Yom Shabbat, 4 Elul 5774
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Standing up for LGBT Human Rights

Liberal Judaism, 7th September 2011


Liberal Judaism played a key role in the UK’s first ever lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Human Rights Summit.

Su Rathgeber Knan, Liberal Judaism’s delegate at the Cardiff event, spoke on a panel discussing same sex marriage, which also included Christian Reverend Sharon Ferguson and well-known equality campaigner Peter Tatchell.

The session featured a legal overview of gay marriage in many countries, including recent developments in the UK, and discussed the aspects of religion that are being used to fight against it.

Ms Rathgeber Knan told delegates: “Liberal Judaism has joined other like-minded religious denominations to pressure the government to allow gay marriages in places of worship.”

She also presented Liberal Judaism’s same-sex commitment liturgy, Brit Ahava (Covenant of Love), and the publication Lesbian and Gay Jews and Same Sex Relationships by Rabbi Roderick Young.

Ms Rathgeber Knan then joined a protest outside Cardiff City Hall in support of the Gay Marriage Campaign.

Conference organiser Federico Podeschi, the CEO of Wales’ LGBT Excellence Centre, welcomed Liberal Judaism’s participation.

He said: “It sometimes seems to be overlooked that LGBT people also have religious beliefs and spiritual needs, so we wanted to make sure that our conference showcased the diverse faith groups that colour and enrich the lives of our LGBT community members.

“Liberal Judaism offered a truly progressive stance on equal marriage which was 'exemplar' and should be a model for other religious strands on how to tackle the issue of same sex unions.

“It was refreshing to see how delegates of different faith groups can come together with a strong voice of agreement towards something that unites us all: Love.”

The summit, held from August 31-September 1, sought to explore and understand how the application of international human rights standards is the fundamental for the development of a framework for the protection of people who are excluded, or whose rights are being violated, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.