As Church of England continues to deny LGBT+ people equality, Unitarians proud to be different

24 January 2023

As the Church of England has once again make the headlines by refusing to offer same-sex marriage ceremonies or equal treatment to LGBT+ people, many Unitarian ministers and leaders have been publicly critical of the CofE – and have once again been shouting from the rooftops that many churches, including the Unitarians, proudly affirm LGBT+ equality and offer same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Rev. Robin Hanford, minister of Hinckley Unitarians in Leicestershire, made the headlines in the Metro newspaper when he took to Twitter to express his sadness, frustration and dismay with the Church of England’s treatment of LGBT+ people:

Rev Robin Hanford, a Unitarian Minister, responded: ‘How much longer will the lives and relationships of my LGBT+ friends in the Church of England continue to be sacrificed on the false alter of “unity” in order to try and keep homophobes happy?’

Rev Hanford, who lives and works in Leicestershire, told his first reaction to this morning’s news was one of ‘profound anger.’

He said: ‘I have a lot of LGBT friends in the Church of England who have been waiting patiently for change and have been actively working for it for years by diligently going through the proper channels and laborious process.

‘Now Bishops, which should have pastoral care at the very core of their being, have effectively slapped my friends around the face.

‘As a Unitarian Minister, I proudly marry same-sex and opposite-sex couples at my chapel in Hinckley, Leicestershire

‘But the Church of England has so much visibility as the national church, and I know I will inevitably be tarred with the same brush in the eyes of the public due to this decision from the Bishops.’

Rev Hanford added that while the Church of England ‘seems determined to cling to outdated homophobic theologies and practices’ many other churches and denominations ‘have moved on and are far more affirming of LGBT people’.

You can read the full story in the Metro here.

Find out more about LGBT+ Unitarian history here.

Find out about our ongoing LGBT+ Unitarian Voices project here.