Group considers LGBT outreach

Preserve Marriage, which opposed same-sex unions in a rigorous campaign culminating with yesterday’s referendum, intends to continue “addressing the community’s social and religious needs”.

The group will keep working after significant voter endorsement of its cause, according to its chairman, Melvyn Bassett, who said future efforts could include an LGBT outreach. Last night, Dr Bassett said that “as a law-abiding organisation, we would respect the decision of the community” — even if voters had turned out in force for same-sex civil unions.

Speaking to The Royal Gazette shortly before early results showed an overwhelming “no” against both same-sex marriage and civil unions, Dr Bassett said: “We’ve maintained throughout this campaign that we have to demonstrate love for the LGBT community, and all others.

“We have a responsibility as a Christian community to extend love to all and the group may be interested in developing a special ministry to the LGBT community.”

Dr Bassett reported a “pleasantly busy” day transporting senior voters to polling stations alongside a team of volunteers.

He said he had been pleased with the civil atmosphere, despite confusion earlier over a voice message distributed via WhatsApp that had caused confusion for some voters.

Preserve Marriage pulled together at eastern, western and central locations to co-ordinate its transportation effort, and by 10pm, that organised drive looked to have paid off.

Directly as results were posted online by the Parliamentary Register’s office, figures indicated that voters had delivered the decisive double “no” that Preserve Marriage has called for from the inception of its campaign.

Even so, Dr Bassett said the group was “trying to co-ordinate the churches using this initiative — we promised ourselves that this would not be the end of the matter”.

“There are many needs in the community and the church needs to be involved. We believe going forward that there will be many opportunities for a united approach.”

The church group United for Change joined with Preserve Marriage early in the effort, and Dr Bassett said the campaign “helped to pull the churches together — we will do even more to recognise the power that exists within the Christian community”.

Dr Bassett said he had been pleased that a Government which initially seemed against a referendum had ultimately found in favour of soliciting the views of the people.

Preserve Marriage is likely to issue a formal statement today outlining its position going forward.

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