Considering all this, I am baffled by this statement which seems to prioritise the unity of the Baptist Union above the freedom of conscience that should be granted to all parties without an imposition of restraint for the sake of that unity. I would have been much more at peace with a statement that affirmed the freedom of those in favour of marriage equality to practice their beliefs and those opposed to marriage equality to withdraw their membership from the Union if they could not reconcile their consciences to being in fellowship with those in favour, couched in terms that reminded both that it is at the core of being Baptist to allow others to discern and hold their own understandings of the message and person of Jesus Christ as revealed in scripture.
I am grieved by the pain suffered by so many people as this issue continues to burden believers. The pain of those opposed, as they feel the truth is being compromised. The pain of those in favour, as they feel their deeply held convictions are not respected. The pain of those individuals about whom we argue who are caught in the middle and de-humanised by the argument itself.
Unity at the cost of conscience is dearly bought. Too dearly in my opinion.