A consortium of liberal religious and secular groups will be launched at the House of Commons next Tuesday.

Cutting Edge Consortium will hold an open meeting Equality Bill: Opt In vs Opt Out, to discuss religious exemptions to legislation on sexuality and gender identity in the Equality Bill.

One exemption allows churches to refuse to hire gays and lesbians for roles which involve leading worship or explaining doctrine. They will not be allowed to refuse to hire gay staff for other jobs.

The bill is expected to come before the House of Lords in the next six weeks.

Hosted by Clare Short MP, speakers at Tuesday’s event will include Sarah Bourke (Tooks Chambers), Andrew Copson (British Humanist Association) Maleiha Malik (Muslim Women’s Network), and Michael Rubenstein (Equal Opportunities Review). The event takes place 19.00-21.00, Tuesday 24 November in Committee Room 5, House of Commons.

Founder-member Maria Exall said: “It is vital that progressive faith and secular voices are heard loud and clear supporting the Equality Bill and equal rights for LGBT people.”

Groups included in the consortium are the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, the British Humanist Association, the Muslim Education Centre Oxford, Liberal Judaism, Progressive British Muslims, Ekklesia and Inclusive Church.

The event takes place between 7 and 9pm on Tuesday November 24th in Committee Room 5, House of Commons.