CoE Cathedral Flying Rainbow Flag!

There is a rainbow flag flying at Portsmouth Cathedral

There is a rainbow flag flying at Portsmouth Cathedral.  On Friday, this will be replaced by an even bigger rainbow flag.  We had planned to fly one over the weekend in support of Portsmouth Pride happening on Saturday, but, along with many other churches and buildings around the country, we decided to fly one this week to remember those killed, injured or effected by the horrendous attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando this week.  We are praying for those who have been killed or injured and for all those who love them.  We are praying for those around the world who have been effected by this extreme act.  We are praying for those LGBT+ people around the world who are subjected to abuse, discrimination and persecution because of their sexuality.

Portsmouth Cathedral will continue to mourn with, stand alongside, support and welcome the LGBT+ community. We rejoice that God has made us who we are and that includes our sexuality, whether gay or straight and when you come here you do not need to pretend to be someone else.  You and your partner / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife are welcome here – you do not have to hide who you are.  Come and be yourself with us as we seek to love God, find out more about God and serve the world God created.  Come and offer your gifts and skills and wisdom to us.

Source: Portsmouth Cathedral

Gay, Catholic and Proud

It’s that time of year again. The beginning of summer marks the time of year when every major city hosts its LGBT Pride Parade. The cities will explode in a Molotov cocktail explosion of pink confetti, diva music, and piñatas filled with condoms. Or so I’ve heard.

For the first time I will be participating in the festivities. Not because for the first time in my life I’m gay, but for the first time in my life, I’m verging on something adjacent to pride when it comes to my sexuality.

For the longest time, I didn’t know what that meant. How could someone be proud of their sexuality? Did straight people walk around proud of the fact that they wanted to have heterosexual intercourse? Unlikely.

But really what was there to be proud of when it came to sexuality at all? It is an uncontrollable fact bestowed upon each of us. It’s like celebrating my red hair or freckles. Those don’t bring me a sense of pride. They’re just facts. I’m proud of accomplishments. My graduation from college, my job, the relationships I’ve built with those around me, my dedication to watch all of season 2 of True Detective no matter how bad it got. Those required work.

My gayness didn’t require work. It required being born.

But then I thought again.

Source: Gay, Catholic and Proud

David & Jonathan : Nous, chrétien-ne-s lesbiennes, gay, bi, trans ou hétéros, défilerons ensemble lors de la Marche des Fiertés LGBT de Paris

David & Jonathan, the French group of LGBT Christians, have announced that this year for the first time, Christians will have a faith presence under a single banner at Paris’ gay pride march.

Pour la première fois cette année, uni-e-s sous une même bannière, nous, chrétien-ne-s lesbiennes, gay, bi’, trans’ ou hétéros, défilerons ensemble lors de la Marche des Fiertés du samedi 2 juillet à Paris.

Avec ce symbole d’unité au sein d’organisations diverses, nous voulons clamer haut et fort que si certaines Églises font preuve de par le monde d’une homophobie parfois très violente, d’autres au contraire font preuve d’une acceptation pleine et entière des personnes LGBT dans toutes les dimensions de leur vie, à la fois spirituelle et affective. Dans des paroisses, la reconnaissance des personnes LGBT et des couples de même sexe progresse et doit continuer à progresser ; plusieurs d’entre elles proposent désormais de bénir ou de marier des couples de femmes et des couples d’hommes. Nous aussi, nous sommes l’Église.

Quelques heures avant de défiler, nous serons à 10h30 la Cathédrale américaine de Paris pour une célébration inclusive qui, comme le mot d’ordre de la Marche des Fiertés, mettra l’accent sur la nécessité de faire changer notre société, pour que les personnes trans soient respectées comme toutes les autres personnes, libres et égales en droit et en dignité. À cette occasion, des chré trans’, bi’, lesbiennes et gays témoigneront sur leur parcours de vie. Nous fêterons ensemble l’amour inconditionnel de Dieu manifesté en son fils Jésus-Christ pour toutes et tous. Cette célébration œcuménique sera animée conjointement par toutes nos associations et présidée par la chanoine de la Cathédrale, la Révérende Mary Haddad.

