Stonewall urging Christians around the world to embrace LGBT rights

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Rights charity Stonewall is to release a newgude  featuring stories from LGBT Christians around the world, to encourage inclusiveness.

The book, titled Christian Role Models for LGBT Equality’, includes the personal experiences of 20 Christians around the world all of whom have different identities, backgrounds and stories to tell.

It will be distributed around the UK and internationally, and aims to help break down barriers between Christians and LGBT people.

It includes stories including a Bishop from a Uganda who risks jail and violence by embracing LGBT rights, despite a booming anti-gay faction in the country supported by Western evangelicals.

Another story is from a Russian gay man, who was told by a Catholic priest in confession to end his same-sex relationship or risk damnation.

He says many LGBT people have been told they can’t believe and feel they must “choose between being gay or believing in God.” In the end he tells fellow LGBT Christians to not be afraid saying: “The purpose of life is to be real, not to lie to yourself. Understand what you are, and be who you are.”

Another contribution comes from a South American reverend who says someone at his University was killed because it was suspected he was gay or bisexual. He also said: “I’ve worked with parents who have said that they would prefer to kill their gay child. They see it as… an abomination”

Although some of the stories show how much work there is left to do, the contributors are certainly positive role models for those struggling.

Stonewall hopes this will provide common ground between LGBT communities and the Church and therefore lead to improved relations between them.

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: “We’re releasing this book to show wider society that LGBT people of faith do exist and are part of faith communities.

“Too often it’s assumed we’re not on the same side but the powerful stories featured in this guide demonstrate that a belief in God is also a belief in love and acceptance.

“We’re looking to a future where people will be accepted for their beliefs, their faith, their sexual orientation, their gender identity and everything else, without exception.”