Vicar hits out at the words ‘gay’ and ‘pride’ being ‘hijacked’ by the LGBT community

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When Hull was chosen as the 2017 City of Culture it embraced the role and integrated the LGBT community into its celebration as the first host of “UK Pride”.

And the inclusive Hull Minster embraced the Pride in Hull festivities by holding an LGBT+ Service earlier this month hosted by the Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes.

“Hull Minster is showing that the church is a place where all are welcome this July by hosting an evening service ahead of Pride in Hull and the city’s LGBT 50 celebrations,” said the church at the time.

Pride in Hull
Pride in Hull (Jack Falkingham)

But not everyone was happy with this inclusive move by the church.

In a blog for Anglican Ink, later picked up by the Hull Daily Mail, Reverend Melvin Tinker, the vicar at St John, Newland in north Hull, hit out at the church.

“After nearly a quarter of a century living in the City of Hull, my love for the people and the place grows each year and the word ‘pride’ is one I would unreservedly use to describe my affection for the town,” said Reverend Melvin Tinker.

“But of course this cherished word, ‘like ‘gay’, is in danger of being hijacked as it becomes increasingly associated with those who would seek to normalise LGBTQ activity as part of mainstream life.”

While welcoming the decision to host the City of Culture, he added: “But where there is light there tends to be a shadow and so coinciding with this is a Gay Pride rally.”

The Reverend complained that, regardless of the message of the event, it taking place in a church would suggest Godly backing for same-sex relationships.

“The message which will invariably be communicated is that ‘God’ (as symbolised by the building, liturgy, clergy) approves of homosexual, lesbian and trans relationships as much as heterosexual ones,” he said.

“After all, traditionally this is the place where the sanctity of the God given man-woman relationships is blessed in marriage.”

Hull 2017 has responded by celebrating the church’s involvement with the city’s LGBT 50 celebrations.

Hull Minster Electric Fence
The striking installation is in the entrance to the Minster (Image: Hull City of Culture)

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, told PinkNews: “We are delighted that Hull Minster has thrown its doors open to the LGBT community, not only opening our week-long LGBT 50 celebrations with its LGBT+ service, but also hosting The Electric Fence, a Creative Communities project which challenges hate crime.

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“We’ve had a fabulous week of equality and diversity in Hull so far with over 40,000 people flocking to the first ever UK Pride at the weekend and the opening of a powerful photography exhibition, House of Kings and Queens yesterday.”

He added: “We are looking forward to rounding the week off with A Duckie Summer Tea Party and I Feel Love concert tomorrow.”