Gay Christians speak out in east Africa

By staff writers
8 Jan 2010

Large numbers of gay, lesbian and bisexual Christians in east Africa are accepting their sexuality while continuing to live out their faith, according to the Other Sheep network, which supports gay Christians around the world.

The network's comments follow a campaign launched by Noah Litu Kellum, a former Quaker pastor in Kenya, who was excommunicated after he came out as gay to his congregation.

"Noah’s story is representative of what we see again and again in Africa", said Steve Parelli, executive director of the Other Sheep network, "Gay Christians devoutly holding to their faith while embracing their sexual orientation".

Kellum is using the Facebook website to urge international support for gay Quakers in east Africa. He was rejected by his family as well as his church after he openly identified himself as gay just over a year ago, but he insists that "none of this can change my calling, especially knowing that Jesus does not discriminate".

He says that he believes that God is still calling him to be a pastor.

"At age 14 I had my first same-sex encounter", explained Kellum, who is now 31, "From that time forward, I knew that I was normal and accepted myself that I am gay".

Most Quakers in Kenya continue to oppose homosexuality, while Quakers in Britain recently became the first major faith group in the country to decide to carry out same-sex marriages.

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