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Equality North East

Concerns raised over C of E, equality law, and gay bishops

The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has expressed serious concern about legal advice being offered to the Church of England regarding gay bishops.

This week, lawyers for the Church of England indicated that in line with the 2010 Equality Act, the Church cannot allow sexual orientation in itself to be grounds for preventing a priest being promoted to the role of bishop.

However, consistent with provisions contained within the Act for a religious organisation to act in accordance with its doctrine, the document, 'Choosing Bishops – The Equality Act 2010', makes clear that those considered for promotion must be celibate and to have been celibate during their time as a priest.

Being in a civil partnership is not a bar to becoming a bishop as long as this condition is met. Candidates will be asked about their past and will be required to repent of any past sexual activity which took place before ordination.

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June 30, 2011

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