Hull’s LGBT community say controversial comments from Hull vicar aren’t surprising

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Published: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 by KCFM

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Hull’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Fellowship say they’ve had dealings with Reverend Melvin Tinker before.

Reverend Melvin Tinker from St John Newland recently related homosexuality to pedophilia after criticising York Minster’s decision to support a gay pride march.

But Lucy Gorman, a member of Hull’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Fellowship, believes his views don’t reflect the whole Christian community:

“I think it gives Christianity a bad name in general. Members of the LGBT community will probably read his comments and think, ‘Well, I’m definitely not going to try Christianity out there then’, and that’s simply not the case. There’s many people, like me, who are gay and Christian, and believe the two work perfectly well together.

“Reverend Tinker keeps going on about how this is the Church of England’s stance, actually it’s not the Church of England’s stance. The Church of England’s stance is to have an open conversation about this, the issue of sexuality, and to hopefully move together and live together while living in difference.”

She believes the bible can be interpreted in different ways:

“You can look into the bible and if you take passages out of context, and don’t read it into the context that it was written, then you will come to some conclusions that it may be wrong. The bible is a very powerful powerful book, and if used in the wrong way, it can be very dangerous.”

Lucy believes everyone’s entitled to their views but people’s feelings must be considered if voiced:

“I have no problem with having the other view that actually same sex marriage or homosexuality may be wrong, theologically. However I think to compare someone to a pedophile is a little over the top to be honest.”

She says he shouldn’t avoid punishment:

“I believe that it is homophobia to compare someone to a pedophile. And if you were to do that in any other secular setting apart from the church, then you would get reported, and if you were doing it within your job, then I’d expect you to probably get sacked.”

In a statement, Reverend Melvin Tinker said:

“What is horrifying to many, as reflected in the substantial numbers of emails I have received from around the world, is that York Minster should act in such a provocative way. The official teaching of the Church of England and all Anglican churches as agreed by the gathering of world bishops in 1998 is that ‘homosexual activity is incompatible with Scripture and that pastoral sensitivity should be shown to those within our churches who have same sex attraction’. I simply wish to uphold this position, a position which is being undermined by York Minister. The action of Canon Smith symbolises the affirmation of homosexual activity. It is this which is unacceptable.”

Lucy Gorman hopes everyone will be accepted into the church in the future:

“We aim for a completely inclusive church where being gay is just another fact of life and it’s not an issue and it’s not a problem; And you’re never going to sit in a pew at church and think, ‘What is the person that’s sat next to me going to think of me if they knew I was gay?’.”

The Archbishop of York issued this statement in response to Reverend Tinker’s comments:

“Clergy of the Diocese are entitled to express varying views on the question of human sexuality. That is the nature of the Church of England. How those views are expressed is central to how we are heard as Church. Our first call is to love God and one another.

“The principles established in recent Church of England and Anglican Communion statements on these matters are clear: alongside a reaffirmation of traditional Christian understanding of human sexuality, orientation, and behaviour, whatever one’s personal views, there is a Christian duty to offer pastoral care and friendship to all people.”

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Published: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 by KCFM

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