A term used to describe women attracted romantically, erotically, and/or emotionally to other women.
A term used to describe individuals who are primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the same sex. More commonly used when referring to males, but can be applied to females as well.
A person emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to male/men and females/women. This attraction does not have to be equally split between genders and there may be a preference for one gender over others.
An umbrella term covering a range of identities that transgress socially defined gender norms. It may mean someone who mentally and emotionally identifies as a different gender to the one they have been assigned by society, often living their lives as that gender, and who may or may not choose to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Or it could be a person who transcends the binary gender systems altogether, so that they identify as neither male or female gender.
People born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male.
An umbrella term to refer to all LGBTIQ people. Can also be a simple label to explain a complex set of sexual behaviours and desires. For example, a person who is attracted to multiple genders may identify as this.
To connect LGBTIQ+ people and advocates across the Australian church, resourcing and equipping them and their churches to be a truly welcoming and affirming Australian church; one which acknowledges, respects and utilises the gifts of all, regardless of sex, sexuality or gender.
The Membership of Equal Voices undertakes to:
- Boldly proclaim Christ’s love for all people, regardless of their gender, sex, and sexual orientation;
- Value the voices of all in the church, especially those not usually heard;
- Honour the value and equality of committed, life-long, life-giving adult relationships, regardless of sexuality, gender identity or physical gender traits;
- Understand that moral expectations in committed relationships for heterosexual and LGBTIQ+ Christians are the same;
- Welcome all believers in Christ to fellowship;
- Promote the value of listening and respectful conversation;
- Welcome the value of learning and growing in our understanding of the Word of God;
- Actively develop advocates to stand up, take responsibility and equip themselves with knowledge, understanding and fearlessness to boldly challenge homophobia, transphobia and intersex exclusion.
Within contemporary Australian churches, the body of Christ is divided over issues of sex, sexuality and gender. There remains division and debate over the acceptance, welcome, affirmation and full inclusion of Christians who are LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer).
There remains an ongoing failure to recognise and honour LGBTIQ+ experiences and gifts.
Parts of the Christian community have been unloving and exclusionary. In other churches and communities, LGBTIQ+ people are treated as ‘clients’ in need of ‘healing’ and ‘fixing’ and are dehumanised by this.
Parts of the church continue to either operate or condone ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ which have done and do tremendous harm in peoples’ lives.
We have promoted stereotypes about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and have failed to become educated about LGBTIQ people. We have put LGBTIQ+ people outside the family, using terms such as ‘family values’ to suggest that they are not part of community. We have ‘othered’.
Equal Voices is convicted of the urgent need to repair the breach.
Equal Voices is a movement of Australian Christians responding to the call of Jesus to be reconciled with one another in the body of Christ. We acknowledge that the church, globally and locally, has often failed to be Christlike, and has been flawed in its understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) realities and experience.
We are a non-judgmental, non-denominational, ecumenical body of Australian Christians who seek to work for reconciliation and to equip LGBTIQ+ people and their friends and advocates to bring into being a truly inclusive and welcoming Australian church.