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About gay vicars.

(397 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sat 12-Jul-14 23:34:17

Now I admit I'm not religious so I don't really get the argument of breaking church law, etc.

But I think its crazy that in this day and age a vicar can be refused a licence to practice by the local bishop because he's gay.

I thought Christians were meant to be tolerant, compassionate, etc.

Its even more crazy when he wouldn't be working directly for the diocese but for the local hospital.

bbc news story

Szeli Sat 12-Jul-14 23:46:48

Now, I agree with gay vicars, it upsets me that the church has taken the stance it has over gay marriage BUT with the same token I can see where the bishop is coming from... He's 'towing the party line' as it were and it's obvious this gentleman isn't in his view.

It's the same as a catholic priest being knocked back for having a relationship with anyone. That doesn't make it right, but it's the way things unfortunately stand at present.

TheSpottedZebra Sat 12-Jul-14 23:47:35

But surely you're not surprised that the church is homophobic?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 12-Jul-14 23:48:26

It also seems crazy that the church were ok with this vicar until he married his partner.

Living "in sin" was ok, but getting married isn't.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 12-Jul-14 23:49:35

I'm not surprised. I'm just cross.

I'd like to think that they'd be getting more tolerant what with gay marriage now being legal, etc.

Szeli Sat 12-Jul-14 23:51:00

I thought the issue was they'd had a marriage not a civil partnership? It's the 'marriage' part they're against I think

Freckletoes Sun 13-Jul-14 00:14:14

I think you "toe the line" not drag it around! wink

AgaPanthers Sun 13-Jul-14 01:39:14

I don't think the church asks if cohabiting men are in fact engaging in sexual intercourse. So there shouldn't be anything wrong with that.

It seems he has been denied a promotion because the church says 'no gay marriage' and he had one.

Doesn't seem too complicated to me?

WhatTheFork Sun 13-Jul-14 02:19:50

YANBU

If I ran a business and didn't hire a person because of their sexual orientation, I'd find myself being sued. Rightly so.

It's ok for the church though. Don't get me started on female priests...

VivaLeBeaver Sun 13-Jul-14 08:56:54

Exactly. I don't know how the church is allowed to ignore anti discrimination laws.

prh47bridge Sun 13-Jul-14 09:27:29

I don't know how the church is allowed to ignore anti discrimination laws

There are specific exemptions in the legislation for religious organisations. If the state were to prevent religions from following their beliefs that would potentially be a breach of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion). That right is not absolute and can be restricted by law but I doubt the courts would uphold a law designed to force a religious body to promote someone who was openly engaging in a practise that goes against the beliefs of the body, in this case gay marriage.

FatewiththeLeadPiping Sun 13-Jul-14 09:37:40

The church sees marriage between a man and a woman, traditionally for procreation, one body one flesh etc. It is no surprise.

Icimoi Sun 13-Jul-14 09:40:54

I find the stance of the church extraordinary. If you believe that your god created everyone and everything, surely you must believe that he created gay people. Why would you choose to regard them as a sub-species when it comes to marriage?

If I were responsible for that NHS Trust, I would be heavily tempted to promote him anyway. In legal terms, presumably the only thing you actually need a licence for is to celebrate marriage, and you could draft in a registrar for the legal bit.

FeministStar Sun 13-Jul-14 09:45:07

The bishop is being hypocritical. He was happy to have him working in the church when he wasn't married so the fact that he is married is no different. The church is against divorce but it still allows divorced people to work in the church, it is against gay marriage but there are gay people who are married who go to church.
God would accept people who are gay, therefore the church should do the same. It annoys me that the church is so openly discriminatory when the Christian thing to do is to be inclusive.

Silvercatowner Sun 13-Jul-14 09:47:00

Lol at the 'agree with gay vicars'. What is there to agree with? Vicars have always been as gay as the rest of society.

prh47bridge Sun 13-Jul-14 10:31:37

Why would you choose to regard them as a sub-species when it comes to marriage

Many religions (not just the church) regard homosexual acts as sinful. The church is generally clear that it condemns the sin (i.e. the homosexual act) not the sinner. Other religions are often less clear.

Most Christian denominations would be unhappy with a minister who had affairs or lived with a partner of the opposite sex without being married. They would not necessarily throw him or her out of the church but they would not consider them suitable to lead the church. They would therefore be unable to continue in their job.

