The ecumenical movement, Equal Voices that looks towards reconciliation between Australian churches and the LGBTIQ+ community will launch April 3rd at Pitt Street Uniting Church.
Earlier this year, Equal Voices hosted a liturgy at St James’ Anglican Church to present a National Apology for churches, to acknowledge marginalised treatment of the LGBTIQ community and pledge to have respectful and inclusive dialogue and discussion.
Since the beginning of March people have been able to sign the apology and has already been endorsed by Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church and Baptist members, to name a few.
Pitt Street Uniting Church minister, Rev. Dr Margaret Mayman, is part of the Equal Voices steering committee.
Rev. Mayman said she was impressed that the movement is ecumenical and is coming from mostly non-LGBTIQ Christians.
“In many situations in the church, queer Christians do the heavy lifting of working for change and as such are easily dismissed as self-interested,” said Rev. Mayman.
Rev. Mayman explained that the national apology was more than just saying sorry and draws from the Christian understanding of repentance.
“It is an expression of intention to change behaviour and attitudes and to atone for past wrongs,” said Rev. Mayman.
This is not the first time people within the religious community have suggested that an apology is needed. On a global scale, Rev. Mayman points to a document published last year, where Pope Francis called for Christians to acknowledge and apologize for the hurt caused by the adverse treatment of the LGBTIQ community over the years.
“Every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration,” the Pope wrote in the document.
For Rev. Mayman, treating people with respect and viewing them as people first despite having different viewpoints, is paramount.
“Even if we cannot agree on our interpretations of Scripture, we can at least acknowledge that faithful Christian people have reached different conclusions on matters of gender, sexual orientation, non-binary biological sex and marriage,” said Rev. Mayman.
Former High Court Justice Michael Kirby will be the officiant at the ceremony launch.
For more event details about the launch click here.