Where's the point in fretting about gay sex?

It's a giveaway that senior clerics aren't much interested in lesbians, while presiding over institutions that struggle with the notion of treating women as equals

Share

There are many things to worry about in the modern world, so I try to follow a simple rule: don't fret about gay sex. I have to say it works for me; I've spent many pleasant evenings with gay and lesbian friends without giving a moment's thought to what they do in bed. In the admittedly unlikely circumstances that I ever find myself giving a pre-enthronement interview, I promise I won't even mention it. And if the new Archbishop of Canterbury had any sense, he would have avoided the subject last week, instead of sounding like a Private Eye parody of an agonised Anglican cleric.

Justin Welby offered his views on gay sex to the BBC a few hours before he dressed up in floor-length yellow, white and turquoise robes – how camp is that? – and banged on the doors of Canterbury cathedral with a stick. (No one could accuse the Anglican church, or indeed the Vatican, of trying to pass itself off as a cool, modern institution.) "You see gay relationships that are just stunning in the quality of the relationship," Welby declared, managing to patronise gay couples while continuing to deny them the right to get married.

Does he have a "stunning" relationship with his wife? And who is entitled to judge? I don't think it's any of his business who takes advantage of what is more often than not a civil ceremony, and should certainly be open to gay people. Even David Cameron agrees with that, and he's hardly a radical.

It's also a bit rich of the Anglican church, which has had its own share of paedophile scandals, to stand in judgement on consenting relationships between adults. They aren't what religious leaders need to worry about in a society where some men have got away with abusing children for decades, thousands of women and girls are raped each year and domestic violence accounts for around one in six recorded crimes. The conjunction of sex and violence is a significant social problem, although it gets much less attention, in clerical circles, than the perennially fascinating subject of what gay men do with each other. Even Scotland's most senior Catholic, the recently disgraced Cardinal Keith O'Brien – accused last week of having been in a long-term relationship with a priest while he publicly excoriated gay marriage – couldn't keep off the subject of homosexuality.

It's a giveaway that senior clerics aren't much interested in lesbians, while presiding over institutions that struggle with the notion of treating women as equals. The popular press struggles too, going through a mystifying daily ritual of discovering that women have breasts. But the clerical obsession is with male anatomy. That's no mystery when you look at photographs of Welby's enthronement, where the queuing Anglican primates look as though they've stepped out of a Renaissance painting. It's my old friend phallocentric discourse!

Call me a feminist, but these guys need to get over the (ahem) amazing exploits of the penis.

www.politicalblonde.com

twitter.com/@polblonde

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Education Editor: This shocking abuse of teachers should be taken seriously

Richard Garner
Brand loyalty: businessmen Stuart Rose (pictured with David Cameron at the Conservative conference in 2010) was among the signatories  

So, the people who always support the Tories... are supporting the Tories? Has the world gone mad?

Mark Steel
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?