London Pride 2011 – Civil Partnerships in Church NOW!

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The new Changing Attitude banner

Changing Attitude trustees and supporters marched at London Pride on Saturday with the largest ever group of Christians from a variety of groups and denominations. We marched with our new Civil Partnerships in Church NOW banner, one amongst several, including the Quakers, Metropolitan Community Church and LGCM

Christians at Pride gather in Portland Place

The parade assembled in Portland Place and marched the length of Regent Street to Trafalgar Square and Whitehall. I hadn’t marched in London for ten years, and was surprised at the subdued energy of this year’s event. I remember rising to ground level at Marble Arch tube station to be greeted by a deafening noise of whistles. This year only the occasional sound system deafened the ears.

http://changingattitude.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/066-small.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />There were steel barriers the entire length of the route to keep the crowd at bay and a heavy presence by the police and pride marshals. In places the crowd was just one deep, dramatically different from Manchester Pride. The only point where the whistles and roars were unleashed was as we passed the conservative Christian protest.

Why has London Pride lost it’s radical campaigning energy? Have most of the battles been won? Is it really the faith communities which remain to be enlightened? An interview with the author of a book published in German about the experience of a gay Roman Catholic shows how the Church corrupts those who suppress their true selves and reminds me why the energy in Changing Attitude becomes more intense the longer our bishops lack courage and fail to be open with us.

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Rainbow flag flying at St Martin-in-the-Fields

St Martin-in-the-Fields were flying a rainbow flag and hosted a service in the crypt at the end of the march. Over 150 people came, one of the most diverse congregations I have ever witnessed. If we can model the diversity proclaimed and enacted by Jesus the Christ, why can’t the rest of the Church? Oh, I know – because the Bible says …

Comments

  1. Charles says

    Have you listened to Judith Butler’s speech at Berlin Pride last year? She lambasted the pride committee for its commercialism, complicity with nationalism and racism. I think that’s a problem with many pride events, even in San Francisco. It’s lost its sense of community, and become either a billboard for businesses to flash their rainbow credentials or, as in Israel, a place of nationalist conformity. Anti-apartheid groups have been barred from the Pride march for years.

    Still, I am always impressed by the presence of diverse community groups. And I think it impressed more than a few people that a contingent of LGBT Christians showed up for the march.

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