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Gay Christians to Gather in St. Petersburg
14.09.2011 14:06
Gay Christians to Gather in St. Petersburg

Lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender Christians from all over Eastern Europe are going to meet in St. Petersburg for a forum on September 16-18.

      Organizers haven't announced the exact location of the forum yet due to fears of an agressive reaction from right-wing activists.

      “The international LBGT Christians forum is the only possibility for many religious LBGTs to understand that they are not alone, to discuss pressing issues and judge the possibilities to develop LBGT services in their cities,” said a message on the organizer’s website.

      Within the framework of the forum, its members will discuss such topics as human rights, integrating disabled people, HIV/AIDS prophylactics and support for people living with HIV.

      The Russian Orthodox Church has already stood against the idea of gay Christians gathering in the northern capital. The Church's activists are especially exasperated by plans of the forum's members to discuss church weddings for same-sex marriages. They say it is a perversion of the whole point of the church and a mockery of the sacrament itself.

          The Orthodox Action Corporation, which includes academics and theologists from all over Russia, also supports the initiative to block the "sodomite meeting". In particular, they quote Apostle Paul, who wrote that homosexuals "shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

  But LGBT forum coordinator Valery Sizoev says that Apostle Paul was misquoted and that he never mentioned of homosexuals in his sermons.

      It is the second summit to be held in St. Petersburg. The first was held in 2004, but it did not attract such widespread attention from the media or protesters. This year more than 70 official representatives from 11 countries are going to visit the forum.

      Gay pride marches have a very difficult history in Russia. More often than not they are banned or end with attacks on its members.


Sources: Rosbalt The Moscow News


Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: St. Petersburg Russian events Russian Orthodox Church human rights  

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