Reverend Richard Coles blasts Church of England over LGBTQ+ equality

Reverend Richard Coles. (Getty for St. John Ambulance/Mike Marsland)

Priest, author and gay Church of England TV personality Reverend Richard Coles has criticized the church for even being behind professional football when it comes to LGBTQ+ equality.

Despite overwhelming support for LGBTQ+ inclusion among Anglicans in the UK, the Church of England does not celebrate same-sex marriages and refuses to bless same-sex civil unions. LGBTQ+ clergy are allowed to have same-sex relationships, but are required to remain celibate to keep their positions.

Addressing the Huffington Post before the release of his new detective novel Murder before the evening songhe said: “The great battle for LGBTQ+ people in the Church of England has been trying to get us the equal treatment that the rest of the world is used to.

“We have heard the remarkable story of the 17-year-old footballer who has come out, the first professional footballer to do so while pursuing his career since Justin Fashanu.”

Jake Daniels, who plays forward for Blackpool, publicly came out as gay last month, making him the first active professional player to come out since Fashanu in 1990, who later killed himself after relentlessly battling homophobia and racism.

“Thanks to Jake Daniels, it’s an amazing thing and a lot of people have said it’s been long overdue that football has taken so long to welcome its first openly gay player,” Coles said.

“Many of us who are LGBTQ+ are in the church, but the church at the moment is resisting giving us equal status that you would expect and enjoy anywhere else.

“It can be frustrating at times. I don’t want to pretend this is just an easy question, it’s not. It takes a lot of people to go a long way. But we must not shy away from a difficult task if what is at stake is justice and human dignity.

Coles called it “depressing” that as the world of football changed, “the Church of England – an organization committed to celebrating love, decency and dignity – finds itself unable to do so when people are of the same sex”.

Reverend Richard Coles is ‘tired’ after fighting for queer inclusion for decades

Reverend Richard Coles acknowledged that “churches are notoriously slow to move” but said he had grown “tired” of fighting for LGBTQ+ inclusion.

“A lot of arguments right now are being made by members of the Church who take a very conservative view and think there is no version of the Church where LGBTQ+ people should be treated the same. way as everyone else,” he said.

“I’ve been fighting this fight for over 40 years and I’m kind of tired of it actually, and part of me doesn’t really want to commit to this fight anymore because I’ve been through it so many times.

“I just want to live my life with the people I love and care about and appreciate.”

Jerry B. Hatch