The Archbishop of Canterbury was assailed outside Lambeth Palace last night by gay activists who denounced his leadership of the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith process.
On 23 January 2023 approximately 40 activists, including campaigners Jayne Ozanne and Peter Tatchell, and politicians Baroness Hunt and Ben Bradshaw MP protested the House of Bishops to permit gay blessings, but not gay marriage in the Church of England.
The archbishop ventured outside Lambeth Palace to speak with the protesters, telling them to “get equal marriage” required legislation passed by a two thirds vote in each house of General Synod. The Church of England remained “deeply divided” over gay marriage, he noted, adding such a majority in favor of change did not now exist.
Mr Tatchell told the PA news agency the Archbishop’s appearance at the protest was a “PR move” and did not illustrate a willingness to help further their cause. He “just reiterated his stance opposing same sex marriage – and that is discrimination.“
Archbishop Welby had “not shown leadership. He has just sat on the fence,” Mr. Tatchell said.
Ms. Ozanne told reporters the archbishop had asked for names of those clergy who preached “messages that harm LGBT people” for further action.
“One of the things that angers me the most is that we talk about unity all the time,” she told the Press Association, “but that even talk of unity seems to exclude the LGBT community who are leaving in their droves.
“I do hope that we will wake up to the harm that we do.
“We wouldn’t treat interracial couples like this, we wouldn’t treat disabled people like this, but somehow we seem to think it’s OK to treat LGBT people like this. That must stop,” she said.
General Synod meets in two weeks time to take up Living in Love and Faith.