Gay woman to advise Church of Ireland on sexuality
The Church of Ireland has appointed a worshipper from the gay community to advise its Select Committee on Sexuality.
However, the Church fell short of inviting Pam Tilson – church warden at St George's Church, Belfast – to become a full member of the 16-member committee, none of whose members identify themselves as gay.
The select committee was appointed by the General Synod after a controversial vote in 2012 in which it passed a motion to back the traditional Christian view of marriage.
It sparked uproar in the gay community when it stated that "faithfulness within marriage is the only normative context for sexual intercourse".
After facing criticism for not including a member of the gay community, the select committee also met with a delegation from the Church's pro-gay group, Changing Attitude Ireland, in Dublin last Tuesday.
Afterwards, Ms Tilson was contacted by the chairman of the select committee, the Dean of Belfast, the Rev John Mann, and asked to join an advisory panel.