I’m deeply saddened by the knowledge that gay people feel that they have to leave our churches. My understanding was that, as a denomination, we were working toward taking the position that all people were welcome in our church, whatever their views on homosexuality. My understanding was that we were trying to accommodate people of all views as being valued in our churches.
This is a really important subject. In my experience, whatever we may say about offering welcome to all, the church does struggle to be welcoming to gay men and lesbians. Some big steps forward have been taken, but it is impossible to be complacent when so much naked prejudice still exists. Probably the best we can say is that homosexuals are less likely to meet open hostility in Methodism than in some other churches, but that’s a long way from being good enough.
Pam’s post reminds me of the case of Mehdi Kazemi, the 19 yr old Iranian homosexual who has been refused asylum in both Britain and the Netherlands, and who faces execution if he is returned to Iran. Happily, the British Home Secretary has agreed to review his case. If you’re British, please consider writing to your MP asking them to urge Jacqui Smith to grant this young man asylum in this country.
More than 4,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran since 1979.