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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, says he will in the coming days engage the Archbishop of Ghana over the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill currently before parliament.

He said he is “gravely concerned” about the draft anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

According to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the teachings of the Anglican church recognize the rights of every person “regardless of sexual orientation, before the law.”

“In Resolution I:10, the Anglican Communion also made a commitment “to assure [LGBTQ+ people] that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing, and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.”

He urged the Anglican Church in Ghana to remember its commitments to the resolutions of the church in that regard and let that guide their actions.

The Anglican Church in Ghana earlier this month declared its support for the controversial bill that is pushing for a jail term for LGBTQI+ people, their supporters, and its advocates.

The Church in a statement signed by the Most Reverend, Dr. Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith, Metropolitan Archbishop, said “the support of the church for the Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill is borne out of the belief that the practice is unbiblical and ungodly”.

“We see LGBTQI+ as unrighteousness in the sight of God and therefore will do anything within our powers and mandate to ensure that the Bill comes into fruition,” they added.

Their position however appears to be at variance with the views of the Church of England, the mother church of the international Anglican Communion.

Read the statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury below:

“I am gravely concerned by the draft anti-LGBTQ+ Bill due to be debated by the Ghanaian parliament. I will be speaking with the Archbishop of Ghana in the coming days to discuss the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the Bill.

“The majority of Anglicans within the global Anglican Communion are committed to upholding both the traditional teaching on marriage as laid out in the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I:10, and the rights of every person, regardless of sexual orientation, before the law. In Resolution I:10, the Anglican Communion also made a commitment “to assure [LGBTQ+ people] that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing, and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.” Meanwhile, on numerous occasions, the Primates of the Anglican Communion have stated their opposition to the criminalisation of same-sex attracted people: most recently, and unanimously, in the communiqué of the 2016 Primates’ Meeting.

“I remind our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Ghana of these commitments.

“We are a global family of churches, but the mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ.”

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