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An English priest who was photographed in hooker drag at a charity event has resigned from his congregation following what his sister refers to as a "witch hunt."
Upon arriving at the "tarts and vicars" event near his church in Tyneside, England, wearing shiny gold tights, a black dress, and pink high heels, the Reverend Martin Wray says he was received warmly. But after a photo of him in the get-up was published in a local newspaper, parishioners filed complaints about how Rev. Wray was representing the church.
After receiving threatening voice mail messages, including one calling him a "pervert," the 59-year-old priest announced he was taking an early retirement from his 20-year career in the church.
Wray, who revealed to his church that he was gay last May, apologized to parishioners for taking part in the event. But his sister believes the complaints go beyond his drag appearance.
"My brother has been subjected to a witch hunt for being gay," Janet Bridges told the Telegraph. "When he announced to his congregation at a service one Sunday that he was getting a civil partnership everyone stood up and applauded. But a lot of people in that church are elderly and very old-fashioned. When his picture appeared in the paper dressed like that some people used it as an excuse because they didn't like the fact he is gay."
The Archdeacon denied that the parishioners were guilty of homophobia and said the accusation had "hurt" the worshippers in question.
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