Source: David & Jonathan 2.0 

On being Proud.

Yesterday morning, an envelope slipped through the letter box. It felt like an invitation to something and on the back were the intriguing words “10 Downing Street”.

It turned out to be an invitation from the Prime Minister to a reception to celebrate the LGBT community in the United Kingdom.

Will I be going? You bet I will.

Receiving that invitation made me realise in some small part why I’ll be marching in today’s Glasgow Pride march.

Now, Pride is an emotion that Christians tend to be a little wary of. After all, didn’t our Lady have something to say about scattering the proud in the imagination of their hearts? Surely she wouldn’t be found dead on a gay pride march?

Well, think again. Our Lady will be marching today in the form of a group of folk from St Mary’s, Cathedral. (Notre Dame de Glasgow indeed).

The word “pride” covers a number of things in English these days – some negative and some positive. The proud hearts that Mary was wanting to send on their way were surely those of the haughty and the disdainful. Rather a different crew to those marching from Kelvingrove into town today.

The pride that is celebrated today is a sense of delight in the well-being of one’s self and others. Entirely a different thing, I think.

I’ll go to the Prime Minister’s reception full of pride in many people.

-full post at  What’s in Kelvin’s Head?

(weblog of Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow)

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Liverpool FC kicks hate out of soccer with gay pride march

Liverpool FC has announced they are to march in the city’s gay pride festival, making them first premier league club to show open support for LGBT pride.


The team is captained by England FC’s Steven Gerrard and players will march with the Liverpool Ladies side under a banner displaying the club’s crest. The team will also be selling club merchandise to raise money for pride.

Liverpool FC recently worked with Liverpool Pride on the Football v Homophobia tournament, hosted at the club’s academy earlier this year. The aim of the tournament was to end any association between football and homophobia.

Club supporters, LGBT or not, are all welcome to join the parade behind the marching banner to show their support for the cause. The march will begin at William Brown street, gathering at 11am and marching at midday on 4 August.

 Gay Star News.

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Catholic and other religious groups were well-represented at the World Pride March 2012 which wound through the streets of London on July 7th.  The Soho Masses community of London wore T-shirts that said “All Are Welcome at Soho Masses” on the front, while the reverse said “Nobody Knows I’m Catholic.”    Members of Quest, a Catholic LGBT group in the United Kingdom marched with their banner. And New Ways Ministry was present, proudly marching with our banner amid the thousands upon thousands of marchers and spectators.

Here are some photos which I hope will give you a sense of the strong faith presence in the march, as well as the diversity of attendees:

– more pictures at  Bondings 2.0.

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UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg orders Government to fly pride flag

In a first for central Government, the Cabinet Office is flying a rainbow flag to mark World Pride being held this weekend in London.

The iconic flag has been flown on the personal request of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Officials say that Mr Clegg thought it ‘was about time for Whitehall to bring itself up to date’ by flying the flag in solidarity with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “There has to be a first time for everything – flying this iconic flag in the heart of Whitehall is a small but important emblem that the Government and this country are behind equal rights.

“I’m absolutely delighted that, with a little bit of persuasion and determination, we’ve been able to fly the rainbow flag for this weekend’s festivities. I hope this is the start of a new era of pride across the historic Whitehall village.”

Designed in San Francisco in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, the original flag had eight stripes instead of today’s six horizontal stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.

Mr Clegg recently became the most senior politician to join the Out4Marriage campaign for marriage equality and yesterday said that churches and other religious institutions should be allowed perform same-sex marriages.


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Paris Gay Pride buoyed by promise of gay marriage law

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe (C) marches in the Gay Pride in Paris

Always colourful and raucous, the annual Gay Pride parade in Paris on Saturday was further buoyed by the promise of France’s new Socialist government to legalise gay marriage and adoption rights.

“This is a special parade because it is the first time we have a government, a president, a parliament who are in favour of progress,” said Nicolas Gougain, spokesman for the the gay rights group Inter-LGBT.

