Thinking Anglicans

Anglicans and Sexuality: A Way Forward?

A report has been published by the Institute for Public Affairs at the London School of Economics: Anglicans and Sexuality: A Way Forward?

The purpose of this study was to consider the role, both historic and current, of the Anglican Communion, and individual provinces and churches that make up the Communion, in efforts to bring about the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults. It asked a simple question: should an independent commission be set up to look at all aspects of criminalisation and seek ways in which Anglicans can come to a better understanding of these issues and how they can engage with governments, legislatures and the public in countries which criminalise same-sex relationships?

The full text of the report is available here.

Some media accounts of it:

Church Times :Give gay decriminalisation priority, Anglicans told

Episcopal News Service: Report urges Anglicans to defeat laws criminalizing same-sex behavior

And Episcopal Café had this: Anglican Communion urged to combat criminalization of homosexuality.

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robert ian williamsKateInterested ObserverDaniel Berry, NYCSusannah Clark Recent comment authors
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Kate
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Kate

«On Monday, one of the authors, Dr Kevin Childs, said that he regarded decriminalisation and same-sex marriage as “two entirely different issues.”»

Suppose several top international footballers were openly gay and openly married. That would be positive examples which would have a cultural impact in a football-mad country like Kenya. Only there aren’t top footballers who are out and married. There is still huge homophobia in sport.

So criminalisation and same sex marriage are part of the same issue because by addressing homophobia in the West, iconic gay couples can then have a cultural impact in Africa.

Father Ron Smith
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Good to see the rainbow hovering over the ruins of Coventry Cathedral on the cover of this report. That seems to be a prophetic sign of hope rising out of the devastation of monolithic structures of institutional misunderstanding on matters of gender and sexuality. Perhaps a new understanding of these matters can now live side by side with the old one – just like the old cathedral coexists with the wonderful ecclecticism of the new.

Susannah Clark
Guest

But priests are still being ‘criminalised’ in the Church of England if they choose to get married to the person they devotedly love. And gay sexuality is still theologically ‘criminalised’ by the bishops, the Primates, the resort to Higton as the status quo, and by large numbers of evangelical Christians. The Church of England cannot combat overseas criminalising of gay and lesbian people from a moral high ground, and indeed, there is a sense in which speeches against homophobia and criminalisation – right in themselves – can act as distractors that appear to absolve the Church of England’s continuing discrimination… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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“…there cannot be any question that the victimisation of men and women on the basis of their sexuality, through the law, through the media, through the pulpit, is in any way an acceptable or condonable reality for the Communion.” I personally think that a Commission would be a constructive idea, though the suggestion that it should be based in London would arguably make it seem like an external intrusion on other nations’ culture and affairs. The concluding quote of the report, at the head of this comment, begs the question: “Isn’t this going on week by week, in many Anglican… Read more »

Daniel Berry, NYC
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Daniel Berry, NYC

«On Monday, one of the authors, Dr Kevin Childs, said that he regarded decriminalisation and same-sex marriage as “two entirely different issues.”»

Yes. One is about the mistreatment of gay people while the other is only about the mistreatment of gay Christians..

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

*he regarded decriminalisation and same-sex marriage as “two entirely different issues.”*

In the same way that the ending of slavery and the abolition of miscegnation laws are entirely different issues. One is about facing up to racism. The other is about facing up to racism.

Kate
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Kate

We should remember that criminalisation of LGBT people is an issue in the UK too. It is illegal for someone who has undergone gender reassignment not to reveal that before sex, regardless of whether they have had surgery and regardless of whether they have a Gender Recognition Certificate. Forced outing is bad enough, but telling isn’t enough, they have to be able to prove they told their partner. So a recorded delivery letter maybe? Before sex, get out a video camera and record telling your partner your life history? Get it wrong and face several years in jail. It’s even… Read more »

robert ian williams
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robert ian williams

It is illegal for someone who has undergone gender reassignment not to reveal that before sex, regardless of whether they have had surgery and regardless of whether they have a Gender Recognition Certificate…..and only right too.

This is as elementary as a marriage certificate stating your previous marital status.

A marriage where one of the parties hid their birth identity would be null and void.