UPDATE: see below
According to some there is a double message in the speech by the Most Rev. Rowan Williams to the World Council of Churches. On the one had he comes out strongly against abusive laws that discriminate and kills gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people but also supports discriminatory marriage laws in the name of religion:
The World Council of Churches has published the full text of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech on Human Rights and Religious Faith
The Daily Mail sees a full court press against marriage equality in Williams statement:
The law has no right to legalise same-sex marriage, the Archbishop of Canterbury declared yesterday. Dr Rowan Williams said a new marriage law for gay couples would amount to forcing unwanted change on the rest of the nation.
He also said it would be wrong to legalise assisted dying because of the threat it would pose to the vulnerable and because it would go against the beliefs of most people.
In a key speech on human rights, the head of the Anglican Church put his weight behind other leading clergy who have launched a powerful campaign to prevent David Cameron from going ahead with his plan to allow the full rights of marriage to same-sex couples.
Dr Williams’s predecessor in Lambeth Palace, Lord Carey, notably told the Mail last week that same-sex marriage laws would be ‘one of the greatest political power grabs in history’.
Dr Williams’s statement means the Prime Minister now knows he will face opposition from the liberal-minded leadership of the Church of England – as well as its determined traditionalists – if he continues on the track towards legalised gay marriage.
The Archbishop has long been a personal supporter of gay rights and his lecture yesterday insisted Christians must accept that gay equality laws are here to stay.
But he has also listened to the concerns of traditional Christian believers since he began his career at Lambeth Palace in 2003 by refusing to allow an openly gay cleric to take a post as a CofE bishop.
His remarks yesterday came after Coalition ministers insisted they would go ahead with a same-sex marriage law whatever the churches say.
The official website for the Archbishop of Canterbury reports:
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights has made a profound impact in fighting injustice and is “a landmark in the history of moral consciousness”, says the Archbishop of Canterbury in a lecture on Human Rights and Religious Faith at the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.
However, Dr Williams also notes current tensions around the discourses of rights, faith and culture. He observes that there has been a more recent trend to develop Human Rights as a purely universal legal code around the entitlements claimed by individuals and in this lecture he offers an alternative approach that takes into account the cultural and the community aspects of human interaction – which is an integral part of religious belief…
… he said laws against sexual minorities were equivalent to racism, and warned that legal regulation of consensual sexual conduct “can be both unworkable and open to appalling abuse – intimidation and blackmail.”
A panel of the U.N. rights body will consider action in Geneva on Wednesday aimed at halting persecution of gays and lesbians around the world, despite fierce condemnation from Muslim and some African countries.
h/t to Thinking Anglicans
What do you read in his speech?
UPDATE: Tobias Haller comments at his blog In a Godward Direction:
The real problem in paragraph 14 is that he speaks of categories of marginalization or stigma, which is far from the reason some are advocating for marriage equality. The issue is that marriage is a fundamental human right. It has nothing to do with GLBT persons wanting “acceptance” but their wanting free access to rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled by virtue of their being human. Same-sex couples are seeking marriage equality — not the removal of some stigma.