The gay Catholic group Acceptance will be hosting an Interfaith service to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mardi Gras parade, thanks to a grant from the Marrickville Council.

The service on 18 June will bring together church leaders and worshippers of different faiths to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Mardi Gras protest march. Representatives from the Metropolitan Community Church, the Dayenu Jewish group, the Uniting Network and Acceptance will congregate at the Seaview St Community Hall in Dulwich Hill to take part in an all-inclusive church service.

A representative from Acceptance, who wishes to be known only as Tim, says the event will be open to the religious and non-religious alike who wish to work towards promoting tolerance.

There are gay people in all faith groups, from Buddhists to Muslims and Catholics so it’s about trying to bring those people together, Tim said.

Later this year we are hopefully going to see a number of amendments to laws which will be more accepting to gay people, but there is still some way to go with many faith groups. This is an important way of showing that there are a number of gay people who belong to a number of faiths.

It’s also a way to strengthen the community in Marrickville. Marrickville is a very gay-friendly part of Sydney and the numbers show that there are more and more gay people living in the area so we would like to recognise the support the Marrickville Council has given us through things like the community grant program which enabled us to put this on.

The all-inclusive service has been carefully crafted to ensure that no faith’s belief system is offended and will focus on celebrating the achievements made by the GLBT rights movement through a series of acts that will include the lighting of commemorative rainbow candles and a photo montage of shots from the original Mardi Gras protest.

The interfaith service will be held from 7.30pm on 18 June at the Seaview St Community Hall.

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