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PA Gareth Fuller
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World News

Justin Welby holds talks with Ghanaian bishops over support of legislation which would criminalise homosexuality

by Marcus Jones

The Archbishop of Canterbury says he's held talks with bishops in Ghana who are supporting a bill to criminalise homsexuality.

Their backing of new legislation has drawn widespread criticism across the world.

Justin Welby has previous condemned the bill but has now apologised for releasing a statement without actually speaking with the bishops.

Speaking about the talks, in his latest statement, he said: "I welcomed this conversation, which should have happened before my previous statement. 

"That is not mere diplomacy: Christ commands us to speak directly and prayerfully with our brothers and sisters. I apologised for failing to do so."

Welby had previously said he was "gravely concerned" by the bill which is being debated by politicians in Ghana.

He had urged Ghanaian bishops to honour a commitment made at the 1998 Lambeth Conference which upheld the traditional teaching on marriage but assured LGBTQ+ people that they are loved by God.

The bill is continuing to work its way through the parliament in Ghana but it is unclear when a final vote may take place.

In a 2014 poll, 90 per cent of Ghanaians said they would welcome legislation which would criminalise homosexuality.
 

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