London, Feb 16: Gay rights campaigners on Thursday welcomed the Church of England’s rejection of a report calling for continued opposition to same-sex marriage, the media reported. The report by the House of Bishops called for a “culture of welcome and support” for gay Christians, but stopped short of accepting same-sex unions, the BBC reported.
The House of Bishops voted overwhelmingly (43-1) in favour of the document and its proposals, and the House of Laity — made up of ordinary members of the church — backed it by 106 votes to 83. But to win approval, the report had to win backing in all three houses and the House of Clergy — made up of vicars, rectors and priests — rejected it by 100 votes to 93, with two abstentions. In effect, this means the Church of England’s ruling body voted not to “take note” of the document. Bishops will now have to produce a new report on the issue. The decision was welcomed by LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender — rights campaigners. Peter Tatchell, who has campaigned on the issue over five decades, said: “This vote to, in effect, reject the Bishops’ report is a victory for love and equality.” “It is the biggest defeat for the Anglican leadership in many decades. Synod refused to endorse the anti-LGBT exclusion and discrimination enshrined in the Bishops’ recommendations.” (IANS)