Clergy in civil partnerships can become bishops provided they are celibate, the Church of England House of Bishops agreed. Though this falls far short of full equality, some have labelled it a major shift in church policy.
The Church of England has announced that people in same-sex relationships can become bishops if they do not have sex. It is tempting to see this as a sign of progress, but for many gay and bisexual people it will be the latest message telling them that they are not welcome as equals in the Christian Church.
While Christians should indeed examine social and cultural changes critically, the fearfulness of the Pope about shifting attitudes to gender and sexual orientation seems excessive, says Savitri Hensman. Christmas should be a time of celebration in response to God’s generous love, through which barriers are broken down and humanity’s potential fulfilled.
The invisibility and silence on the trans aspect of the government's equal marriage proposals highlights the reductionist arguments of some of the pressure groups and the way that the debate is more complex than they wish to acknowledge, says Sally Rush. This silence is symptomatic of the everyday marginalisation, invisibility and misunderstanding trans people face within the media and wider society. It needs to be broken, just as the discrimination currently enshrined in law needs to be removed.
The government's proposals for same-sex marriage have revealed them to be clueless about religion, contemptuous of civil rights and bizarrely ignorant about the history, culture and politics of Wales. There is a serious possibility of these proposals failing to pass through Parliament. We must step up the campaign for civil rights, not assume they have been won.