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.