Church goes purple as an apology to the LGBT community
Saint Marks Church in Fitzroy is planning to light their steeple purple as a symbol of apology to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The steeple will remain purple throughout the duration of the 20th International AIDS Conference as a further apology to the sufferers of HIV/AIDS who have also been subjected to stigmatisation by the church.
The Church said the aim of the purple steeple is to give hope to the international delegates that are “often fighting an uphill battle against conservative Christian views - in the creation of beneficial policies.”
“In some parts of the world the stigma is increased by negative views about same sex attraction, promoted by conservative elements in the churches. Unfortunately there are many countries where this is exacerbated by the criminalisation of homosexuality in 40 of the 53 Commonwealth of Nations countries - based on narrow religious beliefs, whose origins go back to the Anglican Church and British laws imposed on the world during the creation of the Commonwealth.”
Father Stuart Soley of Saint Marks Church said:
"I am very conscious of the influence the western churches have on those places which struggle with dealing with HIV-AIDS in huge numbers. That influence prevents good preventative strategies and reinforces stigma. Not all Christians in the west believe these things. We want our voice to be heard as well."
A Pozible campaign has been launched to help the Church raise $3000 to go towards the project. The funds will cover items such as: replacing floodlight bulbs for maximum brightness, repositioning of the floodlights so that the complete spire is lit and rigging of some of the world famous AIDS Quilts inside the church.
As part of the 20th International AIDS Conference Saint Marks will also be holding a special mass before the lighting of the steeple and there will be silent vigils each night of the conference July 20-15. The AIDS quilt will also be on display.
To donate to the Pozible campaign and for more information on Saint Marks go to pozible.com/project/182832
(Image - Father Stuart Soley - centre)