Church of England homophobic, says gay vicar

Indo Asian News Service

London, May 1 (IANS) The first gay vicar of the Church of England to marry a same-sex partner on Monday accused it of being "institutionally homophobic", the media reported.

Reverend Andrew Foreshew-Cain made the comments after he was told he would not get a new parish when he leaves his existing one in London, the BBC reported.

Foreshew-Cain is leaving his congregation in West Hampstead as he is moving to the Peak District with his husband who is now working 200 miles away.

He said he felt under constant pressure being a gay man working in the Church.

"The people of the Church of England, the worshipping congregations up and down the country, are amazing people who worship and serve their local communities and do tremendous amounts of good in lots of places and for the most part they are welcoming and accepting of the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex) community," he told the BBC.

"The problem is with the leadership of the Church which maintains and promotes policies and practices which are discriminatory against LGBTI people."

"There's this constant pressure of being a gay man working for the Church of England, in an institution which is institutionally homophobic and has policies and attitudes towards the LGBT community which are harmful," the vicar added.

Foreshew-Cain has been a vicar for 27 years and is the vicar of St Mary with All Souls, Kilburn, and St James in West Hampstead.

He said after he married in 2014, he received a letter from his bishop saying he would not be allowed to work in another job within the Church.

"That's discrimination and in any other part of the world that would be illegal," he told the BBC.

--IANS

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