I am a Christian and a member of the Church of England, and today saying that is to acquaint myself with people who do not, or will not, or cannot accept that a deep and committed love between two people of the same gender is equal to love shared between a man and a woman.
The St Valentine Day announcement by the House of Bishops, which manages to both diminish and belittle both our LGBTQ clergy, and supposedly ‘welcomed’ LGBTIQ couples, is causing, and will cause, tremendous pain. It will place an impossible burden on our LGBTQ clergy who are single but long for a loving and committed relationship. It will make the lives of those who are in a loving and committed relationship a needless and painful struggle.
To those outside of the Church, it will again be interpreted that the Church of England do not believe that God loves equally, or places as much worth on, the lives and ministry of all its clergy.
That it did so wrapped up in the context of ‘the offer of [the Gospel] life in all its fullness’ and the calling ’ to love one another as Christ has loved us’, and spoken on a day meant to celebrate love, made the life giving and loving words of the Gospel as dust in our mouths and ears.
So now there is hurt and anger. And bewilderment. Life has not been given. Love has not been spoken. The Gospel has again been interpreted to protect man made traditions.
So to my brothers and sisters in Christ this morning who now carry this burden and this struggle, my prayers and love are with you today, tomorrow and through the many days and months to come until your lives and ministries are treated with equal regard and respect by our church. You have my solidarity.