Somerset campaigner sets up Christian group to support gay marriage rights
A new national pressure group has been set up by a Peasedown St John campaigner to represent Christians who support gay marriage.
The formation of Christians for Equal Marriage UK comes as Church leaders digest last month's Government announcement on same-sex ceremonies.
Co-founder Nathan Hartley said there are a growing number of Christians who support government plans to legalise marriage between two people, irrespective of their sexuality.
The policy announced by Culture Secretary Maria Miller offers a range of safeguards for churches not wanting to host same-sex marriage ceremonies, and a surprise ban on the Church of England providing them, but is bitterly opposed by senior Catholics.
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Mr Hartley, who is a councillor and member of St John's Church in Peasedown, said: "So many Christians are now moving away from the long-held traditional view of the church that marriage is only for heterosexual couples.
"I realised late last year that a new Christian group needed to be formed that contravened this traditional view when the majority of church leaders claimed to speak on behalf of all of us when voicing opinions on issues of sex and sexuality – when in fact they don't."
Co-founder Tiggy Sagar said the new group would not be using Biblical texts to win support.
She said: "Too often Christians and others use the Bible as a weapon. Many of the divisions in church history over the last 2,000 years have been fought using the Bible. We don't want to add to an already divided church – rather we just want to express a view that others may not feel is being heard."
Co-founder Josh Ditte, who set up the organisation's website, added: "So many Christians have sent us messages of support. They are delighted that our new group supports them and are attracted to our message of inclusion."
For more information visit www.christians4emuk.org.