As the Queen arrived for the National Millennium Service at St. Paul's Cathedral this afternoon, 2nd January, ten OutRage! protesters unfurled a huge banner with the words: "2000 Years of Church Homophobia".
The protesters had "blood" streaming from their foreheads to symbolise two millennia of church violence and discrimination against gay people.
When the Queen saw the banner, she looked away.
The Queen was joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and over 1000 civic dignitaries. The National Millennium Service was held to celebrate 2000 years of Christianity.
Those arriving for the service responded with mixed reactions to the protest. Several Anglican priests expressed support for a Church apology. Others reacted with homophobic comments, defending the church's opposition to an equal age of consent.
"They are celebrating 2000 years of Christianity, but we are mourning two millennia of Christian homophobia", said one of the protesters, John Hunt of OutRage!.
OutRage! is claiming that its demonstration at St. Paul's is the world's first gay rights protest of the Third Millennium.
OutRage! Banner outside St. Paul's, 54 KB
"Over the last 2000 years, church teaching has led to hundreds of millions of homosexuals worldwide being rejected and reviled by their families, driven to depression and suicide, discriminated against by antigay laws, and condemned to death for sodomy", he said.
"The celebratory, triumphalist tone of the National Millennium Service is an insult to the millions of queers who have suffered as a result of Christian intolerance.
"None of the churches have ever shown any remorse for their persecution of gay people.
"We call on Archbishop Carey to express his regret for the pain inflicted on homosexuals by the church, and urge him to offer his apologies to the gay community."
Protesters with Placards, 56 KB
Leviticus 20:13 demands that homosexuals be put to death. For over 1800 years, the Christian churches followed this Biblical injunction, sponsoring a Homo Holocaust involving the mass murder of queers.
"We were stoned to death in antiquity, burned alive during the medieval era, and, in this country, hanged from gallows until the mid-nineteenth century.
"This slaughter of homosexuals took place with the official blessing of Dr. Carey's predecessors, the Archbishops of Canterbury, and of successive Popes and other Christian leaders."
Protesters with Placards, 52 KB
While the Anglican Church no longer advocates the death penalty for homosexuals, it still preaches a gospel of sexual apartheid, arguing that homosexuality should not be accorded the same moral or legal status as heterosexuality.
"This straight supremacist doctrine
is used to justify the treatment of queers as second class citizens.
Dr. Carey and most Christians continue to support discrimination
against gay people with regard to the age of consent,
marriage, employment, Section 28 and fostering and adoption",
PHOTOS: David Hoffman - 020-184.108.40.206
FURTHER INFORMATION: Peter Tatchell - 020-74.03.17.90
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Church of England
Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association
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Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
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