Category Archives: Human Rights

Marriage equality – why is it important for faith communities?

AUSTRALIA HAS VOTED in favour of marriage equality for LGBTI people – the results were announced on Wednesday and greeted with joy and expectation that the law will now change to make it so. As my husband is Australian, I have followed the campaign with interest. We had a civil partnership in May 2012 – the first to be registered… Read more »

Coming out in the classroom – The power of education #NCOD

TODAY, 11th October, is celebrated in many countries as ‘National Coming Out Day’, a campaign to promote a safe world for LGBT+ individuals to live truthfully and openly. This morning I marked the occasion by giving a lecture to around 300 trainee teachers, to raise awareness of issues around gender and sexuality, and to explore these in age-appropriate ways in… Read more »

‘I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression’ – Sister Jeannine Gramick on 40+ years of ministry among LGBT Catholics

THESE were the courageous words of the keynote speaker at this year’s annual conference of Quest, which offers pastoral support for LGBT Catholics in the UK. Sister Jeannine Gramick has cared and campaigned for the LGBT community in the USA since 1971, two years before Quest was founded. I first heard about Sister Jeannine in 1999 when, together with her colleague… Read more »

Who is my neighbour? A reflection on the 170th anniversary of Liverpool YMCA

This year Liverpool YMCA celebrated its 170th anniversary, and this year I became the chaplain to this extraordinary community. My role is to listen, support, care and gently question – to be there for everyone in the organisation regardless of faith or belief. At the anniversary celebration at Liverpool Parish Church last month, I read the story of the Good… Read more »

WATCH: #WhyWeFight UN ‘Free & Equal’ video marking #IDAHOT2016

Why do we need a worldwide day to defend LGBT rights? At least 81 countries in the world criminalize same sex relationships. This means that 40% of the world population (or 2.8 billion people) are not free to choose who they love. Millions of homosexual and bisexual people live in a constant state of fear. In 10 countries, the death penalty can be applied for same… Read more »

Stonewall interfaith seminar – #LGBTHM review part 6

THE LAST event I spoke at during LGBT History Month in February was the first interfaith seminar coordinated by the LGBT rights charity Stonewall. The invitation came after I trained as a Role Model to deliver LGBT awareness sessions in schools registered as Stonewall School Champions. I wrote about my first experience as a Role Model in November 2015 here…. Read more »

How can we disagree well? A personal response to the #Primates2016 meeting

THIS WEEK the heads of Anglican churches around the world (known as Primates) will gather in Canterbury to debate the future of their global network, the Anglican Communion, because of deep divisions over church teachings on sexuality.

A momentous decade – Reflecting on ten years of UK civil partnerships

IT’S TEN YEARS this month since the first civil partnerships for same-sex couples in the UK. The first couple to benefit from the new legal recognition for their relationship were Chris Cramp and Matthew Roche from West Sussex, on 5th December 2005. Yet when images from the first UK civil partnerships appear in the media to accompany stories about same-sex… Read more »

Making noise for #AntiBullyingWeek, #InterfaithWeek, #TDOR

THIS WEEK in England there is an interesting combination of commemorations – Anti-Bullying Week, Interfaith Week, and Trans* Awareness Week, culminating today in Trans* Day of Remembrance (TDOR). I have been at four events in the past week to mark these campaigns: ‘An All Embracing Faith’ – Keynote speech by Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall LGBT rights charity at Liverpool… Read more »

Kim Davis – Let me show you what persecution looks like

ON US TV today (Sept. 22), the clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to ANY couple because she didn’t believe in same sex marriage has said what hurts her most about how she has been treated since she defied the Supreme Court ruling on marriage in June – being called ‘a hypocrite’. Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky, has… Read more »