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News – Bishops agree on ‘gay hate’

January 2008

Bishops agree on ‘gay hate’

Bishops from the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have jointly called on the Government to protect free speech and religious liberty from a proposed ‘gay hate’ law.

In a joint statement the bishops say their main concern ‘is that any legislation on incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation permits the expression of traditional Christian (and other) opinions on sexual behaviour and consequent criticisms of particular forms of behaviour or lifestyle’.

The statement adds: ‘Christians engaged in teaching or preaching and those seeking to act in accord with Christian convictions in their daily lives need to be assured that the expression of strong opinions on marriage or sexuality will not be illegal’.

The bishops are also concerned about police forces that have investigated Christians for their comments on homosexual practice. The statement says, ‘We are not encouraged by some examples of over-zealous action by the police, apparently under current legislation, against Christians who have publicly expressed traditional views on sexuality’.

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