Crossbench peer and Reform rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger has reaffirmed her support for same-sex marriage, jokingly stating she is waiting for the day she can hold a “Moonie-style mass gay wedding”.
In a sign that she will be voting in favour of the same-sex marriage bill when it reaches the House of Lords, Baroness Neuberger described herself as “a passionate supporter of gay marriage.”
“We are waiting for the day we get it in Parliament,” she said. “We will have a Moonie-style mass gay wedding. I have at least 30 couples.”
Her comments referred to the Unification Church, members of which are known as Moonies and are famous for holding mass weddings. The Unification Church’s leader, Sun Myung Moon, has been accused of antisemitism in the past, having once claimed that Jewish victims of the Holocaust were paying indemnity for the crucifixion of Jesus.
Responding to arguments that the definition of marriage should not be changed, Baroness Neuberger said: “We have redefined marriage legally before. After all, you find we got rid of polygamy, and I think that’s a really important thing that we have done.
“I would ask, what’s the difference?” she continued. “You could equally argue that heterosexual couples could have a civil marriage without having a religious marriage, and that would be the same – civil partnership as opposed to religious marriage.
“I actually think it’s really important, for a whole variety of reasons. Parity of esteem is one very important part of that.”
Baroness Neuberger was debating faith and politics with Methodist minister and fellow peer Lord Leslie Griffiths before the London Society of Jews and Christians at the House of Commons yesterday.
Previously a Liberal Democrat peer, Baroness Neuberger has served as a crossbencher since becoming full-time Senior Rabbi at the West London Synagogue. She regularly makes appearnces on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Moral Maze’ and ‘Thought for the Day’.
A senior Downing Street source told PinkNews last Friday, with the bill already going through Parliament, there was no need for it to be mentioned in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech and the source said it was expected that its passage through Parliament would be complete before the summer recess.