Sandi Toksvig Shares Update After Meeting With Archbishop Over His Comments About Gay Sex

"The present position is untenable," the former Great British Bake Off host has concluded.
Sandi Toksvig pictured in 2020
Sandi Toksvig pictured in 2020
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Sandi Toksvig has revealed she was left disappointed by her recent meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, which took place so they could discuss comments he made about gay sex last year.

In August 2022, the QI host penned a powerful opening letter, stating that the Archbishop had “made a horrible mistake” by saying a past statement that marriage is “between a man and a woman”, and that same-sex relationships are “incompatible with scripture”, was “not in doubt”.

Following this, she disclosed that she and the bishop would be meeting up to discuss the matter further, which finally happened earlier this week.

However, in a video message posted on her Twitter on Thursday evening, she admitted that it did not go as she had hoped.

“Yesterday I went to have coffee – well, tea, actually – with the Archbishop of Canterbury,” she explained, joking: “Not a sentence I thought would ever come out of my mouth.”

Sandi continued: “We had agreed to such an unusual meeting following my public expression of distress last year when Justin, the Archbishop, reaffirmed the validity of a 1998 declaration by the church that gay sex is a sin. Given the state of the world, I felt that all the many bishops might have better things to talk about.

“Anyway, from our very calm and considered conversation yesterday, it is very clear that the state Church of England and the society it purports to represents are not remotely in step.

“Justin was keen for me to see that they are moving forward, but conceded that any progress, as I would see it, if it happens at all, will be glacial.

“It was very clear that opposing factions of the worldwide Anglican Communion are being in part, held together at the expense of the human rights of the LGBT+ community. It’s not OK. And I said so.”

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury
Carl Court via Getty Images

Sandi added: “I asked Justin if he could just come out. I don’t mean make a surprise announcement about his sexuality, but come out as a gay ally. Basically, to come out for love. Love for all without exceptions, and not the current, Orwellian position where it would seem we are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

“I hope that will happen, but I do not intend to wait upon the Church.”

The former Bake Off host concluded that in the coming weeks she’d be “reaching out to the LGBT+ community and all our allies to see what can be done”.

“The present position is untenable,” she insisted. “In the meantime, please, let’s all come out for love.”

A Lambeth Palace spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “The Archbishop is grateful that Sandi Toksvig came to Lambeth Palace to have a talk over tea. It was a private, friendly and honest conversation.

“Their conversation included the recent proposal by Church of England bishops to welcome same-sex couples with prayers of dedication, thanksgiving and for God’s blessing in church - a proposal the Archbishop fully supports. As he acknowledged last week, the Archbishop said that while this proposal goes too far for some people, it does not go far enough for others. But it reflects the diversity of views in the church at this time and will be debated at General Synod in early February.

“The Archbishop will continue to listen, learn and engage in conversations like the one he had with Sandi.”

The Danish comedian, presenter and activist came out as gay in 1994. She entered a civil partnership with her wife Debbie Toksvig in 2007.

Sandi and Debbie later renewed their vows on the day same-sex marriage was made legal in England in 2014.

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