Peter Tatchell, veteran gay rights campaigner, spoke at the Greenbelt Christian festival, held each year at Cheltenham Racecourse. He spoke about "queer freedom in Africa”, especially the homophobia of some church leaders there. At the end of his talk he received a standing ovation (http://tinyurl.com/333h9jx).
In my early twenties, over twenty years ago (!!), I went to the Greenbelt Festival, but I found it a very different place. Any mention of homosexuality, and most times there wasn’t any, was the “traditional” negative line. I attended one seminar called “Sad To Be Gay” (sic), which draw the conclusion that any expression of a gay sexuality was a sin.
Things have certainly changed since I was last at Greenbelt, there are Christians out there who aren’t toeing the “party-line” of the Church’s homophobia. Unfortunately, the homophobic ones are still shrilly vocal. Lisa Nolland, on the Anglican Mainstream website, back in April, called for Christians to boycott Greenbelt just because Peter Tatchell would be speaking there (http://tinyurl.com/39sco9y). She said it wouldn’t be a safe place for children, again linking homosexuality and pedophilia – that old and nasty lie.
Some Christians are moving away from the Church’s homophobia, and that should be applauded, but there’s still a very long way to go…