Pride Conference charging churches to preach message of love
Dr Andrew Campbell, a Jamaican living in Canada and assistant professor of leadership, diversity studies, and child development, is charging the Church to be mentors of love for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
"When I was younger, the Church was where I found love, peace, and protection, but as I matured and grew older, I realise the Church has become scarce in expressing love. It had lost the message of the God whose love is measureless," he said.
Campbell was speaking at this year's official launch of the inaugural Pride Jamaica Conference on August 1 at the University of the West Indies, Faculty of Law.
The Pride Conference is one of a kind and is celebrating LGBT life and culture in Jamaica, the Caribbean, and the diaspora within spaces where stakeholders and individuals can operate.
"The Church can be very pretentious and hypocritical when it comes on to individuals of the LGBT community. The reality is daunting because there are persons of the LGBT community who are very active in Church but are really hurting, and they are hurting because the Church no longer embodies this concept of love but condemns and puts these individuals into greater disrepute," he said.
Campbell told The Gleaner that the Pride Conference is very important as it allows persons who are part of the LGBT community to understand and appreciate issues.
"The Pride Conference is extremely important for creating a forum for LGBT persons, advocate, and allies to come together to engage in meaningful dialogue. That is why my research focuses on the creation of knowledge to engage the wider society on issues relating to LGBT. I am even more elated for this initiative implemented by JFLAG," Campbell added.
Jaevion Nelson, director of projects and strategy for JFLAG, and Suelle Anglin, media and mobilisation manager for JFLAG, stated that there should be a shift in how the Church deals with LGBT issues. They said that the Church should be open and should have a more holistic approach to dealing with the LGBT community.
- Delion Bowes