Dozens gathered outside Lambeth Palace on 23 January to demand equality for LGBTQ+ people in the Church of England. Organised and led by Jayne Ozanne, a gay Christian activist who chairs the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition, the peaceful demonstration took place ahead of a reception for around 100 parliamentarians.
Activists stood in silence as they held candles and placards, which had messages such as “Apology not accepted, Archbishop!” and “Discrimination is not a Christian value!” written on them.
It was attended by Church of England clergy, ordinands and lay members from around the country – including General Synod members. “God is not homophobic and so neither should we be,” Ozanne told GAY TIMES ahead of the protest. “It is long past time that the Church changed its attitude towards LGBT+ people and stopped treating us as second-class citizens, especially as we know that discrimination leads to significant levels of harm and abuse.” Institutions are “deeply divided” over same-sex marriage It comes after Church of England bishops recently refused to back same-sex marriage, instead proposing that couples who get married in a civil ceremony may have their union blessed in church.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, faced backlash after stating that the position on same-sex marriage was made to “seek the common good” though acknowledged it will “go too far for some and not nearly far enough for others”.