SqGsdyIytTkParticipants of the 7th Forum of LGBT Christians of EECA that brought together LGBT and heterosexual believers from Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Switzerland, France, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Russia,

making reference to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22,39),

making reference to the Statement of the 6th Forum of LGBT Christians of EECA (15– 18 August 2013, Kiev, Ukraine)

make an appeal

1. To LGBT believers
1.1. to remember that love of one’s neighbour that the Lord commanded has love of oneself as its source;
1.2. to remember that loving oneself implies respect for one’s dignity, caring and accepting oneself;
1.3. to remember that our sexual orientation and gender identity is a gift from God that we can choose what to do with – to hate and fight it or accept it as part of ourselves, as something that allows us to be the way we are and through that to fulfil the Lord’s commandment;
1.4. to openly witness – when ready and given the chance – and to support those who witness to their way and share their story – both in personal communication and in public debate;
1.5. to support those who cannot live a fully open life, understanding that the decision to come out is only one part of our life as LGBT and Christians;
1.6. to remember that love is a gift of the Holy Spirit and to grow in the acts of mercy and charity;

2. To the Churches and religious communities
2.1 to remember that the teaching on human dignity and human rights has the Scripture as its source and is deeply rooted in Christianity;
2.2 to remember that human dignity is an irreducible and inalienable quality inherent in every human being by the fact of his/her birth, and that nothing can diminish or distort human dignity, for it does not depend on how human being or others perceive his/her personality. This quality reveals itself in respect from oneself and from others, in ability to love oneself and accept others in an unconditional love;
2.3 to remember that love reveals itself in respect of the dignity of other humans and in care for their safety;
2.4 to recognize that sexual orientation and gender identity do not make LGBT people sick, criminals or sinners;
2.5 to remember that Churches are called to be a safe space and shelter for those who are persecuted, abused or discriminated, including LGBT people;
2.6 to acknowledge the presence of LGBT people in the Churches and stop hurting and stigmatizing them;
2.7 to fully include LGBT people in the life of their Churches and communities as equals and dignified sisters and brothers – as God’s children;

3 To the LGBT community and movement
3.1 to remember that LGBT believers are an integral part of the LGBT community who share with their LGBT sisters and brothers the hardships of homophobia and transphobia which we endure from society and state;
3.2 to respect the right of LGBT believers to freedom of religion, not to blame us for our religiosity but to work together with us on advancement of the whole LGBT community;
3.3 not to ignore the diversity of the LGBT community but to acknowledge and celebrate it.

4. To all people of good will
4.1. to communicate, dialogue and interact.

Alina Aliyeva, Lana Smirnova, SPM LGBT ‘Avers’, Samara, Russia
Michael Tumasov, Samara, Russia
Vorozheikin Denis, Samara, Russia
Konstantin Golava, Togliatti, Russia
Valery Sozaev, Anton Kuzmin, Tatiana Lekhatkova, LGBT ministry «Nuntiare et Recreare», St. Petersburg, Russia
Olga Mark, narrative practitioner, LGBT ministry Nuntiare et Recreare, Association of Gay Christians of Estonia
Nina Sozaeva, «Parents Club» (LGBT initiative group «Coming Out»), St. Petersburg, Russia
Dennis Young, NGO «Association» Queer — Credo «, Kiev, Ukraine
Johannes Kallosh, Light of the World, Moscow, Russia
Julia Stolyarchuk, Moscow, Russia
Anastasia Ivanova, Moscow, Russia
Andrei Obolensky, Chairman of the LGBT organization «Rainbow Association», Moscow, Russia
Artemy Poniatowski, Moscow, Russia
Catherine Zvonova, Vladivostok, Russia
Inessa Vladlevski, Vladivostok, Russia
Catherine Agafonova, Vladivostok, Russia
Irina Sigova, Tomsk, Russia
Ilya Zhdanov, Belomorsk, Russia
Ayur Gonchikzhapov, Ulan-Ude, Russia
Alexander Bulich, Kiev, Ukraine
Yuri Garbuzov, Belarus
Julia Malygina, Moscow, Russia
Monika Bertram, Pastor of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD)
Irene Schwyn, Switzerland
Robert Simon, member of David and Jonathan, Paris, France
Pastor Mette Basbøll, Copenhagen, Denmark
Heino Nurk, Tartu, Estonia
Juhani Robert, Master of Orthodox Theology, Helsinki, Finland
Christina Holder, Germany