An Italian LGBT Christian Network have chosen a particular Bible verse for use at vigils and other services to mark this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).
IDAHOT takes place annually on the 17 May. Countries around the world mark the day – observed since 2005 – with a wide range of events. The theme for IDAHOT 2019 is ‘Justice & Protection for All.’
Progetto Gionata is an Italian LGBT Christian network. It recently held an online poll to choose a Bible passage appropriate to use at IDAHOT services and vigils.
Today it announced that the winning passage comes from the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 43:1-4: ‘Have no fear, for I have taken up your cause; naming you by your name, I have made you mine. Because of your value in my eyes, you have been honoured, and loved by me.’
Vigils for International Day Against Homophobia began in Florence
Religious vigils to mark IDAHOT began in 2007. In that year, LGBT Christians in Florence, Italy, came together to pray for Matteo, a teenager who killed himself after schoolmates bullied him.
‘Since then, in cities across Italy and around the world many Christians from different backgrounds gather every year to pray, to remember all victims, and to imagine a world where discrimination has ended,’ said a statement from Progetto Gionata.
It said the chosen statement reminds people that God loves and values them regardless of sexuality.
‘It reminds us not to be afraid’
‘We need more LGBTQ Christian networks across the world. The Bible passage quoted, Isaiah 43:1-4, affirms LGBTQ, it reminds us not to be afraid, for our creator God calls us by name and we are worthy and of great value to God.
‘IDAHOT is a terrible reminder of the atrocities against the LGBTQ community. This Network is about justice in remembrance and providing a place of healing.’