In response to Britain's Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination
on the grounds of sexuality, the Church of England is expected to
confirm that openly gay clergy can serve as bishops if they remain
The church is set to update its rules in a paper titled "Choosing Bishops -- The Equality Act 2010," which is expected to
be published today and can be read here.
the new guidelines state that sexuality cannot be a factor when
considering candidates for promotions within the organization ("A
person's sexual orientation is in itself irrelevant to their suitability
for episcopal office or indeed ordained ministry," says the paper), the
report does go on to say that certain individuals may be blocked if
"the appointment of the candidate would cause division and disunity
within the diocese in question."
While church head Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, said last year that he had no problem with gay
bishops as long as they remained celibate, another member of the clergy
sees the move as a step backward.
Reverend Canon Giles Goddard of Inclusive Church said these new guidelines are "nothing new," telling the BBC that "unless [the church] is able to accept clergy in relationships on the same terms as marriage this sore won't be healed."