UK minister slammed for praying Prince George turns out to be gay

An Anglican minister from the UK has been the subject of widespread condemnation after urging people to pray that Prince George turns out to be a homosexual.

Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, used a blog post to make the prayer request two year ago - but it resurfaced after he retweeted it in the wake of Prince Harry's engagement.

The post centred around the Church of England's reluctance to accept homosexual marriage, and how it would likely be embraced more quickly if people prayed that Prince George were "to be blessed one day with the love of a fine young gentleman".

"A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily, though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen," he wrote.

"Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means?"

Rev Holdsworth is a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church, a denomination that controversially voted in favour of allowing gay couples to marry earlier in 2017.

He has now received plenty of negative attention for the remark, after it was picked up on by anti-gay campaigners associated with the Church of England.

"To use prayer as a mechanism for wishing this on Prince George is an unkind and destructive thing to do," Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen, told the BBC.

"What is especially odd and incongruous is the fact that it is suddenly okay to pray for someone to be gay, but totally unacceptable to pray for them to be free from being gay and to resume a sexuality that was in tune with their biology."

Church Society director Lee Gatiss agreed, telling Christian Today that "to co-opt the royal children to service a narrow sexual agenda seems particularly tasteless and bizarrely illogical on his own grounds".

"Is he saying no one can 'pray the gay away' but you can pray it into someone?"

In a statement, Rev Holdsworth apologised for how his post had been interpreted, but said he was sad the conversation now revolved around a single remark, rather than marriage equality.