Protestant churches are joining with the LGBT advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign and others to make their congregations more welcoming to gay and transgender Ticos.
The Episcopal Church of Costa Rica announced Thursday that it would join the Lutheran Church, the LGBT advocacy group Diversity Movement, the U.S.-based Human Rights Campaign, and the Student Federation of the University of Costa Rica to discuss faith, sexual orientation and gender identity at the University of Costa Rica on Tuesday, March 4.
Organizers will show the 2013 film “Before God: We Are All Family.” Filmed in the United States and Puerto Rico, the movie explores Latino families’ relationship with faith and sexual identity. Following the film, Bishop Héctor Monterroso of the Costa Rican Episcopal Church, Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera of the HRC, and Diversity Movement President Marco Castillo, among others, will meet for a panel discussion.
“We have a saying in the Episcopal Church: ‘All are welcome and equal in the eyes of God.’ We want the diverse community to feel respected and welcome,” said Monterroso, according to a statement.
“The first step is to promote dialogue, learn, listen and declare what we always have said. We want to heal the wounds that many LGBT people have with religion. We should understand that they are God’s creation and God does not err. We must accept them as God created them,” he added.
The event will be held at 5 p.m. at the University of Costa Rica’s Health Science Library.