I have always maintained that my beef with the Nigerian "same sex marriage" legislation (pdf) was not over theology, nor even over whether gay marriage should be institutionalized in Nigeria, but over the Anglican Church of Nigeria's endorsement of legislation that goes beyond banning gay marriage to the point of abolishing even the most basic civil rights for gay and lesbian Nigerians.
I have been consistent in my criticism of the Anglican Communion Network, and its moderator Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh. They have been equivocal (see here also) about whether they stand by their ally Archbishop Peter Akinola's endorsement for political reasons or because they in fact believe that gay and lesbian Nigerians should be put in prison for, say, organizing meetings.
So, I was delighted to see the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, make a clear statement about the need to protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian churchgoers, followed by clear agreement from Bishop Duncan [emphasis mine]:
Bishop Duncan also lauded Archbishop Williams' call to the church to "give the strongest support to the defense of homosexual people against violence, bigotry and legal disadvantage." "I, of course, could not agree more with the Archbishop in calling for the protection of those whose affections are toward the same sex. Discrimination or violence against them as persons should be abhorrent to Christians, regardless of our understanding of what the church can and cannot bless," said Bishop Duncan.I'm still waiting for a clear call from the Network and from Archbishop Williams for Archbishop Akinola to withdraw his endorsement -- but this a wonderful start. Perhaps more talk of Schism will give them the political cover to further loosen their tongues.
UPDATE 2:15 pm: The American Anglican Council's response to Archbishop Williams' "reflection" does match the grace of Bishop Duncan's.