The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, was surrounded in his pulpit by gay rights protesters as he was delivering his Easter Sunday sermon in Canterbury Cathedral at 11:20 a.m. today, (Sunday, 12th April).
Shortly after Dr. Carey began his address, seven members of OutRage!, who had been seated in the congregation, climbed the stairs into the pulpit, and displayed placards deploring his support of antigay discrimination: in particular, his opposition to an equal age of consent and to gay marriage.
Cathedral security staff rapidly manhandled the demonstrators down the steps, cutting the hands of two activists in the process. Peter Tatchell was wrested violently from the microphones as he explained the reason for the demonstration to the congregation, and was handed over to the police. After being detained for nearly seven hours, he was charged under Section 2 of the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act of 1860 with behaviour that is “riotous, violent, or indecent” in a church. He is on bail to appear at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on the 15th May.
Dr. Carey opposes an equal age of consent and legal rights for gay couples. He supports discrimination against homosexuals in employment and in the fostering of children.
The Archbishop backs a discriminatory age of consent of 18 for gay men and endorses the ban on lesbian and gay foster parents by the Church of England Children’s Society, (the only major adoption agency which continues to discriminate).
He is against legislation to guarantee equal treatment for gay people in the workplace and he condemns gay marriage.
The Archbishop preaches the denial of lesbian and gay human rights. His opposition to gay civil rights is a perversion of Christ’s gospel of love and compassion.
There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus that condones antigay discrimination. By opposing homosexual equality, Dr. Carey is proclaiming himself a greater moral authority than Jesus Christ.
Ironically, the Church has launched a “Millennium Challenge”, in a bid to make itself ‘relevant’ to the lives of ordinary people in modern society. Dr. Carey preached love and mutual understanding when he resumed the sermon: but not for us. Can he accept the “OutRage! Challenge”, and attempt to include the L/G/B/T population in his pious thoughts?
FURTHER INFORMATION: Peter Tatchell +(44) 20-74.03.17.90
PHOTOS OF PROTEST: Adrian Arbib (ISF photographer) +(44) 411-090 544
Simon Bebbington (ISF reporter) +(44) 378-307 636
ISF News Agency +(44) 1628-54.25.54 / 0836-64.45.75
David Hoffman +(44) 20-220.127.116.11
Gaze Photographic Agency +(44) 20-76.02.11.62 / firstname.lastname@example.org
DEFENCE FUND APPEAL
OutRage! is appealing for contributions to the Peter Tatchell Defence Fund.
Cheques should be made payable to “OutRage!” and sent to:
OutRage!, P.O. Box 17816, London. SW14 8WT