14 married gay clergy demand full inclusion for LGBT clergy after breaching Church rules

Fourteen gay Church of England (C of E) clergy members urged bishops for "full inclusion" of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) ministers after going against the Church's statute on celibacy.

Same-sex marriage is forbidden for the C of E. Such a union results in the revocation of their license as priests.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (L) speaks with protestors in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, southern Britain January 15, 2016. | Reuters/Toby Melville

The gay clergy reportedly sent a letter to the bishops, saying that it was time to acknowledge the diverse beliefs existing in the Church regarding LGBTs.

It was signed by 14 individuals from the clergy and eight members of the congregation who have married their same sex partners. However, some withheld their names for privacy.

The letter to the Church bishops stated: "As you meet to discuss we seek from you a clear lead that offers a way forward to greater inclusion that will enable those parishes that wish to do so to celebrate the love that we have found in our wives and husbands. We hope for an outcome that will enable those who wish to do so to publicly celebrate where we see God at work in the lives of our congregations without fear and in openness."

It was released in time for the House of Bishops meeting this month. Discussion of the meeting will include the Church's plans to take on the issue after holding private diocese consultations across the country for almost two years.

The letter was initiated by the vicar of St. Mary with All Souls, Kilburn and St. James, Rev. Andrew Foreshew-Cain. Foreshew-Cain married his partner in June 2014 and received an "informal rebuke."

Foreshew-Cain said in an interview with Christian Today: "The letter calls for the bishops to take a bold move towards greater recognition and unconditional inclusion for LGBTI members of the Church. Copies of the letter were posted today to all the bishops."