Come out for love and equality
5.30pm until late – rally by the statue of George V in Old Palace Yard, London SW1, diagonally opposite the main entrance to the House of Commons. Bring rainbow flags and placards.
Peter Tatchell is part of the group organizing a rally for equal marriage supported by a broad coalition of LGBT activists – and our straight allies – plus supporters of all political parties and none. MPs and Lords will attend the rally and speak.
I will be there on behalf of Changing Attitude England – with a rainbow flag – and I encourage others who are free and in central London this evening to join the rally and demonstrate our support as Christians for equal marriage.
Peter Tatchell is Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation and coordinator of the Equal Love campaign. Last week he said:
“It is important to have a visible presence for equal rights, to counter a planned protest the same night by anti-gay Christian fundamentalists. They want us to remain second class citizens, banned by law from marrying the person we love. In contrast to their intolerance, our rally affirms love and equality for everyone.
“It is uncertain how the House of Lords will vote. We don’t know the extent of the opposition. It would be a big mistake to assume that equal marriage is a done deal.
“This is no time for complacency. We need to lobby the Lords just like we lobbied the Commons. Church leaders and right-wing peers are determined to derail the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. They’ll try to vote it down or may introduce wrecking amendments.
“This legislation is about ensuring equal marriage rights for all. In a democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. This means equal marriage rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The opponents of marriage equality believe LGBT couples are unfit and unworthy of marriage. They include senior politicians and churchmen. Their support for the ban on marriage equality is proof that homophobia is still deemed an acceptable prejudice at the highest levels of society. They endorse anti-LGBT intolerance and discrimination, which gives comfort to bigots everywhere.
“Critics claim that same-sex marriage is unpopular and rejected by most British people. Not true. According to the YouGov poll published in June last year, 71% of the public, including 58% of religious people, believe that same-sex couples should be permitted to get married in civil ceremonies register offices. 70% of the public also support religious institutions being allowed to conduct same-sex marriages if they wish to do so.