According to the May 23, 2007, New York Times, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, has decided to exclude Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, from the Lambeth Conference, an important 2008 gathering of Anglican Bishops in London.
The archbishop of Canterbury is normally supportive of LGBT people, but appears willing to withhold Bishop Robinson's invitation in order to avoid schism within the communion.
The Lambeth Conference only happens once every ten years. In 1998, the bishops passed a resolution "rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture" and opposed the blessing of same-sex unions.
One Soulforce member had this to say in the forums:
"If the Archbishop will not reflect together with gay people on the faith they share with him, what hope is there of reaching any positive resolution? If he will not see us, how will he ever understand our heart and our humanity? If the Archbishop will not gather to pray with gay people, what hope do we have of finding welcome in that Church?
We have already met with Anglicans and given them our love, our talents, and our treasure. We are their organists, their singers, their readers, their faithful parishioners, and, yes, their rectors and their Bishops. We serve alongside everyone else, and in doing so we are doubly faithful; for knowing we are only half welcome, still we return. We kneel at the same altar, speak the same creed, make the same confession, pray to the same Father, and partake of the same bread and wine."
Help Soulforce take a stand for Gene Robinson by signing the following petition. A hard copy of the signed petition will be mailed to the archbishop's office:
"I ____________ cannot accept that the way for faith leaders to deal with the tension resulting from an oppressed group of people's struggle for justice is to exclude both the oppressed and the oppressor from historic church gatherings--especially meetings of prayer and reflection.
I call upon the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to do the right thing and invite V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, to the 2008 meeting in London."