Union of Jewish Students examines faith and sexuality at NUS conference

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The Union of Jewish Students hosted an event at NUS Conference this week, examining the link between LGBT people and faith.

The fringe event at the NUS Conference in Liverpool was titled ‘Faith not Fear: Fighting for LGBT and Religious Freedom’.

Nearly 200 students attended the event, which was chaired by NUS LGBT Officer Robbie Young, and featured PinkNews founder and Chief Executive Benjamin Cohen alongside PinkNews reporter Naith Payton.

At the event, Benjamin Cohen said: “What I think the big challenges are is we can’t treat the community as a homogeneous group. I think in the past it was to treat it as the experience as the white male, who is gay.

“Actually the LGBT community is very very different. It involves lots of different people… what we need to be doing is working together a lot more in order to grow things.

He added: “Everyone is different, everyone falls into different brackets and we live in a very diverse society… Democracy is enhanced by hearing all sides of the argument.”

Naith Payton spoke about the connection between faith and identity, quipping: “When it comes to some religions… we’re not going to try and get married in your church or synagogue if you don’t want us to, but please don’t try and stop us getting married full stop.”

UJS also encouraged Jewish and non-Jewish students to sign up to the stem cell register in partnership with Anthony Nolan.

Although men who have sex with men are banned from giving blood in the UK, the same regulations do not apply to stem cell donations – allowing gay men to sign up without discrimination.