WITH a dream of one day seeing 100 rabbis and 100 imams join him to march in the Mardi Gras, the Reverend Matt Glover will again help lead the 100 Revs float in this weekend’s iconic parade.

Under a theme of Equality Through Marriage, Glover told the Star Observer this week that the 100 Revs has representatives from all major denominations of the Christian church with many more not-so-public supporters among ministers of religion.

The group was formed in 2008 when over 100 ministers joined Sydney-based Baptist Reverend Mike Hercock in signing an apology for the failure of the church to show Jesus Christ’s love towards LGBTI people.

“I think this is the third or fourth time the group has marched. The first time 100 Revs marched it was as an act of apology to the LGBTI community apologising for the way the church had treated them and had stigmatised them,” Glover said.

“In that first march… they won the award for best political statement.”

Glover said it was courageous for so many ministers of faith to publicly show their support to the LGBTI community, particularly if their church denomination was traditionally hostile.

“Some of them may find themselves in the same situation that I did two years ago where their jobs and livelihood will be threatened,” he said.

“There will be close friends who may turn their backs on them. It’s a big deal for a Christian minister to march in an event such as the Mardi Gras.”

It’s an experience all too familiar for the reverend,  who was forced from his position at the Lilydale Baptist Church in 2011 after publicly backing marriage equality and urging others to speak up. It’s a theme he returns to when asked what other issues of social justice the LGBTI community should be fighting for.

“The first thing that comes to mind immediately is the atrocious treatment of asylum seekers,” Glover told the Star Observer.

“If we say nothing, we are complicit in that harsh treatment as we are just letting it happen.

“The increasing levels of poor mental health also need to be spoken (about). Of course in the LGBTI community those mental health statistics are even worse, with suicide rates higher.”

Asked what his thoughts would be if his float was to one day also include ministers of faith from the Jewish and Muslim religions, Glover had only encouragement for the idea.

“It would be wonderful if it happened, it really would,” he said.

“Whether we all march together or whether there are 100 Christian ministers on one float and then 100 rabbis marching with their own float, whatever. If it happened that way, it would be just as good. We could support each other but also represent our own denominations and faith traditions.”

 

 

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