Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist

Christian Concern founder Andrea Minichiello Williams angers gay rights campaigner after speech in Jamaica

The head of a British evangelical Christian lobby group has angered gay rights campaigners by urging Jamaica to keep same-sex intercourse illegal and reportedly suggesting  that Tom Daley is in a relationship with a man because his father died.

To the dismay of mainstream church leaders Andrea Minichiello Williams, the founder of Christian Concern, spoke at conference in Jamaica to lobby against the repeal of the Caribbean island's controversial law banning gay sex.

Mrs Williams, an elected member of the Church of England General Synod, the body which creates church law, apparently said that Jamaica had the chance to become a world leader in battling foreign pressure to decriminalize same-sex intercourse.

"Might it be that Jamaica says to the United States of America, says to Europe, 'Enough! You cannot come in and attack our families. We will not accept aid or promotion tied to an agenda that is against God and destroys our families,'" she reportedly said at the event, which was held earlier this month in Kingston.

According to the news website BuzzFeed, which reported her alleged comments, she argued that it's a "big lie" that homosexuality is inborn and blamed the "lack of the father" and "sometimes a level of abuse" for creating homosexual feelings.

She reportedly illustrated  this by pointing to Olympic diver Tom Daley who came out as gay earlier this month. She is said to have added that he is "loved by all the girls and had girlfriends" and had "lost his father to cancer just a few years ago".

Yesterday Martin Warner, the Bishop of Chichester, where Mrs Williams was elected to the General Synod in 2011, condemned the comments.

He told the Independent that they had "no sanction in the Church of England" and that they "should be rejected as offensive and unacceptable".

Tom Daley with his father Robert at the British Academy Television Awards in 2008. Mr Daley died in 2011 (PA) Tom Daley with his father Robert at the British Academy Television Awards in 2008. Mr Daley died in 2011 (PA)
While the gay rights charity Stonewall said it was "sad" that Mrs Williams is "supporting the prosecution of gay people simply for how they were born".

Dr Keith Sharpe, vice chair of Changing Attitudes, an Anglian body calling for full equality for LGB&T people, said that her "bigoted outburst amount to dangerous hatemongering".

He added that "Jamaica is one of the most dangerous places in the world for LGB&T people who suffer homophobic intimidation and violence on a daily basis" and that endorsing its laws on gay sex amounted to supporting the "vilest form of homophobia in a most terrible cultural situation."

Mrs Williams is also the founder of the Christian Legal Centre, which funds high-profile cases "to protect the freedoms of Christians in society". These include the failed 2012 appeal by Lesley Pilkington, a therapist struck off after offering to "cure" an undercover reporter who was posing as a gay patient.

Christian Concern said Mrs Williams was "unavailable due to a private matter" yesterday.

Next month she is set to address conference for the "ex-gay movement", which is set to discuss controversial gay-to-straight conversion therapy  at Emmanuel Evangelical Church in Westminster

The conference, which is entitled Setting Love In Order, will discuss controversial gay-to-straight conversion therapy and comes after Labour MP Geraint published a Private Members' Bill in Parliament aimed at banning gay-to-straight conversion therapy by regulating the psychotherapy sector.

According to the conference website it seeks to protect "the freedoms to believe, to exist and to change when homosexual feelings are unwanted." 

Mrs Williams will be joined on a panel by Dr Michael Davidson, the founder of the Core Issues Trust, who in the past has described homosexuality as a "developmental aberration". Dr Davidson told the Independent he did not view "homosexuality as a disease".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee