LGBT Christians have hailed a decision by the Church of England’s ruling body to throw out a controversial report on same-sex marriage as “a victory for love and equality.”
The report by the House of Bishops, presented to the General Synod on Wednesday, had called for the church to adopt a “fresh tone and culture of welcome and support” for gay people.
But crucially it said it should not change its opposition to same-sex marriage and reaffirmed that such unions should not be blessed.
Under the recommendations, marriage would continue as “a union, permanent and life long, of one man with one woman.”
Lucy Gorman, an LGBT activist from York and member of the Church, thanked the Synod for rejecting the report, saying: “With that vote we’ve sent a message to the outside world.”
She said that as a Christian in her twenties she is a “dying breed,” in part because of the Church’s discriminatory approach to LGBT people.
“Most people have a friend or family member who sits somewhere on the gender sexuality spectrum — and why would they become part of an organisation which is seemingly homophobic?”
Jay Greene, from Winchester, who is in a civil partnership, said many were “deeply disappointed” by the report and its “tone of fear.”
More than 400 Church leaders gathered for a “take note” debate on the issue at Church Hall in Westminster, where they voted to symbolically reject the recommendations by 100 votes to 93 with two abstentions.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who urged the Synod to approve the report claiming that it was a good first step for moving forwards, said the church needed a “radical new Christian inclusion.”
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