Thursday 4 August 2022 01:25 PM Sandi Toksvig says Archbishop made 'mistake' confirming 1998 declaration ... trends now

Thursday 4 August 2022 01:25 PM Sandi Toksvig says Archbishop made 'mistake' confirming 1998 declaration ... trends now
Thursday 4 August 2022 01:25 PM Sandi Toksvig says Archbishop made 'mistake' confirming 1998 declaration ... trends now

Thursday 4 August 2022 01:25 PM Sandi Toksvig says Archbishop made 'mistake' confirming 1998 declaration ... trends now

Sandi Toksvig has said the lives of LGBTQ+ people are 'at stake' after the Archbishop of Canterbury made a 'horrible mistake' and reaffirmed a 1998 Anglican declaration rejecting same-sex marriage.

In an open letter published on Twitter last night, the Danish-British author and comedian, who is gay, criticised Justin Welby who confirmed on Tuesday that the 'validity' of a resolution made in 1998 is 'not in doubt'.

At the Lambeth Conference of that year bishops made resolution 1.10, that marriage is 'between a man and a woman', and that same-sex relationships are 'incompatible with scripture'.

In a speech to more than 650 bishops this week, Justin Welby, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, tried to appease conservative bishops while also insisting he will not punish churches who conduct same-sex marriages.

Amongst these were members of the Global South Fellowship, which includes all African evangelical congregations - including in countries where homosexuality is still illegal.

The Church of England forbids clergy to carry out same-sex marriages, while the Anglican Church in Wales and Scotland gives blessings to gay and lesbian relationships and the Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed same-sex marriage since 2015.

Ms Toksvig said Mr Welby has made a 'mistake', and offered to talk to him over coffee.

She described losing her faith due to the treatment of LGBTQ+ people by the church around the world. 

Sandi Toksvig is one of the UK's most-loved comedians, and until recently presented QI and Stephen Fry left the programme

Sandi Toksvig is one of the UK's most-loved comedians, and until recently presented QI and Stephen Fry left the programme

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (front centre) with bishops from around the world at University of Kent in Canterbury during this year's Lambeth Conference

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (front centre) with bishops from around the world at University of Kent in Canterbury during this year's Lambeth Conference

Ms Toksvig said she has only ever received death threats from 'Evangelical Christians'

She revealed she had lost her faith due to 'years of hurt'

Sandi Toksvig tweeted a letter to the Archbishop describing her hurt and experiences as a gay woman, and appealing for him to meet her for coffee so they can discuss the issue

She wrote: 'So, you and your other religious pals got together at the Lambeth Conference and the main takeaway seems to be that gay sex is a sin. 

'It was a sin in 1998 and you just wanted to make clear in 2022 that no-one in your finely frocked gang has moved on from that.

'Seriously, with the state the world is in, that is what you wanted to focus on? You didn't have other more pressing matters like, I don't know, war or poverty?'

She drew attention to research by Just Like Us in 2021, which found that young LGBTQ+ people are twice as likely to contemplate suicide and three times more likely to self-harm than their peers.

Ms Toksvig said: 'Do you know why? For many it's because they don't feel loved and love, Justin, is supposed to be at the core of what you do. It's like top of the job description.' 

The former QI host added: 'This is a serious matter. The lives of LGBTQ+ people are at stake here.

'I have had several credible death threats over the years, sometimes requiring the very kind assistance of the police hate crime squad.

'Each and every one of those threats has come from an evangelical Christian. Inevitably they have wanted to kill me on God's behalf.

'I'll cope but what about my brothers and sisters who won't? 

Ms Toksvig also questioned the Church of England's interpretation of Jesus's views on homosexuality.

She said: 'There are seven texts in the Bible which are often pointed to as proof that God hates a homosexual, but everyone who has ever studied the matter knows that the 'proof' lies only in extremely fallible interpretation. None of it is clear cut.'

She added: 'Oh Justin, how can you be so stuck? [...] Jesus doesn't mention sexuality at all. It clearly wasn't a big deal for him.'

Ms Toksvig said she and her wife will be in attendance at her local church on Saturday.

She said: 'We have been too hurt over the years to have any faith left but I am hosting a concert to raise money for Ukrainian refugees.

'I am happy to do it but I will not feel welcome knowing the long shadow my sin casts.'

She added: 'After the concert I will leave the church and never set foot in an Anglican building again. I'll come back when you decide to

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