Gay vicar has a surprising response to Lord Tebbit calling him a ‘Sodomite’
A Church of England clergyman has vowed to mend fences with Conservative peer Lord Tebbit, who vowed to boycott his church and called him a “Sodomite.”
The 87-year-old peer has come under fire this week after making homophobic remarks about the new dean at his local church, St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds.
Norman Tebbit has vowed to snub ceremonies at the Church of England cathedral overseen by Rev Canon Joe Hawes, who is in a civil partnership with another clergyman.
Speaking to his local newspaper, the East Anglian Daily Times, Tebbit described the clergyman as a “Sodomite,” using a Biblical anti-gay slur.
But Hawes has responded with a public olive branch of friendship towards Tebbit.
He told the same newspaper: “We feel absolutely no ill will towards Lord Tebbit for his comments.
“The messages of support we have received from St Edmundsbury and Fulham testify to the extent to which the Church and the world have moved on from a place where such language has any relevance.
“I have always admired the way in which Lord Tebbit has cared for his wife with such devotion following the Brighton bomb and I have been looking forward to getting to know them when I arrive in St Edmundsbury and offering what support I could.”
A spokesperson for the Cathedral said: “It has been clear for more than a decade that clergy are entitled to be within civil partnerships. Lord Tebbit is welcome to his views.”
Tebbit recently warned that air pollution may be making people transgender in a Telegraph column.
He claimed transgender people were a new phenomenon, writing: “I cannot recollect any such individuals among my fellow pupils at school, nor in my intake for National Service in 1949, nor so far as I know among my children’s generation at school.”
He added: “I think it is time we had some research into the extent of the phenomenon both in time and geographical reach.
“I do not know if the populations of third world or of urban or of rural societies are more or less affected.
“Nor is it known if it is only our species or others living alongside us which have been affected, but that knowledge might point to a trigger such as pollution, which is the belief of some scientists.”
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He said: “[I think that] to be a homosexual cannot be a sin because that is what God has created, but it is perfectly sensible to argue that a homosexual act is a sin because that is what the Bible has said from the time of the Old Testament through the New Testament.
“So therefore, as a Christian, should you dump all that and still call yourself a Christian? It’s a bit doubtful.”
He added: “I opposed gay marriage because it is fundamentally not what marriage was set out to be.
“I don’t like this way of proceeding by simply changing the meaning of a word. We’re doing too much of that.”