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Church should not be hasty over sexuality

We are alarmed to learn that a controversial late motion on sexuality has been tabled for this Thursday's General Synod of the Church of Ireland.

Motion 8a declares that sex within marriage is the "only normative" behaviour.

We were invited to co-present one of the seminars at the Church's special conference on sexuality held in Cavan in March. We did not expect that everyone who heard our presentation would agree with our views, but we were encouraged to find that many Synod members were willing to listen.

If motion 8a is passed on Thursday, it will have a chilling effect on any listening process with gays and lesbians.

It will also have the effect of excluding loving couples in civil partnerships, or in remarriages after divorce.

We would like to remind General Synod members of the wise words of advice from the retired Bishop of Limerick, Edward Darling, in the Church of Ireland Gazette last month, that we need "to allow ourselves a more prolonged period of time before rushing into passing any hasty resolutions at General Synod".

PAUL and MARGARET ROWLANDSON

Londonderry

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