Peter Tatchell recommendations Peter Tatchell

Church of England apologises for “shameful” treatment of LGBTQ+ people

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The Church of England has issued a formal apology for its “shameful” treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. In a letter released on 20 January, bishops acknowledged the “hostile and homophobic” response many LGBTQ+ people have often faced. “We want to apologise for the ways in which the Church of England has treated LGBTQI+ people – both those who worship in our churches and those who do not,” the letter said. “For the times we have rejected or excluded you, and those you love, we are deeply sorry.

The occasions on which you have received a hostile and homophobic response in our churches are shameful and for this we repent. “As we have listened, we have been told time and time again how we have failed LGBTQI+ people.

We have not loved you as God loves you, and that is profoundly wrong. “We affirm, publicly and unequivocally, that LGBTQI+ people are welcome and valued: we are all children of God.” It came just days after bishops rejected calls to allow clergy to conduct same-sex marriages, despite it being legal in England since 2013.

Instead, they proposed that couples who get married in a civil ceremony may have their union blessed in church, which will be debated at the Church’s equivalent of a parliament, the General Synod, in February. “The offer of a mere blessing is an insult” LGBTQ+ activist Peter Tatchell, who has been campaigning against homophobia in the church for more than 50 years, criticised the letter.

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