God would accept people who are gay, therefore the church should do the same

It does. It accepts anyone and everyone (or at least, it should do). That doesn't mean it will put them in leadership roles. This guy isn't being thrown out of the church. He is simply being told that, because the church is against gay marriage and he has entered into a gay marriage, he cannot hold a role where he is supposed to represent the church and its teachings.

juditz Sun 13-Jul-14 11:11:18

I'm an atheist but Christianity is not some free-for-all religion. The Christian god has nothing against homosexuality itself only the taking part in homosexual practices.

Even as an atheist, this vicar gets on my wick: wtf is he being a vicar for if he can't abide by the rules. They should sack him.

shouldnthavesaid Sun 13-Jul-14 11:29:48

My friend's as gay as the day is long and is going to start his priest training this summer.

As the bishop said to him, once he's a priest he's the same as anyone else in the clergy - celibate. He can have homosexual thoughts but he cannot act on him and shouldn't allow himself to desire those thoughts or take enjoyment from them.

I do find it funny as if we go out he's constantly nudging me - 'he's alright, eh?' or talking about sex. I know that he's had sex before and he's had a few relationships.

I worry though that he'll find life as a priest very lonely - I do wish he could get married and enjoy his sexuality (that I honestly believe is God given) as well as being able to work in the church. I don't think that'll be possible for a very long time though, and probably not in the time that he's involved in the church!

Another friend was wanting to be a priest as a teen (don't ask, I went to Cathsoc at uni) but he pulled out as soon as he realised he was gay. He's now very happily married, working as a social worker and hoping to adopt. Better path for him as he's free to do what he wants with sex and that. He's Unitarian though now - they are incredibly accepting (my aunt's a minister and holds services regularly specifically for trans and gay people).

Trouble is though that whilst we can all hope that the church progresses a bit over time and changes it's views, it hasn't at present, it's still a view many will hold and therefore he shouldn't be a vicar and in a gay relationship (unless celibate) but he could have been offered a different position within hospital chaplaincy or something..

HollyGuacamolly Sun 13-Jul-14 12:31:24

Even as an atheist, this vicar gets on my wick: wtf is he being a vicar for if he can't abide by the rules. They should sack him.

I would imagine people don't become vicars because they want to 'play by the rules'. I am quite sure this man wants to be a vicar/bishop because he feels it's his calling to spread the word of god (or whatever his role is), which quite frankly, has fuck all to do with him being gay or not.

I do not understand the celibacy part in the Protestant church as we've moved on so much in recent years that I wouldn't say 'no sex before marriage' is one of the fundamental principals of the church. The point of the Protestant church is that everyone is equal, therefore why should the clergy not be allowed to marry (gay or straight) like "normal" people?

Icimoi Sun 13-Jul-14 13:14:18

[The church] accepts anyone and everyone (or at least, it should do). That doesn't mean it will put them in leadership roles. This guy isn't being thrown out of the church. He is simply being told that, because the church is against gay marriage and he has entered into a gay marriage, he cannot hold a role where he is supposed to represent the church and its teachings.

But why is it OK for the church to say they will accept gay people as individuals, they just won't let them hold office? Would it be acceptable to say the same of black people? I get it that a gay vicar would not be able to teach people that homosexual acts are sinful, but then the church shouldn't be teaching that either.

Serendipity30 Sun 13-Jul-14 14:27:35

Er dont bring Black people into it, we are always the alternative, sorry but you cannot compare being Black to being gay

Sixgeese Sun 13-Jul-14 15:30:28

Our local C of E church has a gay vicar, not sure if he is married to his partner, but they live together in rectory.

prh47bridge Sun 13-Jul-14 15:38:05

But why is it OK for the church to say they will accept gay people as individuals, they just won't let them hold office?

That isn't what they say. They are happy for gay people to hold office as far as I am aware. They are unhappy for people who are openly in relationships that the church regards as sinful to hold office.

the church shouldn't be teaching that either

Why not? That is what the Bible says. And it is what many faiths (not just Christianity) believes. Of course, not all Christians accept that homosexual acts are sinful and some denominations are more accepting than others.

Bardette Sun 13-Jul-14 16:08:37

Why are you specifically worried about gay vicars? Are you equally concerned about the rights of a gay person to be a rabbi? A guru? An Imam?

VivaLeBeaver Sun 13-Jul-14 16:16:30

Well this article was about a vicar not a rabbi or iman but yes think they should be able to.

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