The head of the Church of England has called homosexuality “morally wrong.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made the comments during a visit to Zimbabwe. The African nation has no protections for its LGBT citizens, with President Robert Mugabe frequently making inflammatory and homophobic statements — including promising to behead every gay Zimbabwean. During an interview with Harare Sunday Mail, Welby was asked for his position on same-sex marriage.
“You know [homosexuality] is morally wrong but legally we cannot condemn those who practice it,” he said.
His apparently negative stance is in stark contrast to Welby’s comments on the matter when at home. Gay Star News reports that the archbishop has previously called it a “constant source of deep sadness that people are persecuted for their sexuality.”
The archbishop is also reported to have met with Mugabe, where they discussed “the past in Zimbabwe, the mistakes that have been made, the breakdowns of the relationships from time to time,” before ending with “prayer for the future of this country.”
Lambeth Palace, the archbishop’s residence, confirmed the meeting, but didn’t elaborate on the content of the meeting nor confirm if Welby’s comments on homosexuality were accurately reported.
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