A church in Kelowna has announced that it stands in solidarity with Kelowna Pride, Advocacy Canada and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
The Central Okanagan United Church released a statement asserting its commitment to being a “safe, welcoming and self-aware church for all who enter,” after the Kelowna Pride Society published a plea to the community asking for support.
The pride society said that over the past year, queer communities in the Central Okanagan have been increasingly impacted by anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate, which has impeded its ability to carry out events safely.
To combat the “attacks on trans and 2SLGBTQIA+ rights,” the Pride Society is calling for elected officials, policymakers and leaders in the community to stand against hate and take active measures to ensure the safety of all people in the Okanagan.
In response, the Central Okanagan United Church said that they stand for a brighter, more welcoming and accepting future and are working to become an Affirming Ministry with the United Church of Canada. The designation would be concrete proof that the church is a safe space and “fully inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities — and backs up its words with actions.”
“We are called as a church to lead with love and understanding… and offer care and safety to all.”
In January, the City of Kelowna also addressed the concerns of the Kelowna Pride and Advocacy Canada with the following statement: “The City of Kelowna believes in an inclusive and diverse community where everyone is safe. We will not tolerate hate, intimidation or violence for any reason including against trans and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.”
The full statement made by Kelowna Pride, which outlines the numerous anti-queer developments that have taken place in the Okanagan over the past year, is available at kelownapride.com.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our daily and subscribe to our daily newsletter.