Faith bodies urge prime minister on equal marriage
The General Assembly has joined Quakers in Britain and Liberal Judaism in urging the prime minister to stand firm on his commitment to change marriage laws to enable same-sex couples to marry.
Derek McAuley, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, Paul Parker, Quaker Recording Clerk and Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism have written a joint letter to the prime minister.
The joint letter reads:
We welcome your commitment to change marriage laws to enable same-sex partners to marry and offer you our prayerful support at this time. We know that you are hearing strong views about this from all around you.
Quakers in Britain, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism are all committed to equality of marriage and ask that any legislation will mean we are free to conduct same-sex marriages in our places of worship.
This is about religious liberty for us, so we don't expect parliament to force others, who may disagree with us, to marry same-sex couples if they do not wish.
We urge you to stand firm and show moral leadership on this issue, which affects the lives of many real people in this country. If, as you have said, same-sex marriage is the right thing to do, then it's right to do it properly, and it's right to do it now.
We would welcome your assurance that this issue remains a priority of the coalition government.
Derek McAuley, Chief Officer, said : "We have welcomed the public support for equal civil marriage in England and Wales from senior politicians in all main political parties. The recent Unitarian and Free Christian General Assembly affirmed its support for equal access to civil and religious marriage and civil partnerships for all couples. With the consultation period coming to a close in mid-June we look forward to legislation which goes beyond simply opening up civil marriage to equal and lesbian couples, important as this step will be."