CHRISTIAN FAITH AND SAME-SEX-RELATIONSHIPS
Africa continues to be the worst performer in the global community’s efforts to stem the impact of HIV among MSM. In many parts of Africa, same-sex-relationships are condemned by Christian leaders and criminalized by law at country level. National leaders sometimes count Western NGOs responsible for injecting “wrong” cultures such as homosexuality and pornography in the country. Because of negative stigma and discrimination, people with same-sex-relationships are often punished by official institutions and not given proper health care.
Create open minds, open hearts and open doors
Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) works in a network of over 120 clergy and LGBTI leaders from across East and Southern Africa to reduce stigma, discrimination, persecution and criminalization related to sexual orientation, gender identity. IAM forms a countermovement to dominant, patriarchic and conservative faith ideology and promotes alternative interpretations of the Bible. They aim to create “open minds”, “open hearts” and “open doors” in patriarchal and conservative environments. This leads to more tolerance for the LGBTI community and enhances access to HIV prevention and response programs for this marginalized community.
“As a person who was totally against gays and lesbians in leadership of the church, the workshop of IAM not only helped me to accept gays, lesbians and people living with HIV, but also made me want to help create awareness and support.”