Gay rights leader Peter Tatchell (pictured here) says Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has the right to oppose homosexuality, but ``in a liberal democracy he is not entitled to insist that his religious beliefs are legislated into law.'' Photo courtesy Peter Tatchell

Archbishop of Canterbury to meet with gay rights activist

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) The new archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will hold talks with gay rights leader Peter Tatchell on Thursday (April 18), less than a month after the Australian-born activist called Welby “homophobic” for his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Gay rights leader Peter Tatchell (pictured here) says Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has the right to oppose homosexuality, but ``in a liberal democracy he is not entitled to insist that his religious beliefs are legislated into law.'' Photo courtesy Peter Tatchell

Gay rights leader Peter Tatchell (pictured here) says Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has the right to oppose homosexuality, but ``in a liberal democracy he is not entitled to insist that his religious beliefs are legislated into law.'' Photo courtesy Peter Tatchell


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“I applaud the archbishop’s willingness to engage in dialogue, all the more because he comes from the conservative wing of the Church of England," Tatchell said in an interview. "I hope our meeting is not mere window dressing and good PR for the church. I’m expecting more than tea and sympathy."

Tatchell, 61, said that his aim would be to persuade the new archbishop – who is also head of the world’s 77 million-member Anglican Communion – to embrace "a new historic compromise with the gay community."

"Discrimination is not a Christian value," he said. "The archbishop should therefore oppose all discrimination against gay people, including the ban on same-sex civil marriage."

British lawmakers have passed a law to allow same-sex marriages despite opposition from Welby's Church of England and Roman Catholic leaders. Under the law, Anglican and Catholic churches would be specifically prohibited from hosting same-sex weddings.

justin welby

The Right Rev. Justin Welby, bishop of Durham, was named the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. RNS photo courtesy Durham Cathedral


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Thursday’s meeting was offered by Welby in response to an open letter Tatchell wrote on March 20; Welby wrote back and said he'd like to explain his positions "without the mediation of the press."

Tatchell said beyond urging Welby to reconsider his position on same-sex marriage, he would also ask the archbishop to end what he called "Anglican collusion with the persecution of gay people" in different parts of Africa, including Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.

"While the archbishop is entitled to reject homosexuality as unacceptable, in a liberal democracy he is not entitled to insist that his religious beliefs are legislated into law by banning same-sex marriage ceremonies," he said.

Comments

  1. Who will he meet with next, CHILD MOLESTERS or abortionists (baby killers)??

    You do NOT condone sin! The ONLY thing he can say to these people is what Jesus would say: “go thy way and sin no more!”

  2. I hope Welby will understand that he is not Jesus, thus he should not say to a gay man “go thy way and sin no more!” Jesus could have said to LMBT persons it, if he had wanted to say anything like this, but he had not done it, because homosexuality is not a sin.

  3. NOT A SIN???? Read Romans 1:26-28!

    That’s the problem with you gay lovers; you IGNORE GOD’S WORD and laws! “Gayness” is as “normal” and god-approved as lust toward children (at least most child molesters crave the correct gender!!)

    Gays are mentally ill and shouldn’t be allowed around children. They are 20 times as likely to be child molesters (48% of kids molested are boys yet only 5% of the population is) and are 50 times as likely to catch AIDS (which is why AIDS is the ONLY disease gay groups worry about).

  4. “NOT A SIN????”
    No.
    “Read Romans 1:26-28!”
    I did. Please read Dr. Mel White: What the Bible Says—and Doesn’t Say—
    about Homosexuality ( http://www.psa91.com/pdf/whatthebiblesays.pdf ) pp. 13-14. There is the answer.
    “They are 20 times as likely to be child molesters…” These data are fals. Would you be so kind to indicate the sources of your data?

  5. Here are a few things to consider —

    The Bible, as all holy text, has its limitations.

    Paul put it this way —

    “The Kingdom of God is not in “word” (that means scripture verse), but “power” (that means the ever renewing work of the Holy Spirit or Spirit of God)……..….it’s not food and drink but “righteousness” (that means doing good works and deeds) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.

    I think that sums it up in a simplified way.

    The “Spirit” and the “Spirit” alone is all that really matters.

    The Bible doesn’t determine what the Holy Spirit does and the Spirit doesn’t consult what is written down as it goes about its work.

    Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit will guide and lead us all into all good and truthful things.”

    That is our authority, being led and moved by the Holy Spirit, to constantly review the things that are revealed and make decisions about their importance and applicability.

    All scripture verses are not equal.

    Some verses are more important than others.

    Few people know much about the scriptures and that doesn’t adversely affect their lives.

    Holy books are good “guides” but make poor “gods”.

    All holy books have their hype, their cobwebs and their pot holes.

    It is written that all scripture is inspired, but that doesn’t mean that all scripture is complete, concise, without issues, applicable to all and with excellent clarity.

    We all must rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    Also —

    These are some of the gold standards of attitudes about how the whole world should think about and treat all gays and lesbians and transgender folks —

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way…….Romans 14:13

    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God……Romans 15:7

    3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…….Ephesians 4:2

    4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…….1 Peter 3:8

    5. Man’s ways are of the Lord,…………Proverbs 20:24

    6. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing or how you feel about yourself, so keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something or thinking of themselves in the way they know is best……….Romans 14:22

    Cheer…

  6. I love how people, especially in the pro-gay agenda, love to throw a re-interpreting of the Bible in everyone’s face. “You have to take it in the cultural context” is not a valid way of at God’s word. If it was, there would a be a new bible every generation and for every culture.
    If you start off with the premise that God’s word is changable, then God is changable and his word has not power or force.

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