THE BLOG

I'm Allowed To Be Me Under The Laws Of The Land, But Why Won't The Church Bosses Accept Me Too?

01/02/2017 14:18 GMT | Updated 01/02/2017 14:18 GMT

The UN Human Rights Act, laws on marriage, laws on religious freedom, the workplace - they all pretty much accept and welcome the LGBT community.

So why why why in 2017 of all years is the Church of England still facing the same, rugged old battle it was decades and centuries ago?

When I say the Church of England, I mean the General Synod - the group of bosses and bishops tasked with legislating and providing a moral example for vicars and congregations to follow.

They're set to meet in February to discuss the ongoing debate around faith and sexuality.

Two and a bit years after I came out and Vicky Beeching did the same, we've seen the publication of an interim report on the 'shared discussions' the CofE has had on the issue.

Next to no changes, acceptances or even considerations have been made in that report. Keep to the status quo, don't change, ignore any concerns and bravery from those who said 'Yes, I'm gay and I love God. So what.'

You can tell that's annoyed me, a lot...

What I will give them is that they've called for greater understanding and welcoming of the LGBT community, but they won't officially recognise same-sex unions, love and even biology as not sinful.

That I continually try to accept and understand at a local level, where people can disagree on the issue but love and accept and bless the person for being happy and living out as who they are. But on a national, senior leadership level, I brand it disgraceful.

If any of the board members on the Synod who've blissfully beaten down the cries, anguish and commended bravery of those who've said they have same-sex attraction would like to listen to the stories of those who've lived facing this battle for 10,20 even 30 years be my guest.

Until you've seen it through the eyes of people who've lived through it, you won't be able to understand it.

Yes, yes there is theology, but as perfectly knowledgeable theologians like Vicky Beeching will tell you, the Bible wasn't created for hatred, condemnation and witty comebacks. It was made for love, teaching, guidance and support.

Now I want to make something very clear. People brandish the church as one big gay hating body - it simply is not. 99.99999% of churches out there love and accept LGBT people.

Yes, many will disagree on certain theological points, they may not be there yet on embracing equal marriage like some others are, but on the bare minimum they'll invite the LGBT community to be a full part of the weekly life of the community.

So to the authors of this so-called blessed report, I'd like you to go back to the fundamentals of why you're in this line of work.

Love your neighbour as yourself.

Take that, take the feelings of the LGBT person you're thinking your slaying for their sinful behaviour, consider their emotions, consider their biological attractions, and think again.

Lets hope the next report has a lot more substance, love and respect enclosed within it - and members of the Synod, make the right decisions this month.