Registered as a charity in 2018, The Ozanne Foundation works to support and affirm LGBTQI people of faith
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGES BY NAOMI BENNETT AT THE OZANNE FOUNDATION
Attended by a myriad of senior faith leaders, parliamentarians and Ozanne Foundation trustees alike, this year’s Ozanne Foundation Awards recognised four leaders for their revolutionary contributions towards the lives of LGBTQI people of faith. Taking place on Wednesday 8 December, Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, Alicia Kearns MP, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Jeremy Marks secured accolades.
The Ozanne Foundation works alongside global religious organisations to eliminate discrimination based on sexuality or gender. Promoting equality and diversity, it was awarded charity status in 2018 and has been working tirelessly ever since to promote the rights of LGBTQI people within religious settings. With the Oasis Foundation finding that “the Church and local churches are one of the biggest sources of discrimination against LGB people and the biggest contributor of negative views to debates about same-sex relationships in society and the media”, the work of The Ozanne Foundation has never been more important.
Securing the Religious Leader Award, Rt Revd Gregory Cameron was recognised for his work towards enabling same-sex blessings within the Church of Wales, with Alicia Kearns MP granted the Parliamentarian Award (MP) for her work towards furthering legislation to ban conversion therapy. Baroness Helena Kennedy QC was bestowed the Parliamentarian Award (Peer) for her vision in chairing the Cooper Report, collating a distinguished group of human rights experts, parliamentarians and civil society leaders to envisage the logistics of a ban on conversion therapy. Finally, the coveted Colin Blakely Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Jeremy Marks, founder of Post-Courage, an organisation working towards supporting and affirming LGBTQI people of faith.
Rt Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool and Chair of the Ozanne Foundation, stated: “Addressing injustice – whether it be in Church, government or wider society – requires champions who are prepared to show courage and leadership. We honour four such people, who have each had a significant impact on the lives of LGBT+ people, particularly those living in faith settings”.
Jayne Ozanne, Director of the Ozanne Foundation, furthered: “It is so important to recognise the role that leaders have in tackling prejudice and discrimination at an institutional or national level. So many of us yearn for change, but few know how to achieve it. I am thrilled that we are able to recognise some of our unsung heroes who have given so much in the fight for equality”.
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