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Archbishop of Canterbury tells LGBTQ+ bishops their spouses cannot attend conference

Justin Welbey said church leaders believe inviting same-sex spouses would be 'inappropriate'

By Steve Brown

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told LGBTQ+ bishops that their spouses could not attend the international Anglican church summit.

The University of Kent is set to host the Lambeth Conference – which takes place once a decade – next year and while heterosexual bishops are able to invite their spouses, Justin Welby has told same-sex partner they are not allowed to attend as it would be ‘inappropriate’.

The ban is reportedly legal under the Equality Act due to a religious exemption and was made to be suitable for conservative countries where homosexuality is still illegal.

For the first time, gay bishops have been invited to the conference but many have branded the church ‘spineless’ for the ban.

Bishop Michael Curry – the leader of the Episcopal Church in the US who gave a speech at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding – called for the decision to be overturned.

He said: “I’ve got to be honest with you, I don’t expect he [Welby] will change [his mind].

“But I’m willing to say that this House [the Episcopal Church House of Bishops] really would like it to be reconsidered if there is any way that it can be.”