise for conscious and unconscious racism experienced by BAME Anglicans in 1948 and subsequent years.

END

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