LGBT topics and Christian faith groups
The Church of England and LGBT topics:
In this web site, the acronym LGBT stands for
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender persons
Beliefs about homosexuality:
||Conservative politicians and theologians in the church view
homosexuality as a behavior -- what one does. They believe that it is a chosen and changeable preference. It
is unnatural, abnormal and condemned by God. Thus, any attempt to accept
homosexuality as a normal, natural orientation is unacceptable to them.
They feel that it will have the undesirable effect of increase the
number of youth who choose the homosexual "lifestyle."
||Liberal politicians, liberal theologians, gays, lesbians, human
sexuality researchers, mental health professionals and others tend to
view homosexuality as a sexual orientation -- what one is. They generally believe that
adult homosexuality is not chosen, is not changeable, and is a natural,
normal sexual orientation for a minority of youth. Thus, any attempt to
accept homosexuality as normal and natural should be
supported. They feel that it would have the desirable effect of
increasing the acceptance of youth and adults who have a homosexual
orientation. It would also lower the frequency of gay bashing and other
acts of oppression and discrimination.
Without an agreement at a fundamental level about the exact nature
of homosexuality, consensus is
impossible. Since rational debate is rare in the Church and dialogue is essentially nonexistent, change can only be effected by one side overpowering the
other in influence, or by schism.
Developments concerning homosexuality: 1991 to 2000:
||1991: The Bishops' issued a statement "Issues in Human
Sexuality" in 1991. It declared that stable same-sex relationships are
acceptable for the laity but not for the clergy.
||1997: At their synod meeting of 1997-JUL, they decided that the church's present
policy on homosexuality was "not the last word on the subject." They
approved a resolution requesting further discussion on the issue of human sexuality by
clergy and congregations throughout England. After amendments by anti-gay members had been
defeated, the resolution was passed: bishops 44/0; clergy 168/38; laity 150/88.
Kirker, general secretary of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said "It's
game, set and match to us. I didn't predict and wouldn't have predicted that synod would
vote as it did." The Movement had released results of a survey which found that
19 serving or retired bishops had knowingly ordained practicing homosexuals. 1
1998: At the next Lambeth Conference, a request will be made to set up an
international commission of inquiry into human sexuality. Richard Kirker commented:
"We floated the idea of an international commission two years ago. It has the seeds of being helpful, but it will need among its members self-affirming lesbians and gays, not
homosexuals who play the establishment's game by denying their identity."
||2000: Sex-ed in British schools: The British conservative
government passed Section 28 of the Local Government Act in 1988. It states that
a local authority -- roughly equivalent to a municipality in North America
-- "shall not promote
the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of
homosexuality as a pretended family relationship." 2 This regulation does not apply to most schools except in those rare cases
where the local authority directly runs a special-needs school. The
Government further restricted the regulation by specifically declaring
that it does not restrict Local Authorities from funding and
||Lesbian gay & bisexual social groups and events;
||Lesbian gay & bisexual helplines;
||Counseling services for lesbian gay & bisexual people; and
||Gay-positive books in libraries, and artistic and dramatic
subsequent government considering scrapping the regulation
of England and Roman Catholic officials joined with conservative
legislators in an effort to retain the act intact.
In early 2000, the two churches involved said nothing had been
finalized, but a reputable London newspaper reported that a deal had
On MAR-3, The Daily Telegraph said that a compromise had
been reached between the government, the Anglican Church, and the Roman Catholic church. Section 28 would be deleted; new legislation
would require teachers to promote heterosexual marriage. Teachers
would also be forbidden to engage in "inappropriate
teaching." However this section of the law would not mention homosexuality.
Young, a senior Conservative Party member of the upper House of Lords,
wanted to retain Section 28. She said that the apparent compromise
"Requiring local authorities to promote marriage will not
prevent them from promoting homosexuality as well." In
2000-JAN, Archbishop George Carey, condemned prejudice based on sexual
orientation. But he also said: "I also resist placing
homosexual relationships on an equal footing with marriage as the
proper context for sexual intimacy." Cardinal Winning of the Catholic
Church in Scotland is also distressed at a possible compromise,
"If we are not very, very careful, we will
inadvertently promote a lifestyle for our children which will reduce
their life expectancy, increase their chances of HIV infection, and
expose them to predatory and abusive relationships." 3
During the week of 2000-MAR-20, the bill to remove
Section 28 was rejected by the House
of Lords -- an appointed body. According to Newsroom for MAR-28, "Some church
leaders are calling for the resignation of an Anglican bishop who
helped craft the compromise, accusing him of giving in to the gay lobby."
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Anglican Communion News Service, "SYNOD DEBATES HOMOSEXUALITY", Note
- The text of "Section 28," is at: http://www.intercomtrust.org.
- "UK church leaders consider homosexuality compromise," Maranatha
Christian Journal, at: http://www.mcjonline.com/news/00/20000303c.htm
Copyright © 1997 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2011-JUL-09
Author: B.A. Robinson