A fundamental problem with AB Rowan Williams’ views on homosexuality

Lisa Severine Nolland

Dr  Williams is concerned about the rights of homosexual people, and feels the church has not been prepared to stand up for them.  So, he is championing ‘civic equality’  for gays and lesbians.  Will he champion the civic rights of other, still-closeted sexual minorities who make the same claims for social acceptance and inclusion and on the same basis?  Or will he (in effect) discriminate against them by ignoring their plight and refusing to aid their quest for liberation?

I am continually coming across the following assertions made by individuals with less conventional sexualities:  ‘I was born like this and have always been like this’; ‘This is my identity’; ‘I am not hurting anyone’; ‘I tried to change but could not’; ‘Why won’t society accept me for who I am?  It is just intolerant and hateful’.  Some call themselves the new gays and claim they are where the LGBT were in the 50s.

So I ask, will Dr Williams publicly stand with them in their struggle for acceptance, inclusion, affirmation?

Various alternative sexualities are on the cusp of ‘coming out’, but here I am thinking of the recent bisexual triad in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. They have just entered into a civil partnership (they are the second in recent history to do so:  the Netherlands, in 2006, was the first to allow two bisexual females and one heterosexual male to have a civil union).  The ‘wedding’ photo showed a happy balding groom being kissed on each cheek by a bride in white. I am also thinking of the growing, but still discriminated-against, poly movement in Canada. They were  involved in a high profile BC legal court case last  November.

At the time, one of their spokespersons noted, ‘Gay history shows that liberation comes in steps.  First gay relationships had to be acepted as legitimate and non-criminal.  Once that occurred, then gay marriage flolllowed.  I think our normalization will follow the same course’ (John Ince, Polyinthemedia, 26th November 2011; http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.co.uk/)

Will Dr Williams support all those with alternative sexualities, or will he discriminate? If he does the latter, then he cannot claim to ‘love and include all’  —  contrary to the inclusive equalities and diversities mantra which commands the moral high ground and silences all dissent. He too discriminates. So too with all the leading LGBT organisations which do the same. None include ‘all’.

So, my question remains. Will Dr Williams actually be able to embrace and affirm ‘all’? if he does discriminate on whatever grounds — be it either orthodox biblical teaching or ‘loving committed relationships — he draws a discriminatory line.  So at least both sides need to admit that they discriminate and that discrimination  per se is no crime.

Ls.n@talktalk.net

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