Thursday, 10 January 2008

Anglican gay campaigner steps down, admits defeat

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In an interview with the New Statesman, the head of the Anglican Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) discusses why he is stepping down after nearly 30 years in the job.

Reverend Richard Kirker believes the Anglican community has actually moved backwards in its attitude toward gay clergy: "The situation is appalling. Life for gay priests is immeasurably worse than when I started doing this job ... It is now official policy to ensure that gay people who don't give a commitment to celibacy are not selected for ordination."

In many ways, Kirker blames liberal Anglicans for allowing the vociferous anti-gay elements the the communion to step up their campaign, saying "Robert Runcie and Rowan Williams both betrayed their ideals in exactly the same way – by being supportive in private but not saying so in public. Our enemies, those who hate us, scent this weakness and they exploit it."

He also admits to the New Statesman that he is unconvinced by the government's continued handover of public services to religious institutions: "Questions need to be asked about what these faiths projects are actually preaching, and there is an urgent need for research on the amount of public money being ploughed into homophobia via indiscriminate support for faith institutions."

Wise words.