DEMONSTRATORS sang hymns yesterday as they demanded the Church of England “stop gay hate” and end inequality outside the General Synod at Westminster’s Church House.
Protesters called on members of the Synod to reject a “shameful” report from the House of Bishops on the church’s attitude to same-sex marriage and relationships.
The bishops spent three years and £350,000 to carry out a careful process of “shared conversations” about sexuality in the CofE.
The report suggests the church should not change its teachings on marriage — ie being against same-sex communion — but that the “tone” needed to be revisited, without any change in laws.
Campaigners say this would likely mean clergy in same-sex marriages would be denied promotion and refused ordination.
Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement chief executive Tracey Byrne wondered how the bishops’ report managed “to get it so wrong.”
She said that despite the report “promising a ‘change of tone’,” equal marriage in church “seems as far off as ever” as it reasserts that marriage is only between one man and one woman for life.
Changing Attitude founder Reverend Colin Coward slammed the “wasted years” conducting the “shared conversations” and said the report offers nothing new.
“Any further work by the bishops that doesn’t include LGBTI representatives is unacceptable. There must be no more talking about us without us,” he said.
The General Synod was set to discuss the report and its conclusions after the Star went to press — though as it was designated a “take note” debate, approval wouldn’t actually mean acceptance of the report.
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