‘Safe Space’ for LGBT Christians

A former member of the Christian Union has announced her aim to create a “safe space” for LGBT Christians at York.

Deborah Fenney, whose position as Social Action Representative in the Christian Union became “untenable” after the emergence of her liberal views on LGBT issues, is now seeking to set up a forum where LGBT Christians can discuss issues and experiences, religious and otherwise.

The initiative aims to look objectively at different Christian points of view on LGBT issues, to study the Bible and possibly to make visits to LGBT-friendly churches all over the country. It also looks to provide an environment in which members can experience what Fenney terms, “acceptance and fellowship.” A similar group was set up in the past but was closed after the graduation of its leading members. According to Fenney, “Getting together Christians in this situation is really important because a lot of us may come from backgrounds where homosexuality is perceived negatively.” The initiative has the support of the YUSU LGBT Officers.

Ben Nichols, the LGBT Chair, said “As an SU officer responsible for the welfare of LGBT students I supported the idea and hence offered to provide an initial point of contact for other people who are interested”. Fenney has asked other University Christian groups to advertise the group, but claims that “It’s not about having massive numbers: it’s about reaching those it applies to”.

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