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Faith has long been used to justify anti-LGBT+ discrimination

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Protests outside primary schools in Birmingham are once again fanning the flames of hate aimed at LGBT community.

With Tory leadership hopeful Esther McVey facing criticism for appearing to side with the protestors, it feels rather like the days of Section 28 all over again. Section 28 was a law adopted 30 years ago that prevented schools from discussing LGBT rights on broadly moral and religious grounds. Back then, religion was used to foment hurt, and it seems like little has changed.

This time, it’s some people of the Muslim faith objecting to classes that normalise LGBT relationships. But it could have easily been Christians, as religion has been used to torment LGBT people for millennia. Of course not all people of faith persecute LGBT people, but all of the main faiths bear responsibility for directing hate towards LGBT people over the years.

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Trans people have even been granted a reprieve by some Muslim leaders. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini recognised that surgery to “correct” gender identity was permissible under Islamic law. But this is little comfort for those who don’t need surgery to live in their gender. Guided by his understanding of Islam, the Sultan of Brunei has recently promulgated laws authorising the stoning to death of men caught having sex with each other. Under international........

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