Galha LGBT Humanists: News Release.
London UK, 26th June 2013
LGBT Humanists call for vigilance as Marriage Bill progresses
Galha, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans section of the British Humanist Association (BHA), has welcomed the progress of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords, but warns its members and supporters to be vigilant and to guard against complacency. The Lords Committee stage finished earlier this week, with 20 amendments considered by peers, and now the Bill goes on to Report Stage in July.
Various facets of the ‘faith lobby’ in the House of Lords remain determined to undermine the Bill with a number of wrecking amendments. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentanu backed an amendment to the Bill, which sought to differentiate between ‘opposite sex traditional marriages’ and ‘same sex marriages’. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey has stated that gay marriages would “…justify polygamous unisons and weddings between siblings”.
Adam Knowles, Chair of Galha LGBT Humanists, responded saying ‘Whether it is the bigotry of Lord Carey or the more careful statements of Dr John Sentanu, the impact is the same. Many of these Lords will condemn homophobic behaviour while implying there is something somehow inferior about gay marriage compared to straight marriage. They can dress it up, but those attitudes are against equality for gay people and are therefore homophobic. They contribute to the same homophobia that leads to, for example, kids being bullied in our schools for being ‘gay’. It has to change.
Mr Knowles added ‘Our members have played their part in over 34 years of campaigning for the rights of LGBT people. We are pleased that despite the best efforts of many, particularly those from faith communities, gay marriage is so widely supported. We are also encouraged that the Humanist marriage amendment has broad support. The BHA has been helping people celebrate their same-sex humanist ceremonies for over 20 years so it will be insulting if humanists end up being excluded from this Bill. The opportunity to equalise marriage for those with a humanist worldview might come once in a generation, so it’s vital that this legislation is passed. We urge supporters to put pressure on members of the House of Lords by ‘lobbying a lord’ on the ‘Out for Marriage’ website: http://lobbyalord.org/
GALHA LGBT Humanists promotes Humanism and LGBT equality, working to combat prejudice and discrimination against humanists and lesbians and gay men.
Enquiries: GALHA Press Office - 0792 1188329