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Homophobic bullying

July 2014

Church schools should recognise that homophobic bullying takes place and make provision for tackling it within their anti-bullying strategies, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Speaking to gay newspaper Pink news, Dr Welby said that Church of England (CofE) guidance on challenging homophobic bullying, called ‘Valuing all God’s children’, was being sent to all CofE schools.

Quoted in the paper, Dr Welby said, ‘I have said, and got a fair amount of flak for it within parts of the Church, we have to accept, and quite rightly, that the same-sex marriage act is law, it is the law of the land; and that’s great’.

While he stated that the CofE was not changing its teaching on gay relationships, he acknowledged there was a ‘revolution’ in the area of sexuality.

The guidance states that homophobic bullying is ‘on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity’ and that abuse can happen indirectly, when remarks are made to ‘pass some kind of negative judgement’.

Anglican synod member and chief executive of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, called the guidance dangerous because it ‘created a climate of fear discouraging people from speaking the truth about God’s pattern of marriage’.

She said, ‘What does the Archbishop of Canterbury think he is doing? Is he aware that he is playing into the hands of a militant, gay lobby group, which has no qualms in targeting Christians and forcing them out of their jobs? When is he going to stand up for the Christians who have been bullied and punished for speaking of Jesus in modern Britain?’