Faith and homophobia / transphobia national conference

By Simon Sarmiento
April 12, 2012

The Cutting Edge Consortium will hold its third national conference on Faith and Homophobia on Saturday 21 April, at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL from 10 am (register from 9.30 am) until 5pm.

This year’s conference is titled LGBT Lives: Achieving our Equality, Challenging Faith-Based Homophobia and Transphobia.

Quite a mouthful, and the daylong programme is packed too. There will be three keynote speakers, two plenary discussions each with a panel of speakers, and two separate workshop sessions with about six events running in parallel.

The full spectrum of Cutting Edge’s membership is reflected in the programme: faith organisations, secularists, trade unions, and LGBT groups. Ekklesia is a member.

The cost is very moderate, for individuals, no more than £15 for the day, and that includes a lunch. But advance booking is essential for the caterers to plan.

The keynote speakers are:

* The Anglican Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, who will lead off the day with a talk entitled Same sex partnerships: making space for the conversation in the Church

* Aidan O’Neill QC, from Matrix Chambers, an expert on European Law, whose talk is titled Reasonable Accommodation – is this a way forward?

* Angela Eagle MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, and a Humanist, who will talk about Working together to challenge faith-based homophobia

Panel members for the plenary session in the morning are:

* Canon Giles Goddard from Inclusive Church
* Andrew Copson from the British Humanist Association
* Jennifer Moses from NASUWT the Education Union
* Julia Neal from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers

And in the afternoon:

* Elly Barnes from Schools Out
* Phyllis Opuko-Gymah from Black Pride and the Public and Commercial Services Union
* Yusef Gojikian from Imaan
* Sharon Langridge from Bi Quakers

Workshop topics will include:

* The Marriage Debate: speakers from the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Judaism
* Equal Access to Public Services after the Equality Act: speakers from the police service and trade unions
* Faith in Schools and Public Life: speakers from ACCORD and One Law for All
* Humanist-Faith Dialogue on Secularism and Equality: speakers Richard Norman and Savi Hensman
* Good Practice in Schools: speakers from Preston Manor, Schools Out and LGCM

And much more.

Did I mention that advance booking is essential for the catering? Please book as soon as you can via our website at

Or send an email to

A PDF booking form can be downloaded from


(c) Simon Sarmiento is on the Cutting Edge steering group ( He also co-ordinates Thinking Anglicans and a number of other Anglican-related websites.

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