Queers for Jesus – who run a collective blog site exploring gender, sexuality and religion – said that the issue should not be presented as a dispute between religion and gay rights. Many of them demonstrated outside Parliament, singing hymns and praying as well as displaying banners alongside people of other religions and none. They thanked several Christian MPs for backing equal marriage.
They welcomed the fact that several faith leaders had spoken at an event in Parliament today calling for radical changes to the world’s financial systems. Queers for Jesus see the campaign for equal marriage rights as part of the same struggle for a more just and less sinful world.
Emma Anthony, a Christian youthworker in a same-sex relationship, joined the demonstration outside Parliament. Afterwards she said:
“It’s a very good day for equality. For some people, a life-changing decision has been made. I think there is no possible way that Jesus would have voted against this bill. We have to do what Jesus would do if Jesus still had an earthly body.”
Other demonstrators included Symon Hill, a Christian writer who in 2011 walked from Birmingham to London as a pilgrimage of repentance for his former homophobia. He said:
“This is great news for all supporters of equality, including many Christians. Opponents of equal marriage must not be allowed to hide behind the claim that they are defending Christianity. Jesus modelled relationships based on love and justice – much harder than following a set of rules. Jesus motivates many people to work for a more just and less sinful world – campaigning against inequality, war and government cuts. We’ve heard lots from anti-equality Christians. It’s vital that pro-equality Christians speak up just as clearly.”