Radical gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has accused the Queen of ‘colluding with prejudice’ by offering her good wishes to a group of Anglicans who uphold the Bible’s teaching on marriage. Quick, arrest the Queen.
All joking though, this is getting serious. There is a big and divisive debate taking place within Anglicanism over the Christian teaching on marriage and homosexuality. It has split American Anglicans (Episcopalians) down the middle, and it has done the same to British Anglicans. Anglicans from the developing world are almost entirely orthodox on this question.
It should be no surprise that some UK Anglicans actually support what the Bible has to say about marriage, namely that it must be between a man and a woman. As Head of the Church of England how can the Queen not send her good wishes to members of her Church who believe what the Bible believes and what all Anglicans have believed until very recently?
Tatchell accuses the Queen of taking sides, but if she didn’t offer this group – the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) – her good wishes she would be taking sides anyway.
He says: “The Queen has made a serious error of judgement. Her letter of support for the breakaway anti-gay faction of the Church of England is collusion with prejudice. It is very alarming to see the Queen endorse a homophobic grouping within the Church of England. She is taking sides, against gay equality.”
Of course, this group isn’t ‘break-away’ at all, let alone an anti-gay ‘faction’. One of the group’s leaders is Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. Is he a ‘break-away’?
In any event, the logic of Tatchell’s argument is inexorable. Traditional sexual morality is a form of prejudice. Prejudice is bad and should be outlawed. Those who express ‘prejudice’ are breaking the law. Therefore, arrest the Queen. Ok, we’re not there yet, but give it another few years.
Of course, what will happen instead is that the British Monarch, rather than risk falling foul of the law, will stop sending groups such as the FCA her good wishes and that is exactly what Tatchell wants.