Alastair Campbell: Is gay sex sinful?
Justin Welby: Do you know, we have done religion, we have done politics, why am I surprised we are on to gay sex?
Because I feel sorry for Tim Farron, who kept being asked this question, so I am asking you.
You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to. Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through. [Pause, mildly embarrassed.]
Why can’t you?
Because I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question. I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question. Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.
But that could be a man and a man or a woman and a woman?
I know it could be. I am also aware – a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition – that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman. Or, in various times, a man and several women, if you go back to the Old Testament. I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us, and we are – the vast majority of the Church is – deeply against gay sex.
Source: Alistair Carmichael, interview in British GQ