A law in Nigeria that would impose brutal penalties on shows of affection between lesbian and gay people, or even on those who would advocate for lesbian and gay people, has been condemned by more than 250 Christian leaders from the US.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is spiritual head of the fractious 78-million strong worldwide Anglican Communion, has described the decisions taken by the recent Primates (heads of provinces) meeting in Tanzania as a trust-building exercise to preserve unity in the face of disagreement.
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) has given a broad welcome to Prime Minister Tony Blair's proposal that adoption agencies currently operating under restrictions imposed by Roman Catholic bishops should be given 21 months to find a way of continuing to serve children without discriminating against lesbian and gay couples.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster and the most senior figure in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has claimed that the government's decision to refuse the Church an opt out from anti-discrimination legislation threatens the voluntary work of all churches.
As government ministers last night (24 January 2007) made it clear that they would not bow to strong pressure from Catholic and Anglican leaders who wish to retain the right for church-sponsored adoption services to refuse lesbian and gay couples, Harriet Harman, Minister for Justice at the Department for Constitutional Affairs, has reminded churches that it is not possible to be ‚Äúa bit opposed to discrimination‚Äù.
The row over Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor's letter to the Prime Minister and Cabinet ‚Ä' which says that his church's adoption agencies will close if an exemption from equalities rules about lesbian and gay adoptees is not granted ‚Ä' showed no sign of dissipating today.
The often-vituperative argument over sexuality within the 77-million strong Anglican Communion has been thrown into sharp perspective this month (January 2007), when it was revealed that the leader of a group of lesbian and gay Christians in Nigeria has received the latest in a series of death threats.