It’s been 20 years since activist group ‘OutRage!‘ led by Peter Tatchell stormed the pulpit to disrupt the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter sermon.
George Carey was the Archbishop of Canterbury at this time and supported anti-gay laws legislation in parliament.
When Tatchell stormed the front of the church, he shouted into the microphone: ‘Dr Carey supports discrimination against lesbian and gay people.’
He added: ‘He opposes lesbian and gay rights – this is not a Christian teaching!’
Security staff quickly removed the protestors but this protest caused a stir within the Church of England.
Tatchell told Gay Star News: ‘It caused a sensation and prompted Dr Carey to finally meet with the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, which he had previously refused to do. It also resulted in some bishops speaking out in support of LGBTI legal equality.’
‘Archbishop Carey’s opposition to LGBTI equality [at that time] was used by homophobes as a validation and justification for their bigotry,’ Tatchell said.
‘This is an on-going betrayal of criminalized and victimized LGBTI people’
George Carey retired from the position of Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002. Then 10 years later, Justin Welby became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Tatchell says Welby’s collaboration with homophobic church leaders in Africa gives a ‘green light to prejudice’.
He told GSN: ‘[He] opposes marriage equality’ and ‘homophobes in the UK and around the world… [cite his] support for anti-gay discrimination.’
‘Welby’s collaboration with homophobic church leaders in Uganda, Nigeria and elsewhere, and his failure to speak out against their intolerance gives a green light to prejudice and discrimination in many countries.
‘This is an on-going betrayal of criminalized and victimized LGBTI people,’ he said.
Welby said last year on gay sex: ‘The vast majority of the Church is – deeply against gay sex.’
But he added: ‘I don’t think it is sinful to say that you disagree with gay sex. But to express that by way of hatred for people is absolutely wrong in the same way as misogyny or racism is wrong.’