Inter-Religious Advisory Board

See below for short biographies of each Board member

SENIOR RELIGIOUS FIGURES AND ACADEMICS FROM ACROSS THE MAIN RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS HAVE UNITED TO FORM AN ADVISORY BOARD FOR THE OZANNE FOUNDATION TO HELP ADVISE HOW BEST TO TACKLE DISCRIMINATION AND PREJUDICE ON THE BASIS OF SEXUALITY AND GENDER IDENTITY WITHIN RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS

The panel consists of nine members, each of whom are well respected within their own religious groups and are each personally committed to the full inclusion of all.

We are thrilled that such a distinguished group of leaders has accepted our invitation to work together, advising us on the best way to tackle prejudice and discrimination in religious organisations on the grounds of sexuality or gender.  We have so much that we can learn from each other, and I am hugely grateful for the commitment each member has shown in starting to change the dialogue around faith, sexuality and gender identity, so as to ensure ‘Just Love for All’.”

Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool and Chair of Ozanne Foundation

“There is so much I believe that we can achieve together, however of immediate concern is to ensure that the UK government bring forward legislation to end the horrific practise of conversion therapy, which we know is perpetrated by many religious leaders.  I am also deeply concerned about the nature of the dialogue around single-sex spaces, and hope that we can find a more empathetic tone when discussing proposals that directly affect the everyday lives of trans people.”

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism

“I am pleased to support this excellent initiative, which puts listening and learning at the heart of this vital work for justice and change.  Religious teaching, including in evangelical Christian groups like my own, has caused much pain and hurt across the LGBTI+ community.  This new Board is an opportunity and an encouragement to work together to share God’s love for all.”

Revd David Mayne, Moderator of Baptist Union Council

Members

Anil BhAnot OBE

Anil is a founding member of Hindu Council UK and is presently it’s Interfaith Director; he’s a practising Chartered Accountant and also runs other community charities, the EMFoundation in London and the Peepul Centre in Leicester

Ursula HALLIGAN

Ursula is the former political editor of TV3 in Ireland, writer and committed Catholic.  She is the Co-Chair of “We Are Church” in Ireland, which works for justice in the Roman Catholic Church – including on matters to do with sexuality and gender.  In 2015, she came out publicly in the national media, just ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum, which many believe helped influence the vote. She is Journalist in Residence at Dublin City University and currently studying for an MPhil in theology at Trinity College, Dublin.

Fredrick R HYDE-CHAMBERS OBE

Fredrick is currently President of the Dhamma Centre, Colchester which uniquely serves two Buddhist communities Sri Lankan and Nepalese of different traditions. He is also Executive Chairman of Enterprise and Parliamentary Dialogue International and Chair of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Support Group.  His husband comes from a country which still applies British colonial law to homosexuals

RABBI LAURA JANNER-KLAUSNER

Laura is Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, a mainstream progressive denomination of Judaism. She is passionate about social justice, community cohesion, Israel and LGBT+ issues. Her recently published book Bitesize Resilience: a Crisis Survival Diary is currently available on Amazon.

REVD MICHAELA YOUNGSON

Michaela is a Methodist minister, currently serving as Chair of the London District. She was the President of the Methodist Conference 2018/19 and is Chair of the Global Relationships Committee of the Methodist Church. She is committed to justice for all people and to building positive and sustaining interfaith relationships locally and globally. She is a broadcaster and author, as well as a glass artist.

Hannah BROCK WOMACK

Hannah s a Quaker and social justice activist in Sheffield. In 2019 she was appointed as Fourth President of Churches Together in England (CTE) but was unable to take up her role as the CTE member churches rejected the appointment due to her same-sex marriage. She works for a charity supporting asylum seekers and is an elder of her local Quaker meeting’.

Dilwar HUSSAIN

Dilwar is Chair of New Horizons in British Islam, a charity that works on Muslim identity, integration and reform; and Assistant Professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University. He has research interests in social policy, Muslim identity and Islam in the modern world. Dilwar blogs at: http://www.dilwar.org and tweets: @DilwarH.

DR JAGBIR JHUTTI-JOHAL

Jagbir is the senior lecturer in Sikh Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham and has over 17 years’ experience in teaching and research, with extensive knowledge in Sikh theology, inter-faith dialogue and contemporary issues such as gender inequality.  She was a Commissioner on The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life (CORAB), convened in 2013 by The Woolf Institute and a board member of the European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (ESITIS). She is a regular presenter on the Thought for the Day segment on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Revd David MAYNE

David is the Lead Pastor of Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay Baptist Church, and currently serves as Moderator of the Baptist Union Council.  David’s work with local churches, national and international Baptist groups, and with ecumenical partners has consistently been focused on issues of justice and inclusion, particularly in relation to gender.  David is also the Chair of Trustees for the charity 28 Too Many, and a member of the Strategy and Policy Group for the Joint Public Issues Team.  

Leaders from every major religion join forces to fight homophobia, end conversion therapy and protect trans people – Pink News, June 30th 2020

For full press release please click here

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Let’s make something together.