A vicar in England has made shocking comments about gay rights after a fellow priest announced he would bless Pride.
Reverend Melvin Tinker, vicar of St John Newland in the northern city of Hull, discussed his outrage with a local radio station. He condemned the decision by Cannon Michael Smith of York Minster, a historic cathedral in the county, to give a public blessing to the LGBTI festival.
Smith has also announced the cathedral will display a 50m rainbow flag at the festival this weekend (20 June).
Radio host David Dunning told Tinker that Smith is supporting Pride in order to be welcoming to everybody.
Tinker said: ‘He wouldn’t say that about – well, I assume he wouldn’t say that about people who were doing things which are wrong. Would he say serial adultery should be welcome in the church, would he say that people who are engaged in pedophilia should be involved in the church?’
The radio host asked Tinker whether he was likening homosexuality to pedophilia, to which he replied: ‘What he’s basically saying is that in his opinion this is a valid activity, whereas that is exactly the point of contention.’
He added: ‘What I’m saying is that if the category – we’re talking about moral categories here – and if homosexual genital sex falls into the immoral category then it, of course, is in the same category as any other immoral action.’
Dunning argued that homosexual relationships are nothing like pedophilia, as they are legal and valid.
‘Well, at one time of course, homosexual genital activity was illegal,’ Tinker replied.
‘I am outraged that this should go on in the name of York Minster, in the name of Christianity and in the name of the Dioceses. I think it really is just so provocative and incredibly insensitive, and just a plain wrong thing to do at this time.’
He continued: ‘It’s just offensive to for him to do that [give the blessing to Pride], it’s just provocative in the extreme. To do this in such a provocative way at this time is just going to be increasingly devisive in the church. And he ought to be ashamed of himself really, he knows better.’