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Treatment of gay people in Africa — and England

07 February 2014


From the Revd Alan Chidwick

Sir, - In their letter, according to your report (News, 31 January), the Archbishops of Canterbury and York appear to be encouraging the African Churches to adopt the attitudes of the British government towards the gay community, while they themselves have attitudes much closer in principle to those of the African governments.

They want gay people to be part of the Church - but not priests; they want gay people to know they are valued - but won't bless or marry them. They are squeamish at the idea of execution or lengthy imprisonment for being gay - and yet say little or nothing about the gay hate-crimes that happen daily in Britain, and which are fre-quently violent and sometimes fatal.

Research shows that 80 per cent of the population at large and a similar proportion of those in the pews have, to quote Stonewall's advertisement, "got over" the fact that some are gay. It is time for the Bishops of the C of E to do the same, and apply the kingdom values of justice, mercy, and peace to gays at home.

Marginalising people is also a form of imprisonment; denying them full inclusion is a form of execution. The African Churches might well listen to the Bishops in this country when they are less hypocritical on this issue.

The Croft House, The Croft
Old Costessey, Norwich NR8 5DT

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