Archbishop of Canterbury faces backlash for barring gay spouses from Lambeth Conference
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is facing a backlash after opting to ban the same-sex spouses of Anglican bishops from an upcoming summit.
It was announced on February 15 that Welby had barred same-sex spouses from attending the Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade meeting of global Anglican church leaders that is set to go ahead in 2020.
The decision to bar same-sex spouses appears intended to quell dissent from anti-LGBT church leaders within the Anglican Communion, which faces an increasingly fractious split between LGBT-inclusive and anti-LGBT churches around the world.
Archbishop of Canterbury told ban on gay spouses ‘brings shame on Church’
However, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is facing sustained criticism for the decision, after his representatives claimed it “would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited.”
Condemning the Archbishop’s stance, Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes said he would leave his wife at home in solidarity with gay bishops.
The Bishop, a strong supporter of LGBT+ rights, said: “I deeply regret that in the fractious complexities of our life as a worldwide people this act of exclusion has taken its place.
“It is a grief to me and to my wife, and to many others. Despite this I aim to attend the Conference, alone, in the hope of a common future.”
Gay Labour MP Wes Streeting slammed Welby for the decision, tweeting: “I’m not sure how you plan to address ‘hurts and concerns’ by inflicting them, @JustinWelby?
“Deliberately excluding same-sex couples in this way brings shame on our Church – and on you.”
He was joined by fellow out Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who branded the decision “wholly retrograde and unacceptable.”
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