Unitarians Campaign for Same-Sex Marriage in Church

21 March 2023

The General Assembly passed a resolution calling for same-sex marriage in church and campaigned for a change in the law, along with allies including Liberal Judaism, Reform Judaism, and the Quakers.

Derek McAuley, interviewed February 2023:
There were some quite offensive debates during that period, it was a bit of rollercoaster. It probably the most influential contribution that Unitarians have made to public life in Britain since the Second World War. Looking back, we as a movement, both at a very local level and also at a national level, did have an impact on that debate.

The three liberal groups, working together, played an important part in changing the narrative, that it was not religious people versus secular, that actually some people of faith were very much in favour of LGBT rights.” 

“We got involved in a coalition of faith groups to support same sex marriage in religious premises – with liberal Judaism, Quakers, and the Movement for Reformed Judaism. We were small in number, but we did have an impact beyond our size.

Jeff Gould, interviewed February, 2023:
“It was an exciting experience to be involved so closely in those negotiations along with the Liberal Jews and the Society of Friends. Three religious movements that are very small numerically but have had a disproportionate, positive, influence on the lesbian and gay agenda in the country.

We were also part of the Cutting Edge coalition, which brought together all sorts of groups to tackle faith-based homophobia and transphobia. The view was that religious freedom was not an excuse for reducing human rights.”