Gay activist Peter Tatchell has accused the Queen of ‘colluding with prejudice’ by offering her good wishes to a new grouping of Anglicans who uphold the Bible’s teaching on marriage.
Mr Tatchell said Her Majesty had insulted lesbian and gay people by sending a “letter of support” to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA).
Buckingham Palace sources told newspapers that the Queen was not endorsing the group, and the Queen writes to many organisations.
Last year leading figures in the FCA wrote to the Queen to assure her of their loyalty to the Church of England despite their concerns about liberal attitudes in the church hierarchy.
The group’s commitment to “orthodox, biblical Anglicanism” includes opposition to the ordination of homosexual clergy.
Her Majesty, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, replied saying that she “understood their concerns” about the future of the global Anglican church.
Recently the FCA wrote to the Queen again to inform her of their UK launch event taking place in London this week.
In reply Her Majesty offered her “good wishes to all concerned for a successful and memorable event”.
Mr Tatchell said this statement implied “support for the breakaway anti-gay faction of the Church of England” and accused the Queen of “taking sides, against gay equality”.
He said: “The Queen has made a serious error of judgement. Her letter of support for the breakaway anti-gay faction of the Church of England is collusion with prejudice.
“She has insulted lesbian and gay people and breached royal protocol by embroiling herself in an issue of religious and political controversy.
“It is very alarming to see the Queen endorse a homophobic grouping within the Church of England. She is taking sides, against gay equality.”
The FCA received other goodwill messages from several prominent church leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who said: “I shall be glad to hold all of you in my prayers for the occasion.”
At the weekend one of the FCA’s leaders, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper that the group welcomes homosexuals, but wants them to “repent and be changed”.
He said “We want to uphold the traditional teaching of the Bible. We believe that God has revealed his purpose about how we are made.
“People who depart from this don’t share the same faith.”
He added: “The Bible’s teaching shows that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the way to express our sexual nature.”