We were unsurprised that Andrew Symes of Anglican Mainstream disagreed profoundly with our recently published document, in his blog article published on 9 February 2016. http://anglicanmainstream.org/lgbti-mission-a-vision-of-the-future-c-of-e/ But we are disappointed that he has badly misrepresented our position.
He claims that we regard those who disagree with equal marriage as ‘”homophobic”, inherently in the way of progress, and so ultimately not welcome.’ This is neither stated nor implied anywhere in our document.
He also claims that our plan to “raise concerns in Westminster about the reach and scope of the current religious exemptions in civil law” is a threat with regard to same-sex marriage. In fact this reference is in our Serving cluster of priorities where it relates specifically, and only, to earlier employment law exemptions now embodied in the Equality Act 2010.
Our position on equal marriage is clearly stated in our Loving cluster where we support: “legislation that will enable those clergy who want to celebrate same-sex marriages to be able to do so, while protecting the legal rights of clergy who are conscientiously opposed.”
More generally we seek “an acceptance of a difference of views on human sexuality and gender variance and an end to insistence that there is only one acceptable view.”