The Archbishop of Canterbury has conceded progress on same-sex marriage in the Church of England would be “glacial”, Sandi Toksvig has said.
The comedian revealed she had met Justin Welby for a “long-promised coffee” and the meeting had been “calm and considered”, but the church‘s position was “untenable”.
In a video, she said it was clear the “Church of England and the society it purports to represent are not remotely in step”.
They met after she expressed her dismay last year that the archbishop had reaffirmed the validity of a 1998 declaration by the church that gay sex was a sin.
The archbishop has recently said he welcomed the Church of England’s proposals to bless same-sex married couples, but said he would not personally carry them out due to his “pastoral relationship for the whole communion”.
“Yesterday I went to have coffee, tea, actually, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, not a sentence I thought would ever come out of my mouth,” Toksvig said in her video.
“From our very calm and considered conversation yesterday, it is very clear that the State’s Church of England and the society it purports to represent are not remotely in step.
“Justin was keen for me to see that they are moving forward, but conceded that any progress, as I would see it, if it happens at all, will be glacial.”
She said it was also “very clear” opposing factions of the worldwide Anglican Communion were being “in part held together at the expense of the human rights of the LGBT+ community”.
“It’s not okay. And I said so,” she said.
Toksvig asked Archbishop to come out as gay ally
She continued: “I asked Justin if he could just come out. I don’t mean to make a surprise announcement about his sexuality, but come out as a gay ally.
“Basically, to come up for love, love for all without exceptions, and not the current Orwellian position, where it would seem we are all created equal, but some are more equal than others.
“I hope that will happen, but I do not intend to wait upon the church.
“In the next few weeks, I will be reaching out to the LGBT+ community and all our allies to see what can be done.
“The present position is untenable. In the meantime, please. Let’s all come out for love.”
Church apologises for ‘shameful’ treatment of LGBTQI+ people
Last week the church formally apologised for its “shameful” treatment of LGBTQI+ people.
It came after it said it would refuse to allow same-sex couples to get married in its churches, but would bless same-sex civil marriages for the first time.