LETTER : Ins and outs

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The Independent Online
NOW the dust has settled on the Bishop of London affair, it's time the whole story about Dr Hope's coming out was told. According to my church sources, the bishop did not declare his sexuality solely in response to the Outrage! letter. What appears to have precipitated the bishop's sudden coming out was approaches from reporters the week before. Some of them allegedly gave Dr Hope the false impression he was about to be exposed by Outrage! (we had no such plans). The bishop was effectively bounced into coming out by the press.

The final straw for Dr Hope could well have been an article in the Independent on Sunday ("Why gays are called to the church", 12 March) the day before he declared his sexuality. This referred to the large number of gay clergy in the London diocese. It cited the Bishop of London and his past role in running St Stephen's House, Oxford, described as "the campest of all theological colleges, where he was known as Ena the Cruel, since it was college tradition to give everyone female nicknames". Maybe the bishop decided to jump before he was pushed.

Peter Tatchell

London SE1

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