I challenged a blogger the other day on his consistent use of the most juvenile, sophomoric insults to express his belief that homosexuality is a sin. On this particular occasion he had referred to a gay marriage as “the union of two men unto eternal donut-punching”. When I asked why he always expressed himself this way, he replied:

I say “donut punching” because the terms, “vigorous anal sex” (my web filter will probably block me from my own blog now) and “rectal semen deposits,” are too graphic. Take sex out of homosexuality and you have two guys who are just Best Friends Forever.

So, being gay is just about sex? I wonder, then, what he would think of the recent news that the Very Reverend Jeffrey John, the Anglican Dean of St Albans, has entered into a celibate civil partnership with another man. If homosexuality boils down to donut-punching, there’s nothing to object to here, is there?

Jeffrey John is an interesting case. In 2004 he was appointed as Bishop of Reading, only to be forced to stand down by conservatives in the Church of England, who objected to a gay man being made a bishop. He remains openly and unashamedly gay, but, according to the Bishop of St Albans,

Jeffrey John has confirmed to me that the nature of his relationship remains in accord with the declarations he made in 2004 upon his appointment as Dean of St Albans, and therefore complies with the discipline of the Church of England as set out in the Bishops’ Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships 2005.

In acceding to the sexual mores of the Church of England, I suppose Jeffrey John is an ex-gay – of sorts. Somehow I don’t think the other ex-gays will approve, however. But those who still have a problem with Jeffrey’s celibate civil partnership will at least have to admit that there is more to being gay than donut-punching.

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