An Anglican minister in Kingston, Jamaica has caused an uproar in his congregation after celebrating International Human Rights Day by promoting homosexuality during a church service.
Reverend Father Sean Major-Campbell of the Christ Church in Vineyard Town reportedly caught members of his congregation by surprise when he washed the feet of a lesbian couple and gave the pulpit over to a “transgender” person's testimonial during Sunday's service.
“I was shocked because it was never mentioned that you going have these things. You hear human rights, and human rights is broad, but I don't know how suddenly gay rights become human rights and human rights is now gay rights, and I have a problem with that,” one member of the church who did not wish to be identified told the Jamaica Gleaner.
Another member said, “It was based on the whole sexual orientation and gay rights and I had a problem and many other members had a problem with that. … out of respect for your congregation, if you gonna do something like that, which is new, you should have had the respect to say it, so people can voice their opinions.”
Christ Church members said they are scandalized that Major-Campbell is preaching acceptance of homosexuality under the guise of the “Celebration of Human Rights.”
“I don't believe you should beat anybody or anything because of their sexual orientation,” another member said. “However, I just think the minister was disingenuous to us, as members, because he told us he was having a human-rights service and at no time did he mention that he would be having these lesbians and whatever, having their feet washed by him. I think the service was more gay rights than human rights.”
Major-Campbell defended his actions, telling the Gleaner that, “It is quite understandable that some persons will have some difficulty because human sexuality is a difficult subject and, generally speaking, in our country and culture, we really do not have enough safe spaces for people to explore the subject, without feeling safe (sic) or judged, and that is true even of the Church itself.”
The Gleaner noted that Major-Campbell is a regular letter-to-the-editor writer to the paper on the subjects of “rights” and sexuality, has been critical of his church, and has “urged congregants to move beyond praying” about justice and human rights.
A request to the office of Bishop Howard Kingsley Ainsworth Gregory of the Anglican diocese of Jamaica for a comment on his position with regard to Major-Campbell's actions was not responded to by press time.
Rt. Rev. Howard Kingsley Ainsworth Gregory
Anglican Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
2 Caledonia Avenue
Phone: (876) 926-8925
Fax: (876) 968-0618
Email: [email protected]