"Dear Bishop X"

"Dear Bishop X,

I won’t bore you with the formalities of me beginning this letter telling you what I’m about to discuss. Instead, I will keep it short. I’m writing to tell you an important point of view you may like to consider when meeting with the other bishops and (hopefully) finally making a decision in regards to gay marriage in the church [of England]. Or as I like to call it, “equal marriage” in the church. I’m going to begin by saying I hope, for many people, you make the right choice this year. That you stand on what I consider the right side of this debate.

I hope that it's not too late to rebuild the relationship between the church and so many LGBTQ+ people. I hope it’s not too late to heal the hurt the church as an institution has caused, and continues to cause. I hope the church will begin to practice what it preaches: love with no exception. I hope it’s not too late.

A few months ago my mother asked me if I wanted to get confirmed. The answer was easy for me; no. I refuse to be confirmed into a church which will not allow me to marry who I choose. I dread to think of the many more people who have felt pushed out because of the same reason. My church is an accepting and supportive place, and for years it was enough for me to know that the people who went there agreed with me. However, as time goes on it is becoming harder and harder to separate the institution and the people in it. I hate to say that if the decision is not made in the direction of a more inclusive church and more inclusive marriage guidelines next year, you will lose me forever. It may seem small as I am only one person, but there are many, many more people who will be feeling the same way. Betrayal feels like a strong word, but I don’t know how else to describe the emotion this is giving me. Imagine growing up and having your relationship (large part of your life) and the future of that relationship, openly debated. Hearing people in power, in a religion you once thought represented you, debating whether it is ‘right’ or not. As if the types of relationship or type of love you feel is secondary if it is not considered the normal.

I will say it one more time. I hope it’s not too late. I hope you do not lose and hurt many more people. I look forward from hearing from you.

Many thanks,