This year, it also coincided with the much-scrutinised transition between US Presidents Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump. Some of our LGBTQ+ family in the USA have voiced serious concerns about the way they might be treated by the new administration and what kind of legislation could result. It is important that we take their concerns seriously and listen to their requests for support and solidarity.
Today, the Church of England circulated a press release to say that the House of Bishops' report to General Synod, "upholds the teaching, recognised by canon law, that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman". This follows a long process of Shared Conversations designed to hear the voices of 'lesbian and gay' [sic] people. The response from our LGBTQ+ family in the Church of England has been one of feeling hurt and let down by a process that was designed ostensibly to hear from them but may need to no positive change at all. For bisexual, trans, and other groups that were not consulted and whose needs have not so far been considered, it represents a further indication that they may be waiting a long time to be taken seriously.
It would be possible, as people affiliated with an inclusive church, to rest on our laurels and congratulate ourselves on what we see as our own achievements in progressing queer causes, but I am reminded in the words of LGBTQ+ Anglicans today of the feelings expressed my our MCC siblings of colour at General Conference last summer. They told the white people present that we have asked for their voices but not heard them. That we have wanted them to be angry only when we were also angry, and that we have silenced their anger if it was directed as us. We tried to be allies, but had not created a safe space, and needed to be held accountable.
I hope you will continue to pray for Christian unity, LGBTQ+ safety, and the peace of God. I hope that when you do so, you are also able to listen for the voice of God as it concerns the actions of our own movement and church, and take the opportunity to speak where you hear injustice in any house of God.