Jayne Ozanne is a well-known gay evangelical who works to ensure full inclusion of all LGBTI people of faith, particularly in the Church.
She was appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to be a founding member of the Archbishops’ Council for the Church of England (1999 – 2004). In 2009, after years of personal struggle as an evangelical Christian trying to reconcile her faith with her sexuality, she came out as gay to her friends and family. Her story is documented in her memoir, Just Love. In 2014 she decided to become more publicly engaged with the sexuality debate within the Church and in 2015 she was elected back onto the Church of England’s General Synod. She has since been heavily involved in campaigning for equal rights for the LGBTI community, notably tabling a Private Members Motion in July 2017 that led to the General Synod condemning Conversion Therapy and calling on the government to ban it. In 2019 she was invited to be a founding member of the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel.
Jayne has led various successful initiatives, which have included:
- A letter signed by 100+ senior Anglicans sent ahead of the 2016 Primates Meeting, securing a public apology from the Archbishop of Canterbury for the way LGBTI Christians had been treated
- The commissioning of two YOUGOV surveys looking at public attitudes towards same-sex relationships, the LGBTI community and the Church of England, and an online LGBTI Faith survey.
- A resource book for evangelicals, Journeys in Grace and Truth, that shared the testimonies of senior Anglicans – including two bishops – as to why they believed what they did on this issue
- A strong social media presence including a weekly blog, ViaMedia.News with contributions from a wide range of senior Anglicans, including bishops, that reaches on average 2000 readers per week
- Open letters from large numbers of Synod members expressing concern for the LGBTI community
- A successful Private Members Motion in General Synod that endorsed the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding on the dangers of Conversion Therapy, and called on the government to ban it
- Speaking out on prime-time television about the levels of sexual harassment within the Church
She is a well-known speaker and broadcaster on this topic, and is frequently approached by the national media for comment on sexuality and gender related issues. More recently, she has been invited to speak at religious LGBTI gatherings overseas, and is keen to work with LGBTI representatives from other faith groups who are facing similar discrimination and prejudice within their religions.
In November 2019 she had the honour of meeting His Holiness, Pope Francis, and presented him with a copy of her memoir, Just Love, and her Foundation’s research on the harm of so-called “conversion therapy”.