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ABC steps up to defend LGBT people

ABC steps up to defend LGBT people

There’s an ongoing dispute at the UN Human Rights Council about the limits to the persecution of LGBT people. In a speech in Geneva this evening, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out strongly against any decisions that would countenance laws criminalizing gay and lesbian people.

“”The existence of laws discriminating against sexual minorities as such can have no justification in societies that are serious about law itself,” Williams declared in a public lecture at the headquarters of the ecumenical WCC.

“Such laws reflect a refusal to recognize that minorities belong, and they are indeed comparable to racial discrimination,” the archbishop said.

Concern for protection of sexual minorities from violence and intimidation did not imply approval of homosexual behavior on moral grounds. “Religion and culture have their own arguments on these matters,” he added.

“But a culture that argues about such things is a culture that is able to find a language in common. Criminalize a minority and there is no chance of such a language in common or of any properly civil or civic discussion.””

More here.

Pakistan, representing the 57 nation Organization for Islamic Cooperation is opposed to any UN action that would be critical of persecution because such questions have nothing to do with fundamental human rights.


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It’s good that the ABC spoke the words, and I hope they help to move the cause of human rights along for LGTB persons, though I suppose Rowan sees limits to protection against intimidation, or he’d look to the practices of his own Church of England.

June Butler

Josh Magda

The African “bishops” never had moral credibility in the first place, and ceased being Christians as far as I’m concerned when they began to advocate violence in the name of Christ.

Rowan, on the other hand, used to have tremendous moral credibility, which has been shattered again and again, making the current declaration torturously confused.

Weiwen Ng

Michael and John – surely you’d rather have him weigh in on the correct side of this issue than not weigh in at all?

Rowan’s actions and inaction have damaged him and they have damaged the church, true, but if you want to talk about Christians who have lost moral authority, I would first look at the African clergy who are supporting, or not opposing, these hateful laws, and at the clergy in the West who are allying themselves with those bishops (e.g. Martyn Minns).

Josh Magda

Don’t forget Mitregate!

Christopher Evans

To be very frank, Rowan Williams’ own attitudes, behaviors, and emotions in his treatment of lgbt persons in his own country makes it public for all that the morality of heterosexual behaviors toward us as sexual minorities is itself on trial. It is precisely heterosexually-dominating cultures and religions that give societies permissions implicitly and explicitly to cast us out, tell us we do not belong, and do various forms of violence toward us, including intimidating us into silence or barring us from the discussion that touches precisely upon our own persons and lives (think of Bp Robinson’s not being invited to Indaba). And Anglican Christianity as well as English colonialism are not clean in this regard. Churchianity lectures of the world when the Church itself falls very short on the matter deserve firm rebuff.

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