Supporters of gay marriage in the Church of England have criticised a new panel for its lack of pro-LGBT members.
The ten-man Bishop’s Reflection Group was appointed by the Archbishops of York and Canterbury. While there are prominent evangelicals and conservative bishops on the panel, none of its members have publicly supported gay marriage.
The Church of England officially opposed gay marriage before its legalisation in 2013. Even when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was enacted, provisions were included in the law to prevent gay weddings in Anglican churches.
One prominent critic of the newly announced panel is Rev. Justin Gau, Chancellor of the Diocese of Bristol. He tweeted that one member actually gave evidence against a hospital chaplain who lost his job after he married a man:
— (((Justin Gau))) (@Justin_Gau) September 17, 2016
Jayne Ozanne is an openly gay member of the General Synod. She was “quite frankly very dismayed” at the announcement of the Bishop’s Reflection Group, telling The Telegraph that it was another case of “the Church of England … talking about us without us”. It represented “a step backwards [which] only adds weight to those who believe the Church of England is institutionally homophobic” she said.
Last month, twelve clergymen signed an open letter revealing that they were gay. In the letter, they called on the Church’s to allow them to officiate same sex marriage ceremonies.
Photo by Spencer Means via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.