In response to the Church of England’s submission to the Government’s consultation on Equal Civil Marriage, the LGBT Excellence Centre is publishing today their report from a community engagement event detailing the views of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Wales.
The 20-page submission was produced following a consultation event held on 15 May at Cardiff City United Reformed Church where an overview of the proposals was presented to participants by representatives from the Government Equalities Office and the responses of the LGBT community were collated.
The general view was that the proposals do not go far enough and that whilst civil marriage for same sex couples is certainly a move in the right direction, it falls short of providing full equality for LGBT people in the UK.
In particular, participants were very keen to counteract negative views that some religious organisations and representatives have, and still are, spreading incorrect and disingenuous information and asserted that relationships are between individuals, not religious organisations or the state. Participants strongly felt that legislation should reflect the needs of the two people concerned, so they may declare and share their love in a way that suits them. No relationship should be deemed less than another and no-one should be able to say their relationship is superior to anyone else’s.
Recently, the Archbishop of Wales has expressed his support for equal marriage and other religious figures demonstrated their support for Equal Civil Marriage. Amongst others, Revd. Andrew Morton made headlines in Wales by resigning his post as Vicar and Chaplain in order to challenge the Church’s lack of consistency and honesty in some of the Church’s pronouncements over same-sex relationships. Revd. Morton, who has been a priest in the Anglican Church for 37 years, said: “People of faith have an obligation to seek out justice and equality. The Christian scriptures are clear on this”.
Chief Exec of the LGBT Excellence Centre, Federico Podeschi said: “It is so encouraging to hear how many religious people are coming forward with their support for the rights of LGBT people. It calls into question the actions of organisations like the Church of England and the Catholic Education Service as to what extent they’re representing the people they serve. People from all parts of Wales have signed the Coalition for Equal Marriage’s petition and supported our consultation event. We are now calling for the Government to put an end to another way for LGBT people to be classed and treated as second-class citizens”.
More information on the LGBT Excellence Centre’s response to the consultation and can be obtained by visiting www.lgbtec.org.uk/marriage.
Notes to editor
- LGBT Excellence Centre – The LGBT Excellence Centre is a social enterprise and registered charity that delivers support services, projects, programmes and events relating to sexual orientation and gender identity for individuals and organisations to promote greater equality and protect human rights. More information can be found on www.lgbtec.org.uk/aboutus < http://www.lgbtec.org.uk/aboutus>
- City United Reformed Church in Cardiff – an Open and Affirming Church, welcoming all people regardless of race, colour gender, age, nationality, economic circumstance, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability or emotional condition
- Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan has lent his support to gay marriage today, saying: “All life-long committed relationships deserved the welcome, pastoral care and support of the Church.” – www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/04/18/archbishop-of-wales-says-gay-marriage-deserves-the-welcome-of-the-church-91466-30786073/#ixzz1uTChojVi < http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/04/18/archbishop-of-wales-says-gay-marriage-deserves-the-welcome-of-the-church-91466-30786073/#ixzz1uTChojVi>
- Revd. Andrew Morton – Andrew has been a priest in the Anglican Church for 37 years, a part-time teacher and lecturer for slightly longer and is also a trained counsellor. He has recently resigned his post as Vicar and Chaplain in order to challenge the Church’s thinking on this, and other matters.
For media enquiries, please contact Federico Podeschi on 07876655871.