The Church of England looks set to condemn controversial “gay cures”, a month after the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May suggested such “treatments” could be banned.
Last month Mrs May said the Government was “reviewing” “gay cure” therapies to see if they should be banned. She said: “We’re looking carefully at the extent of the problem, and the experience of other countries that have introduced bans, to ensure we get the approach to this right.”
The Scottish government has published a letter it received from Northern Ireland’s Arlene Foster of the DUP, about its laws surrounding gay marriage.
The correspondence, signed by Arlene Foster, was sent in early September 2015 when she was finance minister in the Stormont executive.
In her letter to former Scottish Minister Mr Marco Biagi, Mrs Foster said she was “concerned” about Scottish government proposals over same sex marriage.
She said “neither of us would wish to place same-sex couples in an uncertain legal position”.
“In this instance, we can achieve legal certainty by restricting the definition of a ‘qualifying civil partnership’ so as to exclude civil partnerships which were entered into in Northern Ireland,” she said.
Writing in response, Mr Biagi said he had considered the issues but concluded that it would “not be appropriate to exclude civil partnerships registered in Northern Ireland from the order”.
Until the publication of this letter, Mrs Foster had been denying that it had existed.
The Scottish Episcopal Church will hold a historic vote this year on whether to allow gay couples to marry in church.
If the vote is passed, it will become the first Anglican Church in the UK to allow same-sex marriage.
Supporters hope that if their arguments hold, gay couples will be walking down the aisles of some Scottish churches within the year.
Matthew Fenner of North Carolina thought he was “going to die” when members of his evangelical church beat and choked him for two hours to expel his “homosexual demons,” he told a court on Thursday.
Mr Fenner was the first person to take the stand in the assault and kidnapping trial of Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.
Covington is alleged to be the leader of a 2013 beating involving numerous congregants who pointed out his sexual orientation, saying, “God said there is something wrong in your life.”
Fenner said he had cancer as a child and had a biopsy one week before he was assaulted. “I’m frail and in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘is my neck going to break, am I going to die?'” Fenner said.
If convicted, Covington faces up to two years in prison. She is the first of five church members to face trial in the case. Each defendant will be tried separately.
The trials continue.
Metro alleges that a Conservative Party candidate, Kristy Adams, who is hoping to take the parliamentary seat of Hove and Portslade from Labour on June 8, has been accused of being a prominent member of a church linked to so-called ‘gay cures’, the evangelical King’s Arms Church in Bedfordshire for a number of years. The church is alleged to be linked to homophobic exorcisms claimed to ‘heal’ gay people.
A gay former member of the congregation is quoted as saying it was ‘categorically the case that homosexuality in the church was regarded as a sin, the inclination to which could be cured through prayer and counselling’.
Tory candidate linked to notorious ‘gay cures’ church
The Head teacher of St Mungo’s High School in Falkirk apologised to his pupils after leaflets describing homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered” and “fundamentally dangerous” were found on campus.
The leaflet, “The Church and same sex attraction”, were found by senior students last week. The Roman Catholic school has now removed all copies of the leaflets produced by the Catholic Truth Society and is investigating where they came from.
Describing some gay people as those with “deep-seated tendencies” and gay sex as “acts of grave depravity”, the pamphlet states: “Sometimes people with troubled spirits are urged to ‘adopt a homosexual lifestyle. This can be very harmful. Talking about it with a priest of friend may help….but adopting a homosexual lifestyle will not increase their happiness in the long run.”
Aidan Callahan, a sixth year pupil at St Mungo’s, found the material in the school’s oratory and after reading it, complained to head teacher Stephen Phee.
“Homophobia isn’t an issue at our school, so I was really surprised to see something like this. Mr Phee apologised straight away and said they shouldn’t have been there, and he would investigate how they got there.”
The Church of Scotland has been asked to apologise for its “history of discrimination” against homosexual people and could be a step closer to allowing ministers to perform same-sex marriages.
A report by the Theological Forum of the Church of Scotland to be debated at the Kirk’s General Assembly in May proposes having a church committee research allowing nominated ministers and deacons to carry out the ceremonies while retaining the ability for “contentious refusal” from those opposed to same-sex marriage.
The report also calls for “the Church to take stock of its history of discrimination at different levels and in different ways against gay people and to apologise individually and corporately and seek to do better”.
Jeffrey John | Press Association | 17070
Here we go again. The Church in Wales has been urged to reconsider its decision to exclude Jeffrey John from its appointments process for the next bishop of Llandaff amid accusations of homophobia.
The chapter of St Albans Cathedral, where Jeffrey John is dean, said on Monday that “the fact that it appears Jeffrey’s sexuality and civil partnership have been used against him in the selection process is wholly wrong, and it is only right that the bishops in Wales review the process before making an appointment”.
Jeremy Pemberton of OneBodyOneFaith called for an inquiry into the Church in Wales’s process before an appointment and for a public apology to be issued to John “for homophobic remarks and attitudes”. The church’s behaviour had been “unjust and discriminatory”, and bishops must abide by their own guidelines regarding candidates who are gay and in civil partnerships.
In 2003, John was appointed as bishop of Reading but the then archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, asked him to stand aside after some traditionalists threatened to leave the Church of England if his consecration went ahead.
John has a long-term relationship with Grant Holmes, another C of E clergyman, and the couple entered a civil partnership in 2006.
John Wraw is the bishop of Bradwell in Chelmsford and is living with terminal cancer, and the support he has received from gay people within the church had “made him think really seriously” and changed his views about gay relationships and gay marriage. He supported the introduction of women bishops in 2014, but has not previously expressed a public view on gay marriage.
“It is recognising those qualities of relationship that I meet with so many people – hetereosexual, gay, bi – with people not really wanting to find their identity in gender but in who they are as human beings, for me children of God whom God delights in. This is not new Christian theology but for me I have lived it very intensely and personally this last three years and it has changed me profoundly as a person,” he wrote to his diocese. He hoped same-sex marriages would eventually receive “full acceptance” in the Church.
Gay Activist sends best wishes to the Bishop of Bradwell. We hope his followers will note his words and put them into positive action.
A US-based evangelical group, Anchored North, has been using Facebook to target gay people who were interested in ‘Gay Pride’ with online ads promoting gay ‘cures.’ The ad quickly amassed more than 200,000 views until it was removed.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “This ad violates our advertising policies, and has been removed.” Facebook’s policies restrict against illegal content and must not contain discriminatory material based on sxual orientation or gender identity.
Facebook users whould watch for this type of content and always report it.