Christians who support equal marriage will hold a Day of Prayer on Sunday ahead of next week’s vote by MPs on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales.
Supportive churches will also pray for all committed, loving relationships – regardless of the gender of those involved – at their Sunday services.
The idea has come from Christian writer and activist Symon Hill. It has been backed by the Queers for Jesus website and the group Christians for Equal Marriage UK.
As well as praying for all loving relationships and for the success of the legislation, supporters will pray for God’s guidance for all involved.
They will ask God’s forgiveness for times when they have colluded in prejudice and homophobia, whether by word, deed or silence.
Symon Hill, who is co-editor of the Queers for Jesus site, said: “Jesus consistently broke the social and sexual conventions of his day. He modelled relationships based on love rather than legalism or power. It will be great to see churches and individual Christians praying for the many loving couples who are denied equality under the law.
“We’ll also pray that God will guide everyone struggling with these issues, whatever their views.”
Tiggy Sagar of Christians for Equal Marriage said: “Christ preached a gospel of inclusivity, reaching out to the excluded, marginalised and despised of society and validating their worthiness to participate in God’s Kingdom as children of God and not second-class citizens. Committed same-sex relationships should not be treated as unworthy of the name ‘marriage’.”
Although the Catholic Church and Church of England are opposed to equal marriage, faith groups such as the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism support marriage rights for gay couples and have stated they would like to provide the ceremonies.