Equal marriage is now taking effect in England, Wales, Scotland and many other parts of the world. Some Christians welcome this, others are unsure or opposed. Against this background, theological reflection on sexuality and gender identity is particularly important.
An Ekklesia research paper might be useful in helping the Church of England to tackle the controversial issue of sexuality, a general synod member suggested. Synod, meeting from 12-14 February, also discussed women bishops, climate change and safeguarding.
As the Church of England discusses the Pilling report on sexuality, it has come under pressure from certain other Anglican leaders, who claim that accepting the proposals would show a lack of commitment to biblical teaching and global Anglicanism. But the rationale for these claims is flawed.
Some church leaders ignore personal experience and scientific evidence when discussing sexuality, unless these fit in with their existing ideas. They may think this shows their faithfulness to the Bible and so to God. But they are wrong.
This is the full text of the letter from the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council to Ms Elizabeth Davies, Marriage and Family Life Project Officer at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in December 2013.
A Church of England working party report on sexuality suggests that clergy be allowed to hold public services to mark same-sex partnerships. Some critics have complained that allowing too much flexibility might seem to affirm what the church still officially regards as wrong.