The US Episcopal Church has signalled it will not back down on LGBT equality – despite being punished by the global Anglican Communion for its policies.
Christians reacted with shock this week as the global conglomerate of Anglican churches voted overwhelmingly at a Primates meeting in Canterbury to sanction the US Episcopal Church for affirming same-sex marriage.
The US Episcopal Church has welcomed gay members for years, even appointing openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 – but provoked the wrath of hardline African churches within the Communion by voting last year to embrace equal marriage.
However, the church’s head Bishop Michael Curry has vowed not to back down on equality – even as his church was blocked from Anglican decision-making bodies and suspended from the Communion.
He told AP: “They heard from me directly that that’s not something that we’re considering,.
“They basically understand we made our decision, and this is who we are, and we’re committed to being a house of prayer for all.”
He added: “We are loyal members of the Anglican Communion, but we need to say we must find a better way. I really believe it’s part of our vocation.”
Action was taken against the Church after Anglican leaders claimed its teachings on same-sex marriage were “a fundamental departure from the faith and Anglican teaching”.
Following the decision, the global Anglican Communion seems to have narrowly escaped intact – but there is now building resentment on the liberal wing of the body.