Radical Roots for #LGBTHistoryMonth ❤️✊🐭🏳️🌈
Rev. Keith Gilley – minister, pioneer LGBT+ ally and campaigner for equal rights
Born in 1936 in Barnet, but growing up in Sunderland where his father was a shipyard welder, Keith won a place at Oxford and served in the RAF before becoming a Unitarian minister. In 1967, he married Judy and the same year began his ministry at Golders Green Unitarian Church in London, where he remained until 1988.
At Golders Green, Keith – who was not gay himself – became a pioneer for gay rights and led one of the first gay-friendly churches in Britain. Through Integroup (bringing together gay and straight people in dialogue), Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, the Lesbian & Gay Bereavement Project (with Rabbi Lionel Blue), and conducting same-sex blessings and unions, he served gay and lesbian people from the 1970s onwards.
Within the Unitarian movement, Keith was a leading voice for LGBT+ inclusion and equality over several decades and he was recognised for this by being made an Honorary Member of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in 2012 – for “promoting radical causes long before they were taken up in the mainstream” including LGBT+ rights.
Rev. Gilley died in 2013, survived by his wife Judy, his two children and five grandchildren.
Find out more about Keith in his obituary in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/…/mar/31/the-rev-keith-gilley