In order to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), eight Croydon churches will united with a message of ‘One Love’.
The One Love event, organised by the Croydon Area Gay Society hopes to allow several churches to express their joint opposition to homophobia and transphobia.
Press Officer Peter Blackburn said: “We believe that it is important to demonstrate that not all churches are homophobic. On 17 May, on North End, Croydon’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, eight local churches and eight LGBT groups will have stands, with many more having expressed their support.”
Art Lester, Minister at the Croydon Unitarian Church added: “Unitarians have long welcomed people of the LGBT community into our churches and our professional ministry. This is more than mere tolerance. Our common life has been enriched by the gifts of many who have found themselves outside the supposed mainstream of human sexuality, just as we live outside the mainstream of popular religion.”
The Unitarians are among faith groups such as the Quakers and Liberal Judaism who are happy to provide marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Alison Meaton, a member of the Society of Friends in Purley, also expressed support for the said, “Quakers were one of the first churches to talk openly about sexuality. We feel that the quality and depth of feeling between two people is the most important part of a loving relationship, not their gender or sexual orientation,” while Paul Parker, recording clerk for Quakers in Britain adds, “Quakers see the light of God in everyone and so we respect the inherent worth of each individual and each loving relationship.”
Further support comes from Father Geoffrey Thompson, vicar of St. Stephen’s Church, Thornton Heath, who said: “St Stephen’s stands for the love of God who embraces all people. We are committed to serve and support all who come to us in sincerity regardless of sexuality, gender, age or race.”