Religious leaders give strong backing to same-sex marriages

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A number of senior religious leaders have signed a statement declaring support for same-sex marriages taking place on 29 March 2014.

"We rejoice that from tomorrow same-sex couples will be able to marry in England and Wales," they say.

A press conference and photo-call is being held at Friends House in central London this morning (28 March).

The statement continues: "As persons of faith, we welcome this further development in our marriage law, which has evolved over the centuries in response to changes in society and in scientific knowledge.

"We acknowledge that some (though not all) of the faith organisations to which we belong do not share our joy, and continue to express opposition in principle to such marriages. We look forward to the time, sooner rather than later, when all people of faith will feel able to welcome this development."

The list of signatories - which includes people from right across the religious and theological spectrum - includes:

Revd Steve Chalke (Baptist)

Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive, Liberal Judaism

Derek McAuley, Chief Officer, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism

Revd Sharon Ferguson, Senior Pastor, MCC North London

Rt Revd Alan Wilson, Anglican Bishop of Buckingham

Rt Revd Lord Harries of Pentregarth, former Anglican Bishop of Oxford

Rt Revd Richard Lewis, former Anglican Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Rt Revd Peter Selby, former Anglican Bishop of Worcester

Rt Revd John Saxbee, former Anglican Bishop of Lincoln

Rt Revd Michael Doe, Preacher to Gray’s Inn, former Anglican Bishop of Swindon

Rt Revd David Gillett, former Anglican Bishop of Bolton

Rt Revd Stephen Lowe, former Anglican Bishop of Hulme

Very Revd Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans

Very Revd Jonathan Draper, Dean of Exeter

Very Revd Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely

Very Revd Lister Tonge, Dean of Monmouth

Very Revd Mark Beach, Dean of Rochester

The Cutting Edge Consortium, which has helped coordinate the initiative, is an alliance of faith-based LGBTI-supporting organisations, trade unions, and others united in challenging faith-based groups to promote equality and human rights. Its members include Ekklesia.

The LGBTI Anglican Coalition, which is also involved provides UK-based Christian LGBTI organisations with opportunities to create resources for the Anglican community and to develop a shared voice for the full acceptance of LGBTI people.

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