The Bishop of Liverpool has said he will attend an international summit of Anglican leaders without his wife next year, in protest at a bar on the partners of gay...
MP says Lambeth Conference should face court over ban on gay partners
The organisers of an international Anglican summit should be taken to court over their ban on gay bishops bringing their same-sex partners as guests, an MP has claimed.
Nigel Evans believes the rule, which was announced ahead of the 2020 Lambeth Conference in Canterbury next year, could equate to workplace discrimination.
The Conservative representative for Ribble Valley told The Daily Telegraph: "I'm wondering whether that's discrimination. It could be tested in the courts.
"If it wasn't for the gays in the Church, the Church would crumble!
"If it is tested in the courts, we would be doing the Archbishop of Canterbury a favour."
The newspaper also quoted an employment lawyer who suggested the bar on gay spouses could contravene the Equality Act of 2010.
The Lambeth Conference - held every ten years - will see Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Welby welcome bishops from national Anglican branches across the world.
For the first time, leaders have been invited to bring their spouses along.
But the organiser of the conference, the Anglican Communion, was forced to clarify the invitation by explaining partners of gay bishops were not included.
General Secretary Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon (pictured above) has said in response to criticism: "The invitation process has...needed to take account of the Anglican Communion's position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman.
"Given this, it would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference."
Earlier this week, Premier reported on how the Bishop of Liverpool Rt Rev Paul Bayes said he would protest the decision by attending the summit without his wife.
The head of a body representing conservative Anglicans recently cited the wedding of a gay bishop in Canada as among his concerns for the global Anglican Church.
Nigel Evans, who is gay and Christian, says he would like to get married in a church. He told The Telegraph: "I've spoken to Justin Welby about it...it is not right that I am a first class gay but a second class Christian."
The Anglican Communion declined to a comment.
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