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Friction Over LGBTQ Issues Worsens in Global Anglican Church

That threat was aimed at the provinces which have embraced LGBTQ-inclusive politics – including the Episcopal Church in the United States, and the Anglican churches of Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. The Church of England refuses to conduct same-sex marriages, but some of its bishops want that to change.

The GFSA leaders contend that conservative-led jurisdictions are home to 75% of the global Anglican Communion population, which is estimated at 80 to 85 million.

“For too long the Anglican Communion has been driven by the views of the West,” Badi told news media during the conference. “We often feel that our voice is not listened to, or respected.”

Instead at Lambeth, Welby commended the sincerity of the LGBTQ-inclusive provinces: “They are not careless about scripture … they have come to a different view on sexuality after long prayer, deep study and reflection on understandings of human nature.”

The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, saw this as a breakthrough.

“What shifted in the rhetoric,” he said, “was a genuine acknowledgement that both sides had arrived at their views through serious study of scripture, theology, and modern understanding of human nature.“

The conservative bishops’ frustrations with Welby intensified in October when Monteith was appointed the new dean of the Canterbury cathedral.

While Welby did not personally make the appointment, he issued a statement expressing delight. Within days, the GSFA steering committee conveyed its dismay and questioned Welby’s commitment to unity.

LGBTQ activists say most Anglican churches in Africa are led by conservative priests, including many averse to even discussing homosexuality and some fearful of losing their flock to more conservative evangelical groups.

“For Uganda, the Anglican church has almost played a leadership role in being intolerant,” said Frank Mugisha, a prominent LGBT leader in the East African country where a lawmaker once introduced legislation seeking to punish some homosexual acts with execution.

In contrast to other African provinces, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa has considered letting dioceses conduct same-sex marriages, though it has yet to take that step.

The church is based in South Africa – the only African country to legalize such unions – and also represents dioceses in several neighboring countries. It was led for years by the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was a staunch advocate of LGBTQ rights and a leading apartheid foe.