Rowan Williams sorry over Anglican Church’s past treatment of gays

Archbishop of Canterbury, who will be stepping down in December, has admitted he has not done enough to stop divisions in the Church

Rowan Williams sorry over Anglican Church’s past treatment of gays
09 September 2012

In one of his last interviews as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has admitted he did not do enough to prevent divisions within the Anglican Church over homosexuality.

Williams, who will be stepping down as the head of the Church of England in December, has said the church was wrong for its past treatment of gay people.

In an interview with British newspaper The Telegraph, he said: ‘We’ve not exactly been on the forefront of pressing for civic equality for homosexual people, and we were wrong about that.

‘We should have clarified the distinction between what we want to say, and the rights of the citizen.’

The 62-year-old has spent much of his decade as archbishop trying to hold the diverse Anglican Church together after the first openly gay bishop, an American called Gene Robinson, was ordained.

Splitting both traditionalists, such as African churches, and liberals, Williams pointed to Robinson as when he should have intervened.

He said: ‘I don’t think I’ve got it right over the last 10 years.

‘It might have helped a lot if I’d gone sooner to the United States when things began to get difficult about the ordination of gay bishops, and engaged more directly.

The Church of England is now deeply divided, with some leaders fighting against same-sex marriage, and some believing it should be legalized in England and Wales.

A Welsh vicar, for example, left his post after 33 years of preaching because of the church’s fight against marriage equality.

Williams said: ‘The Church declares in its liturgy marriage is between a man and a woman, so we can’t simply nod through the change in that respect,’ he said.

The archbishop added he had tried to do more for gay people in the church, such as granting partners of gay bishops the same pension as their heterosexual peers.

After stepping down, Williams will take up a new post in January as the master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.



No thumbnail available

NBC cancels gay comedy series The New Normal after one season

Show focused on gay couple having a baby with surrogate mother
No thumbnail available

Demi Lovato sends out pro-gay Christian message in new music video

In her latest single, the singer is seen performing at Los Angeles Pride alongside drag queens and dancers
No thumbnail available

Cuban president’s daughter casts first ‘no’ vote since the Revolution over trans and HIV exclusion

Mariela Castro, a member of Cuba’s National Assembly and daughter of President Raul Castro, cast a ‘no’ vote in protest over a new labor code that protects sexual minorities but not transgender people or people with HIV from discrimination
No thumbnail available

Gay filmmaker Ira Sachs is ready for anything at Independent Spirit Awards

His movie Keep the Lights On is up for four awards on Saturday
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Gay Iowa couple reaches settlement with venue that refused to host their wedding

Owners of Gortz Haus agree to pay $5,000 to couple and vow not to discriminate in the future
No thumbnail available

Activists to protest Obama's failed promise to end workplace discrimination

GetEQUAL will stage a demonstration outside the White House today to demand LGBT protections in the workplace  
No thumbnail available

Don't be a dr.a.g. Just be a queen

Book offers readers foray into the extravagent world of the US drag scene
No thumbnail available

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres makes fun of nominees Jennifer Lawrence and June Squibb in opening monologue

Also delivers classic line suggesting Liza Minnelli in audience was really female impersonator
No thumbnail available

'Furious' priest takes on 'shameful' church over gay marriage

A Church of England vicar gathers 4,000 signatures for pro-gay marriage petition to homophobic Archbishop of York John Sentamu