The newly launched Ozanne Foundation revealed its three-fold strategy to tackle prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender in religious organisations at an event in Westminster on April 9th 2018.
Over 100 guests, including some of the most senior figures in the LGBTI campaigning world, came together to celebrate the launch of the Ozanne Foundation as a charity.
Speaking at the event the Chair of the Foundation, the Bishop of Liverpool Rt Revd Paul Bayes, explained that the charity’s focus would be to promote the equality and diversity of all, independent of someone’s sexuality or gender, within religious organisations around the world: “We embrace and celebrate the fact that we are each uniquely created and yet all equally loved by God,” he said. “The Foundation’s work will focus on our three core themes; enabling positive Encounters between those who disagree, helping inform and Educate, and equipping and Empowering people to advocate for greater inclusion. We believe that there is a growing desire for change, and we want to help resource it.” (full text of speech available here)
The three-fold strategy of ‘Encounter – Educate – Empower’ looks to create opportunities for meaningful encounters with LGBTI people of faith with those of a more conservative mindset. In addition, the Foundation will look to tackle misunderstandings about LGBTI people through better education of the science surrounding sexuality and gender issues, and the impact of prejudice on then mental health. Finally, it will also empower people to speak out in their immediate communities and equip them with the tools they need to help bring about change.
“For too long, many have hesitated from speaking out for fear of rejection and alienation by their colleagues,” Director of the Foundation, Jayne Ozanne explained. “This is particularly true in evangelical churches, where a growing number of younger members are at odds with their leadership over this issue.”
The event was held at the offices of Lee Bolton Monier-Williams in Westminster and brought together the leaders of many of the main LGBT groups in the UK.
Jayne Ozanne also used the event to announce the forthcoming publication of her book “Just Love”, which charts her own personal story of her struggle to accept her sexuality, and which will be published in June.
Media Coverage of Westminster Launch Event
Rejection by C of E has driven LGBT people to suicide, bishop says – The Guardian, April 9th 2018
Bishop and senior clergyman join calls for Church of England to lose equalities exemptions – Christian Today, April 9th 2018
The Church of England should lose its exemption to discrimination laws, Dean of St Paul’s says – The Telegraph, April 10th 2018
Ozanne Foundation launched – Thinking Anglicans, April 10th 2018