Manchester Liberal Jewish Community has joined with local Unitarians in celebrating the amendment to the Equality Bill which will lift the current ban on Civil Partnerships being held in places of religious worship. The vote was passed in the House of Lords on Tuesday 2 March, by 95 votes to 21.Congratulations to all concerned. This is marvellous news.
The amendment to the Equality Bill was jointly sponsored by the Unitarians, Liberal Judaism and the Quakers, with support from other inclusive religious communities such as the Metropolitan Community Church.
The Reverend Jane Barraclough, minister of Cross Street Unitarian Chapel in Manchester city centre, was enthusiastic about the news: "At last (if the bill is passed) liberal people of faith can register their partnerships in their places of worship. We can welcome all those who share our progressive and tolerant values to our churches and chapels and celebrate the blessing of their relationships and their lives together."
Equality, diversity and justice are core values for both Liberal Jews and Unitarians. Both movements have welcomed lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people into their congregations for many years. Openly LGBT people participate fully in community life and leadership in both movements, which includes some serving as rabbis and ministers. Both movements are to begin amending orders of service for same-sex commitment ceremonies.
Tim Moore, a member of Cross Street Chapel and Associate Member of MLJC added, "I am very proud to be so closely involved in two of the inclusive religious movements who have taken a unified stand for equality and tolerance and against prejudice and discrimination. The latest amendment on civil partnerships is just one more success in the growing national campaign for full marriage equality for LGBT people."
"Liberal Jews, Unitarians, Quakers and their supporters have witnessed to their faith based on conscience, guided by reason, and tested in welcoming communities. We will continue working with our partners on looking into ways of furthering the campaign in the North West for marriage equality."
(via GA Uni-News)
- Pink News: Lords back religious civil partnerships for gay couples
- The Independent: Gay weddings to be allowed in church
- The Guardian: Civil partnership church ban lifted