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Labour MP Chris Bryant quits Church over anti-gay stance

By Ben Kelly

The Labour MP Chris Bryant has announced he is leaving the Anglican Church, in which he once served as a priest, over its views on homosexuality.

Bryant tweeted after the US Episcopal church was banned from Church of England decision-making bodies due to its liberal approach in recognising same sex marriages.

“I’ve finally given up on Anglican church today after its love-empty decision on sexuality,” he wrote, adding: “One day it will seem as wrong as supporting slavery.”

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“It’s infuriating. The Church of England voted against abolishing slavery, kept slaves when the slave trade had been abolished. It voted against the Reform Act. And now of course every sane member of the church thinks that was nonsense and embarrassing.” he told the Guardian.

“If they don’t want me, I don’t want them. I know where I’m not wanted. I’ve had messages and emails from people saying ‘frankly you’re not wanted because you are gay’, and these from people who reckon themselves to be Christian.”

The MP for Rhondda has since shared negative comments he has received from other members of the church over his comments and his decision.

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Bryant, who is the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and recently made headlines after speaking out over the homophobic comments made by boxer Tyson Fury, had the first civil partnership ever to be held in the Houses of Parliament when he tied the knot with his partner there in 2010.

After leaving university, Bryant trained as a priest and was ordained in 1987. He served for four years before leaving the ordained ministry, citing a conflict between the role, and being gay. He has been an MP since 2001 and served in a number of Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet posts.

Meanwhile the archbishop of Canterbury has apologised to the LGBT for the “hurt and pain” caused by the Church – find out more here.

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