Church of England Introduces Campaign To Stop Homophobic Bullying In Schools

WelbySome good news out of Great Britain. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured left), has recently announced a campaign to stop homophobic bullying in Church of England schools across the country.

In an address to the Church's General Synod, Welby said that the Church must "accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality," and work to stamp out stereotyping and bullying.

BBC News reports:

"Pretending that nothing has changed is absurd and impossible," the archbishop said in his first presidential address to the synod, meeting at the University of York.

"The majority of the population rightly detests homophobic behavior or anything that looks like it and sometimes they look at us and see what they don't like," he said.

"With nearly a million children educated in our schools we not only must demonstrate a profound commitment to stamp out such stereotyping and bullying but we must also take action.

"We are therefore developing a programme for use in our schools, taking the best advice we can find anywhere, that specifically targets such bullying."

In his address, Welby quoted gay Labour peer Lord Waheed Alli, who told the House of Lords that 97% of gay teenagers in the country report homophobic bullying. He later mentioned the tragic gay teen suicides here in the United States over the years as a direct result of homophobic bullying. "One cannot sit and listen to that sort of reality without being appalled," Welby said. 

While the changes are no doubt a step in the right direction, Weby stressed that the Church was not changing its teachings on gay relationships. Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, said that in light of the archbishop's opposition the gay marriage bill in the House of Lords last month, the new changes should be more scrutinized.

"Of course we will always help an education provider in helping tackle homophobic bullying in schools and there are already several dozen Church of England schools working with Stonewall but a cynic would be tempted to think perhaps that the archbishop is trying to distract attention from his failure engage gay people when they requested it over the issue of marriage."  


  1. candideinnc says

    Any efforts to help gay youth and prevent bullying in the schools should be welcomed with great praise and encouragement. I am not religious, but if the churches can make the gey youth safer and happier, I will certainly applaud their actions!

  2. Danny says

    One step forward, TWO steps back. Not a lot of clout behind his campaign without changing the way the church teaches to hate gay relationships. They must change their teaching to change the hearts of the ignorant! Or they just continue to harm people who are just like them, only different.

  3. Brad says

    “the Church was not changing its teachings on gay relationships”

    So let me get this right. They expect bullying to go away while still teaching that gay relationships are abhorrent or less than hetero relationships. Yeah, that’s always worked. Separate but equal. That’s a surefire way to change hearts and minds. It’s a move in the right direction but it’s still a slap in the face to GLBT students, their parents and teachers.

  4. Jeff Atwood says

    The CoE waited until 2013 to do this, why? It’s after they have lost the battle and they are desperately seeking a way back to land on the right side of history. Never forget where they bigots stood until now, and ask why they didn’t do this years ago when it would have made a difference. Too little, too late.

  5. Richard says

    The homophobic rhetoric of the Catholic hierarchy emboldens bullies. If priests and other so-called religious leaders would simply shut their bigoted mouths, the torment for many gay kids would end.

  6. Tonez says

    This is a attempt of this English Church to become the dominate church in the future. They always think long term. They want to stay relevant. Remember, they still believe in a space god who only cares about what his followers care about.

  7. Rallxx says

    It’s ironic. How can you stop homophobic bullying when your Church teaches to hate them? I can literally quote the word “ABOMINATION” from that book.

    You want to end homophobic bullying? Then stop preaching about it. Goddammit.

    But at any rate, if they can help the LGBT youth even just a bit with this, it is appreciated.

    But you know, when there’s smoke there’s fire. These things just don’t happen without reason.

  8. says

    Interesting that he takes off from “times have changed” and not the intrinsic wrongness of bullying. But then, like all high prelates, Welby is a politician first.

  9. It's a mind f*ck says

    The bullying is only a side issue. The real issue is that no one should be subjected to an education over shadowed by religious nonsense.

    Real relief will only come when parents reject educational systems based on religious belief. But as long as they perceive that they are getting something for nothing, or below cost, the temptation will be there to put up with the mythology.

    And the obvious irony is that most of the clergy are themselves gay.

  10. ratbastard says

    People should understand the CoE is controlled by the British government. It’s a state sponsored religion. It even selects bishops. Church authorities are doing what the government is telling them to do.

    If this is part of a plan to stem the church’s decline, it won’t work. The only Christian churches that are booming and growing are extremist evangelical and pentecostal. The RC Church is also holding it’s own. Mainline Protestant denominations are in steep decline, especially the more liberal ones.

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