With the marriage equality postal vote looming, I am very concerned about the exposure of homophobic and transphobic messages that you and our LGBTIQ community may encounter over the next several months. Hurtful and hateful messages that demean us as human beings, are already filling news feeds and the airwaves. There is still so much ignorance in various pockets of our society. This ignorance may be the cause of the unleashing of a campaign of bullying and vilification that can do us great harm. I am particularly concerned for our younger LGBTIQ friends, as well as those who struggle with mental and emotional wellbeing. My fears echo those of Michael Kirby who has expressed that in this campaign ahead our community will be hearing a message of hate, further reinforcing feelings of low self-esteem as well as the mindset that we already carry of being second class citizens.
Sadly, some of the greatest opponents to marriage equality will be from people professing to represent our loving God. The damage these voices have already caused our LGBTIQ community is enormous. So many have long given up on ever stepping foot inside a church because of the homophobia that continues to exist in many churches today. Despite the effort of LGBTIQ friendly congregations to build bridges, there is still much suspicion, fear and intolerance between the Christian and LGBTIQ communities.
Now, like never before, you and I have opportunity to stand strong together, under God's rainbow of promises, to show the world what God's love really looks like. Our message continues to be a simple one: We are ALL God's children, created in God's image to share this earth, God's creation, together.
DON'T GIVE UP ON GOD
Please do not let any messages of ignorance or hate cause you to doubt that God Loves you! You are created in God's image TO SHINE! We are ALL God's children, and no matter what, God will always help you, love you, and struggle with you through whatever storm lies ahead.
DON'T GIVE UP ON FAITH COMMUNITY
God never intended for us to live out our faith in isolation to each other. We need each other, just as much as we need God. This is a time when we can be there for each other, with God in our midst.
There are some other great organizations that can help too if you or a loved one need support, such as Beyond Blue, www.beyondblue.org.au Q Life https://qlife.org.au/ and ACON http://www.acon.org.au/
My prayer for you is that you stand strong and firm against whatever storm you may encounter. The rainbow is a symbol of God’s promise to the world. God has promised to be with us, help us and protect us. God's promises are ones you can rely on. May you continue to trust in our loving God in the months ahead to be with you, bringing you reassurance and peace in those moments when you need God’s added blessing.
Love and more Love,