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SHEDDING LIGHT ON CHALLENGES OF LGBTI ACCEPTANCE IN DIVERSE CULTURES

in AUSTRALIA, 08/03/2014

A CONFERENCE on same-sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities gave the LGBTI community a chance to discuss the challenges of supporting youth in between two worlds.

The recent Colour of Youth conference saw Melbourne’s LGBTI community and the city’s cultural and religious community leaders come together to grapple with some of the issues facing SSASGD young people with culturally and religiously-diverse backgrounds. A highlight of the day was a panel discussion on religion, where representatives from both Judaism and Islam made arguments for using religious teachings rooted in equality and acceptance as a basis for rejecting the persecution of LGBTI people.

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black from the Leo Baeck Centre for Progressive Judaism said the broader community had to understand the huge diversity of views held within Judaism, and within other religions. 

“The first thing you can practically do is all hear and be aware that there is a progressive approach in Judaism, and I believe there is a progressive approach in all the faiths. They all have this spectrum from conservative to liberal,” Keren-Black said.

Panel moderator Mo Elleissy identified a lack of understanding of these communities from LGBTI people as a problem.

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