I am the Reverend… Jide Macaulay. I am a minister in the Church of England. And, I’m a proudly out gay man. I’m very happy with both sides of who I am. But I’ve arrived at a crossroads. As a minister, I can be openly gay. But actually having sex with my partner is strictly forbidden. My partner lives in Nigeria where being gay could cost him his freedom or even his life. I love you. And I am missing you. You know I love you too. I love you all the time. I just hope to see you soon. I was born in London but I grew up in Nigeria where my father still lives. My father runs the second largest united – Bible university or theological college in the country. My relationship with my dad became a major public issue. He’s always maintained the fact that you know – a relationship is between a man and a woman, according to his own theological interpretations, and of course, I no longer bought into that. Ten years ago, my father gave this interview to a Nigerian national newspaper. Come on. He says he won’t feel very bad if his son winds up in prison, which he sees has a possible means of turning his son straight. Wow. I sought refuge in the Church of England because they are more inclusive than my previous church. But I’m now realising that they too have a long way to go. Peter Ould is a gay reverend who faced the same dilemma as me. But he came up with an extreme solution. If you want to put a label on me, it’s ‘gay’. Right, I met my wife – actually walked into church- and saw her tuning up her guitar and fell in love with her. It was the most weird sort of thing. But predominantly my sexual attractions and my emotional attractions are towards men. But did you talk to her clearly about… Yes. you know – and how did you… My wife is the only woman I’ve really ever been sexually attracted to and um and that was never a problem for us. And I’ve had four children so – – and lots of practice in between, right. You know, there are some other things that you said that I find quite confusing. You are a gay man but now you are married to a woman. Because I’m using ‘gay’ to describe my sexual feelings and my predominant emotional attractions. But I’ve also discovered that I fell in love with a woman. It’s simply about saying: ‘God has designed me as a human being to exhibit in my body and my choices, more than just myself’. That my life isn’t just about me, it’s about Jesus and what my life tells about him. If the Church of England was to allow the blessing of same sex marriage, how will you feel and what do you think it will look like? I think I and many other people will be very disappointed. And I have to say I’m not sure how we bridge that gap. I’d love to have some ideas. I’d love to find a position where my side and your side both have integrity together. The church says I can have a boyfriend but we have to remain celibate. We can never get married in the church. And if I go ahead and marry him anyway, I won’t be allowed to keep my job as a clergyman. And to me that is a great disservice and discrimination against same gender loving individuals. I was once married with a baby. I was determined you know, to pray… my homosexuality away. Three years after our marriage I was having a breakdown. So when I told her that I’m gay, unfortunately the separation became acrimonious. Same sex marriage has been legal in Great Britain since 2014. But unlike the churches of Scotland and Wales, the Church of England does not accept it. But what does the Bible actually say about same sex relationships? In Leviticus chapter 18, and in Leviticus 20 God says, “Thou shalt not lie with…” “…mankind as with womankind – it’s an abomination.” A pretty clear testimony to the fact that in ancient Israel that same sex sexual relating was prohibited. I think we need to look at the whole of the Leviticus quote itself. There are many things in Leviticus that says what we should not do. And I think it’s not really about just – you know, being picky on these issues. It’s about being clear about you know… ‘Does this work today?’ This language talks about the effeminate… But the translation of ‘effeminate’ is not homosexuality. No I agree. I think people have use this – you know, to bash, to abuse and to demonise those who are same gender loving. I think people that I respect the most are the ones who say: “Do you know what..” “Lets agree on what the Bible says.” Historically we’ve based our teaching on what scripture says. I think we need to continue doing that. The church will not provide a bishop to speak to me. But one bishop has agreed to meet outside of the official channels. I hope he will give me his personal insight on whether the church will change. I very much hope that one day it will be. If a life of stability and love and commitment is good for human flourishing, why would not be good for you because you’re gay? I don’t get that at all. The text that says: “All God’s promises are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’…” And if they’re not God’s promises to you or not…are anything less than that, then we’ve misunderstood God. Absolutely. That’s why it matters. I want to say, ‘thank you so much’ because that means so much – seriously. That really means so much to me. Things won’t change overnight… especially in an institution as old and as powerful as the Church of England. I know I am not too gay for God. But perhaps… I am too gay for this religious institution.