Chief Officer raises equal religious marriage with Prime Minister
Unitarian Chief Officer Derek McAuley took the opportunity to highlight the case for equal religious marriage with Prime Minister David Cameron when he attended the annual reception for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the garden of 10 Downing Street on Tuesday 24 July 2012
Speaking afterwards Derek said:
“I took the opportunity to speak to the Prime Minister when he spoke with small groups after his short speech. I welcomed his commitment to civil marriage but explained that the Unitarian Church wished to undertake religious marriage and hoped that this would be possible. His response was that we needed to make sure that the concerns of some in the church were addressed and no one should be forced to undertake such ceremonies. This is, of course, the consensus view of all involved who support equal marriage.
I also had a longer and very positive conversation with Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone. It was varied group yet many of those I spoke to were aware that a Unitarian Church (Ullet Road, Liverpool) had performed the first civil partnership in religious premises. I was also able to explain the general inclusive approach of Unitarians and Free Christians .
It was remarked on several occasions that this was the first time the LGBT Reception had seen so many clergy present, particularly from the Church of England , which was most welcome.
I am pleased to have had the opportunity to represent the Unitarian perspective at this annual gathering convened by the Prime Minister with leaders in the LGBT community. It shows that Unitarians have made a real contribution during the debates about building a more inclusive society.”