Organisers were expecting record levels of attendance from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual) community at the parade heading from Montparnasse to the iconic Place de la Bastille.

Symbolically, French Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti turned out to see the floats set off.

“I go everywhere where the future of the family is at stake,” she said, adding that “every bit of social progress benefits society as a whole”.

Bertinotti said she was “confident” the law “would be passed in 2013”.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said ahead of the march on Friday that “the right to marriage and adoption for all would be put in place” during President Francois Hollande’s five-year mandate, but did not specify the date.

-full report at AFP

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Nairobi’s gay rights revolution

ONE BUS RIDE AND I HAD LEFT BEHIND the crowded streets of downtown Nairobi, arriving on the outskirts of the city. The omnipresent buzz and whine of traffic was gone, replaced by the call of birds and the occasional whoosh of a passing car.

I leaned up against a cement building painted neon green and pink, advertising mobile phone providers and laundry detergent. It sprang up from the surrounding dusty landscape littered with acacia trees. A young Kenyan man walked toward me wearing a t-shirt with an orange hoodie over it and jeans that were slightly flared and torn at the knee.

“Gabriel?” I said. The man smiled and stuck out his hand.

Gabriel and I walked to a building across the street and entered a cavernous, unlit room. The walls were stark and cement; the only furnishings were a desk, two chairs, and a banner that read Other Sheep Kenya. I introduced myself to the slim man slouched in one of the chairs in the corner of the room. He looked hesitant, but after I gave my name he was quick to smile and tell me that his name was Peter.

It had taken Gabriel a moment to close and padlock the iron grill placed over the front door, and after finishing he hurried over to us. He repeated the introduction. “This is Peter, my boyfriend.”

Something flashed across Peter’s face; I couldn’t tell exactly what it was. He stole a glance in my direction, trying to read my face, as I tried to read his.

* * *

Gabriel and Peter were staying at a safe house provided by Other Sheep Kenya, one of a growing number of organizations in Kenya working to further gay rights.

Gabriel grew up in Nairobi and has known as long as he can remember that he was gay. Living in the capital city gave him access to gay rights organizations, and he has been involved in activism since he was a teenager. Peter, meanwhile, comes from outside of Kajiado, a rural area in southern Kenya, and he didn’t know that gay rights organizations existed until his recent move to Nairobi.

Over the course of a decade, the fight for gay rights and the presence of gay culture have become visible in Nairobi at a speed perhaps incomparable to anywhere else in the world. Only 15 years ago, no Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) organizations operated openly in Kenya. Accordingly, gay rights were seldom discussed publicly or privately.

– more at Matador Network.

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Gay Pride Weekend Draws Mormon Allies and Equality Supporters

This weekend, organized contingents of Mormons marched in LGBT pride parades in 8 cities, from New York to Santiago de Chile, marking the high point in an historic season in LDS LGBT history that began with the Mormons Building Bridges Parade in Salt Lake City on June 3.

In Seattle, the Mormons for Marriage Equality contingent counted 55 marchers at the beginning of the Pride parade. As the group made its way down the parade path, an additional 20 Mormons left the sidelines to join, repeating scenes witnessed in Washington, DC, when the parade route became a site for reunions between active Mormons and gay Mormons long estranged from the faith community.

In New York City, 50 gay Mormons and allies marched behind the banner of Affirmation, the nation’s oldest Mormon LGBT group. Some held signs quoting a verse from the Book of Mormon: “All are alike unto God.” Nineteen LDS marchers held the Affirmation banner in Houston, as did an estimated 100 LDS LGBT and allied marchers in Santiago de Chile.

The largest contingent of the weekend gathered in San Francisco, where more than 100 LDS people gathered to march behind the Mormons for Marriage Equality banner, winning the parade’s award for “Absolutely Outrageous” contingent. Mitch Mayne, who is openly gay and holds a leadership position in his San Francisco LDS congregation, offered an opening prayer for the group. “I felt prompted to ask our Father to bless us with the capacity to be ambassadors of His unconditional love,” said Mayne.

-full report by Joanna Brooks at Religion Dispatches

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