Administrators and students at the University of Kent have criticized the Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision not to invite same-sex spouses to the Lambeth Conference in 2020.

Faculty say the decision “raises serious questions” and students have asked the university to reconsider its agreement to host the conference, as it has done since 1978.

The university said it is concerned by the policy that same-sex spouses will not be invited to the conference.

A university statement says the policy “does not accord with our values” and that the school “received a large number of concerns raised by staff, students, and members of the public” about hosting the conference.

“While we currently understand that the Lambeth Conference may be permitted by law to rely on exemption under the Equality Act 2010 for religious organizations, we also believe there are significant ethical concerns raised.”

Sir David Warren, chair of the University Council, and Professor Karen Cox, president and vice chancellor, have requested a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss the issue.

Adrianna Lowe, a PhD student told Kent Online: “If they have a commitment to equality, they have to stand up to that even when it means turning down money.”

The university has already committed to redevelop its existing sports building because of the larger numbers of bishops and spouses.

John Martin

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