Don't ask, don't tell

There's always hope - Gay Anglicans parade in Toronto 2006

Gay divinity school graduate must stay in the closet to be ordained

Local man says Anglican Church 'hypocritical'

The Belleview Intelligencer

Posted By By Barry Ellsworth 26.10.08

George is also graduating from the University of Toronto divinity school in May,
qualifying him to be ordained as an Anglican Priest.

But the ordination is not going to happen, if he continues to openly acknowledge his sexual orientation.

“There is a fair amount of hypocrisy in the issue,” George said in an interview during a workshop at Belleville’s St. Thomas Anglican Church. If you keep the fact you are gay to yourself, even though others may know about it, the Anglican bishops can pretend you are straight and ordain you, he said. “As soon as you are open about it, you are treated differently,’ he said.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell. Nobody acknowledges the hypocrisy.”


There is another door to hypocrisy, too.

If you are gay, the bishop will ask if you will remain celibate, and if the answer is yes, you are in the door.

“Nobody asks the straight single clergy, ‘Are you willing to be celibate until you are married?’” George said.

All here.


The damage such structural hypocrisy does is real and difficult to quantify. Those who struggle with their sexuality can get torn apart. Those who are confident in their sexuality can, and quite reasonably should, get bitter and resentful and often lose both faith and membership.

This is a power game. The inherent duplicity enables those who wish to, to abuse their position and the people for whom they are responsible. And they do.

More deeply wounding is the fact that structural dishonesty is built into the church and its activities - particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to sexuality. In the Church of England dishonesty has been seen for generations in the church's desire to see itself as more important than it really is. On top of this ground it was easy to sow dishonesty relating to sexuality.

I long to see an inclusive Church. But before we get there we will need first to begin to move towards an honest church.

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