Thabo Makgoba assures LGBTI members they're welcome in Anglican church

During a recent voting process, 16 bishops voted against blessing same-sex unions; 6 voted in favour.

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JOHANNESBURG - Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has assured LGBTI members of the church that they are welcomed and accepted despite the rejection of a proposal for the blessing of same-sex marriages.

This week, a vote was taken by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa's top legislative body where representatives from some SADC region were in attendance.

The proposal was brought forward by the district of Saldanha Bay and was strongly opposed by bishops within the church.

Makgoba has encouraged LGBTI members of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa not to view the vote against blessing same sex unions as a personal rejection.

"You are loved by God and all the baptised regardless of sexual orientation (sic)."

He says he understands that the outcome of the vote is painful not just for LGBTI individuals but also for those who stood in opposition to the proposal.

During the voting process, 16 bishops voted against blessing same-sex unions, with only six voting in favour of the process.

Makgoba says the matter is made particularly complicated by the fact that same-sex unions are only recognised in South African civil law but not the church's other member countries.