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Consortium protests over Equality Bill

Not all Christians, or members of other faiths agree with the recent stand taken by the Bishops in the House of Lords over the Equalities Bill. Martin Pendergast, representative of the Cutting Edge Consortium  told ICN today: "The debates over the Equality Bill have been portrayed all too simplistically as people of faith being the victims, and lesbian, gay and transgendered people, along with those who stand by them in solidarity, as the attackers.

"This ignores the fact that there are many, straight and gay, in faith communities who do not support the kind of exemptions some church leaders are seeking. It also ignores the fact that lesbian, bisexual, gay,  and transgendered people of faith continue to experience discriminatory action from within their own faith communities."

The Cutting Edge Consortium is a recently formed grouping of both faith-based and non-religious organisations. It builds on the work of two  conferences held in 2007 and 2009,  on Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Human Rights.  The organisations have come together "to work for the elimination of any faith-based homophobia and institutionalised prejudice towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people."

The Consortium founding members include: Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, Interfaith Alliance UK, British Humanist Association, Muslim Education Centre Oxford, Liberal Judaism, Trades Union Congress, A: Gender, Centre for the Study of Christianity & Sexuality, Ekklesia, Inclusive Church, LGBT Consortium of Voluntary & Community Organisations, Progressive British Muslims, Pink Triangle Trust.

Pendergast said: "There are many members of religious bodies, in good standing, who do not share the views on the Equality Bill that have been expressed in public and to Parliament by some of the leaders of those organisations. We hope for this fact to be registered in the course of the House of Lords debates.

For further information, see:  www.humanism.org.uk/news/view/402

See also:  Churches issue grave warning over Equalities Bill  www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=15527