Celebrating Interfaith Week
Publish Date: 21/11/2011
You might wonder why The Lesbian & Gay Foundation is celebrating Interfaith Week but as we all know, many people of faith have questions and opinions about sexual orientation, just as many people from the LGB&T community have questions and opinions about faith. Whether either of these are well-informed or not is part of the purpose in promoting Interfaith Week.
To increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs is one of Interfaith Week’s objectives and here at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation we get so many enquiries from people who are experiencing problems, not because of their own views on faith, but because of other people’s beliefs around sexual orientation.
We want to celebrate people of faith from our own communities and help increase awareness of the different and distinct faith communities in the UK that are accepting of LGB&T people.
It has been a great privilege over the last few years for us to work with so many wonderful people, from many different faith groups, who really want to extend a welcoming hand to members of the LGB&T community and our work in this area will continue into 2012 and beyond.
No matter what is happening in the world, knowing that you are supported by people who have the same spiritual beliefs as you is incredibly important, and sadly this is something that far too many LGB&T people do not feel that they have.
You may have read in recent weeks and months many negative stories in the media about churches or faith groups trying to change a gay person’s sexual orientation (just for the record we will say it once again, you can’t change your sexual orientation) and really anyone thinking you can would be far better off calling our helpline (0845 3 30 30 30) to talk to a friendly, understanding person in confidence and most importantly someone who will never judge you for who you are.
The Lesbian & Gay Foundation have always believed that empowering people is the key to improving quality of life and within issues of personal faith and belief this is absolutely no exception.
We are angry when we hear that people are being refused access to public services because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and we are increasingly frustrated when someone says that, because of their own personal faith or belief, they really cannot bring themselves to accept us as human beings who deserve being treated as equals, or even try to understand what it must feel like to be turned away because we are not heterosexual.
Strengthening good relations is something that Interfaith Week exists to promote and The Lesbian & Gay Foundation will always be pro-active in promoting those faith organisations who support LGB&T people. We will however not shy away from highlighting those faith groups that we feel could do a lot better in acknowledging the need to support people around their sexual orientation.
But there is hope. Over the last few years we have been looking into just how many faith groups and organisations specifically welcome LGB&T people and there are so many that we cannot mention them all in any one article, but please be assured that no matter what your faith or belief, there is a welcoming faith group for you . Please contact us if you need support in this area on 0845 3 303030.
Earlier this year we produced our very first faith guide to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people called ‘Faithbook’ which you can access here: http://www.lgf.org.uk/Our-services/Campaigns/Faithbook/
We also have pocket book versions freely available to any individual, group or organisation who would like some, free of charge. All you have to do is send us your details and tell us how many copies you would like.
Tel: 0845 3 30 30 30. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more about interfaith week: http://www.interfaithweek.org/