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Women Bishops: Equality, Rights and Disarray

Clucas, Rob; Sharpe, Keith


Keith Sharpe


In this article we discuss the recent history of the failed draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure, situating this within the broader context of the ordination of women and debates around the Equality Act exceptions for an organised religion. We aim to provide an account of the ways in which equality rights have been implemented in the relevant law; how the Church of England is responding to these rights; and how broader society understands the importance of gender equality and reacts to Synod's rejection of the draft Measure. We analyse these with reference to theories of heteronormativity and scholarship of human rights. In doing so, we aim to explain what is happening in the Church of England and broader society, and draw some conclusions about the current opportunities open to the Church and the state in matters of rights and equality.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 28, 2013
Online Publication Date Apr 10, 2013
Publication Date 2013-05
Deposit Date Apr 1, 2022
Journal Ecclesiastical Law Journal
Print ISSN 0956-618X
Electronic ISSN 1751-8539
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages 158-174
Keywords women bishops; Equality Act; Church of England; conflicting rights; heteronormativity
Public URL