The Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, an Anglican priest and LGBTQ activist in Glasgow, Scotland, wrote in a blog post that people who want the Church of England to accept same-sex marriage could pray Prince George gay. Though the post was originally written in January — and the suggestion was clearly tongue-in-cheek — Holdsworth’s comments went viral this weekend.
In a post titled “How to Change the Church of England — Quick Recap,” Holdsworth provides an outline of how he believes “LGBT inclusion will be won in the Church of England.” The post is in the form of a nine-step plan. Most of the points are straightforward and show how the Church’s political system works. The General Synod of the Church of England determines the doctrine of the Church. Any changes — such as allowing gay marriage — would have to be made by the Synod.
Holdsworth urges people to pressure the House of Lords to urge Bishops to accept same-sex marriage. (Bishops are present in the house of Lords, but do not possess a majority or the ability to veto discussion.) He also calls for political action and cutting funding to the Church of England if they continue to be anti-LGBTQ.
The bulk of the post is serious — though with some amusing turns of phrase, like “We know already that Archbishop Justin doesn’t like it when members of the House of Peers tell him he is being a rotter to the poofs” — it’s the final point which got Holdsworth into trouble. He wrote:
If people don’t want to engage in campaigning in this way, they do in England have another unique option, which is to pray in the privacy of their hearts (or in public if they dare) for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman. A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen. Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means?
Holdsworth’s old post went viral, however, with the news of the upcoming royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Much of the coverage assumed the post was recent, and wrote about it as such.
Due to the furor, Holdsworth wrote a new post on Dec. 1 titled “Statement Regarding Prayers for Prince George.” In it, he apologizes for any harm he may have caused the Royal Family, but decries how his original point was lost. He writes:
I could spend the next few weeks defending that post and keep reminding people what it was originally about. However, it seems to me that isn’t likely to be fruitful. The ironic comment that I made quite a while ago could be seen as hurtful to members of the Royal Family, a group of people whom I actually rather admire.
I’m sorry that something that I wrote has been interpreted in the way that it has. It was not my intention to cause hurt and I regret that this has led to the current focus on Prince George.
The issues about the church and its capacity to welcome same-sex couples who want to be married remain important. However, I won’t be part of a media circus that puts further pressure on members of the Royal Family. They need peace and young members of the Royal Family need privacy too.
Sadly, this has now become a story entirely about Prince George. I’ve had countless invitations to appear in the press and media over the next week. I’ve refused them all and will continue to do so. I have found most of the invitations rather tasteless – as though media organisations actually wanted to have a prolonged conversation about a small boy rather than discuss the issues of justice and fairness that I was trying to raise. We’ve seen media frenzies around the Royal Family before. No doubt we will see them again. I’m sorry that I inadvertently provoked this one by something I wrote some time ago.
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