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Live Update-LGBT people should leave Church of England for their own ‘safety and wellbeing’

LGBT people should leave Church of England for their own ‘safety and wellbeing’

A person walks past Westminster Abbey - Henry Nicholls/Reuters

A person walks past Westminster Abbey – Henry Nicholls/Reuters

LGBT people should leave the Church of England for their own “safety and wellbeing”, a former government advisor has said.

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent gay evangelical Christian and member of General Synod, the Church’s legislative body, said that “the constant undermining of LGBT people and the lack of progress to create safe environments where we can flourish is astounding”.

Earlier this month, The Telegraph reported that Ms Ozanne had quit her role as a government equalities advisor amid allegations that Boris Johnson’s administration had created a “hostile environment” for LGBT people.

However, writing in her Via Media blog she made arguably her most controversial comments yet, and urged LGBT people who are in “pain” to leave.

She said: “If I can be honest, it is what I’d recommend all LGBT people do who are finding the journey just too hard and too painful – there is no shame in going somewhere where you will be loved, honoured and cared for properly.

“Where your wounds will be dressed, your heart healed and where you will be honoured with dignity and your love celebrated.

“So, if you’re wondering what to do, I would suggest that you must put your own wellbeing and safety first.

“If you are finding things too painful, please do leave and find a refuge – even if it is for a short while, in order to find rest and recuperate. Easter Saturdays are an inevitable part of the Easter story.”

The catalyst for Ms Ozanne’s resignation – as well as two other advisors – was a debate in Parliament on gay conversion therapy, which drew attention to the Government’s failure to take action.

Shortly after, Mr Johnson announced he will end “repulsive” conversion therapy, as he apologised to three LGBT advisers who quit over a lack of progress.

The Church of England has been contacted for comment.

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