The LGBT Anglican Coalition warmly welcomes the election of two new suffragan bishops for the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles, and notes:
* that the election has been carried out with a close regard to the norms and constitution of that church;
* that its transparency contrasts favourably with the still opaque processes by which Church of England bishops are appointed;
* that the candour of the candidates about their personal lives and the maturity of the church they serve is a glowing example to the Church of England where such openness is not possible in the present climate of denial and double standards..
It is most encouraging to see that the elections have been conducted without regard to the sexual orientation of the candidates. The election of a lesbian bishop, following on so soon after the consecration of the new Bishop of Stockholm, gives heart to the many LGBT clergy and lay ministers in churches around the world.
In the light of this, we are gravely disappointed to see the Archbishop of Canterbury rush out a statement within twelve hours of the announcement suggesting that the Episcopal Church should not confirm this election. His repeated intervention in the affairs of that province contrasts embarrassingly with his complete unwillingness to speak publicly about the Church of Uganda bishops’ support for what is universally seen as oppressive and homophobic legislation in that country. That support is in direct contravention of recent resolutions by the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meetings.
If the Archbishop is to retain any credibility at all he needs to reconsider. This double standard of justice is frankly perverse. It appears to most people in Britain to be a disgraceful acquiescence in the demands of homophobic pressure groups both in England and in the Communion.
LGBT Anglican Coalition partners look forward to working with the Diocese of Los Angeles and all others across our Communion in the service of Christ who are committed to a church which includes and welcomes all.
The LGBT Anglican Coalition – including
Revd Benny Hazlehurst – Accepting EvangelicalsRevd Colin Coward – Changing Attitude The Clergy ConsultationJeremy Marks – CourageMike Dark – The Evangelical Fellowship of Lesbian and Gay ChristiansCanon Giles Goddard – Inclusive ChurchRevd Sharon Ferguson – Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement Revd Dr Christina Beardsley – Sibyls
Notes for Editors. The LGBT Anglican Coalition is a new network of groups working for the full and equal inclusion of LGBT Christians within and beyond the Church of England.