Today the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking for true respect of the human rights and the personal integrity of LGBT people. They appeal to the Pope for a clear statement against homophobic violence and any pressure by religious authorities to undergo "reparative therapy“, often causing harmful psychological damage. In this letter the Catholic Church is called on to grant LGBT people the same fundamental right to get involved in a relationship with a beloved other without being afraid of negative consequences from church hierarchies.
The European Forum represents 44 Christian LGBT member groups from 23 European countries. Originally initiated by the Polish group Faith and Rainbow the letter was approved by the Forum’s Annual General Meeting in early May 2011. It indicates a new atmosphere within the Catholic church, where fear and desperation of LGBT people are replaced by courage and the demand for open dialogue.
The letter is presented to the public today (10-6-2011) at the conference LGBT people and Christian churches in Europe: fears and opportunities for full acceptance and inclusion , which is part of a program of events on Faith and Homosexuality that for the first time is included in the Europride 2011 that will take place in Rome from june 1st to 12th. The conference is organized by the Italian member group Nuova Proposta in cooperation with the European Forum. One of the speakers at the event is John McNeill, one of the founding fathers of gay theology, who was excluded from the Jesuit order because of his homosexuality.