UK

Christian Campaigners Banned From Gay Marriage Debate Win Fight To Hold Events

21/06/2013 14:15 BST | Updated 21/06/2013 14:27 BST
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A deal has been reached in a bitter fight between a Christian lobby group and the Law Society, after the legal organisation cancelled a planned conference on its premises to debate gay marriage.

In an apparent climb down by the Law Society, Christian Concern, which has long campaigned against gay marriage, will now be able to provide a speaker for a debate on the topic at an upcoming conference at the society's building.

A joint statement said the Law Society "welcomes bookings from Christian Concern in the future."

The cancelled May 2012 conference, promoted by the US-based World Congress of Families, had as its theme: "One Man. One Woman. Making the case for marriage, for the good of society.”

Among those due to speak were family division High Court judge Paul Coleridge, who had recently launched his Marriage Foundation charity which looks at the effects of divorce, and Telegraph journalist Cristina Odone.

But the Law Society cancelled the agreed conference last year, due to a conflict with the society's “role in promoting diversity.”

In a joint statement, Christian Concern and Law Society and the Law Society announced "a full debate on the issue of same sex marriage in which a number of eminent speakers will attend, including a speaker from Christian Concern.

"Both parties respect the fact that views exist in society of those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, and those who believe that marriage should be between two adults regardless of their gender.

"The Law Society, without endorsing the views of Christian Concern, acknowledges that those views, which Christian Concern bases on Biblical principles, are sincerely held and that Christian Concern is entitled to hold and express those views."