Photographs of Christians attending a Gay Pride event to apologise for the treatment of the LGBT+ community have gone viral again, less than a year after the happening.
The religious marchers held placards with messages of love and solidarity. One read, ‘I’m sorry for the ways we have harmed the LGBT community.’
The march took place last July in the Philippines, the only majority Christian nation in Asia, with 86 per cent of the population practicing Roman Catholicism.
It’s since received the meme treatment and was shared on Reddit yesterday (March 23), by u/lil-goochy in the r/Christians thread, where it continued to serve as a good reminder of acceptance.
While 73 per cent of the population agree homosexuality should be accepted in society, according to a 2013 report published by the Pew Research Center, the Philippines does not offer any legal recognition to same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnership benefits.
Since 2006, three anti-same sex marriage bills have been introduced to the Senate and Congress.
So, the public display of solidarity is still a pertinent message at this time among the Filipino LGBT+ community.
The signs read:
I’m sorry. We’re here to apologize [sic] for the ways that we as Christians have harmed the LGBT community.
Others held placards which apologised on a personal level, with one man admitting he ‘used to be a bible bashing homophobe’.
Those present at the annual Pride march in Marikina City, east of the capital, Manila, took photos of the public display of love and they were shared on Twitter by Jamila Salvador.
One sign continued to say sorry for the ways they’d harmed gay people, listing:
….for hiding behind religion when really I was just scared…I’ve looked at you as a sex act instead of a child of god.
…I have looked down on you instead of honouring your humanity…I’ve rejected and hurt your family in the name of family values.
…for not listening…for judging you.
Her tweet has been shared by almost 50,000 social media users and it’s good ripple effect is still being felt today.
— Jamilah Salvador (@JAMBIyutiful) June 30, 2018
The group appear to be following a suggestion given by Pope Francis in June 2016, a month before the march, when he said Christians should apologise to those they’ve discriminated against.
I believe that the church not only should apologise to the person who is gay whom it has offended, but has to apologise to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labour.
Let the redemption of these Filipino people be an inspiration to all.
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