Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has written to two gay bishops telling them their same-sex spouses are not welcome to attend the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference in 2020,

The future of an international Anglican church summit is at risk after gay bishops were told they could not bring their same-sex spouses.

The University of Kent is due to host the Lambeth Conference, which takes place once a decade, in summer 2020, with representatives from more than 165 countries set to attend at the Canterbury campus.

Bishops have been cleared to invite their husbands and wives, but Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has told same-sex partners they are not allowed to attend after church leaders decided it would be 'inappropriate'.

It has caused 'serious issues' for university bosses although no decision has been made yet on whether it will withdraw as host of the £4,950-per-ticket event.

Meanwhile Bishop Michael Curry, leader of the Episcopal Church in the US who charmed Brits with a sermon at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last year, urged Archbishop Welby to overturn the decision.

The ban is legal under the Equality Act due to a religious exemption and was reportedly made to 'placate' church leaders in 'conservative' countries including Uganda, who oppose same-sex marriages in a church.

The 2020 conference marks the first time Gay bishops have been invited and the church has been branded 'spineless' for the ban on their partners.   
The Right Rev Mary Glasspool, assistant bishop of New York, and The Right Rev Kevin Robertson, a bishop in Toronto, are the only two in same-sex marriages currently, although Bishop of Maine Rev Thomas Brown is to wed his partner in June.

Rev Glasspool and Rev Robertson have both been contacted by Archbishop Welby to confirm their spouses were not invited.

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