THE Belfast Pride parade is taking place on Saturday July 30. I always love to see the displays of the Pride flag, and also the many organisations and companies that will take part in the parade showing their support for our LGBTQ+ community.
One of the groups that will be walking in the parade is called ‘Christians at Pride.’ This UK movement is ‘an ecumenical grassroots movement.’ and it is great that we, here in Belfast, will once again have many Christians who will take part in the Pride parade. Pride provides us not only with the opportunity to remember and reflect on the difficulties our LGBTQ+ community have come through (and continue to), but also gives us an opportunity to celebrate the positive changes. I love that there are so many people of faith stepping up and speaking out for inclusion and equality in our churches. It is important that we continue to:
•Champion love not hate.
•Champion inclusion not exclusion.
•Champion equality not inequality.
The Church is falling so behind on this. No-one should be made to feel ashamed or belittled because of who they truly are. Yes, we are going to differ in our theology and understanding of the bible, but we must be determined to always err on the side of love, grace and acceptance-even in the midst of our disagreements.
I give thanks for the Christians who will take part in the parade. I hope and pray we all have a blessed day as we celebrate our precious LGBTQ+ community.